Historical Fiction and fantasy are two of my favorite genres, so I was quite intrigued by the idea of reading a book which combines the two. I ratherHistorical Fiction and fantasy are two of my favorite genres, so I was quite intrigued by the idea of reading a book which combines the two. I rather liked the idea of incorporating fantasy elements into a historical period of time, and setting the story in Ancient Rome seemed to be quite a unique and intriguing idea.
In spite of the fantasy aspect of the story which would provide the author with a great deal of freedom in creative licencee the historical aspect of the story seemed to be quite detailed and well researched which I appreciated. I particularly enjoyed the mention of some of the more minor and obscure Roman gods opposed to the Greek/Roman gods of which most people know. I also liked the way in which the chapters were written in both English and Latin.
One thing which bothered me was the character of Eliana who struck me as being annoying though I could not quite place exactly why. In part I did feel as if she did feel too modern for me. She did not come across as believable for the time period but felt as if she was just plopped into the story. And the love interest between her and Tullus felt too contrived. It felt just kind of like a plot device in order to drive certain events within the story. But there love didn't really feel authentic to me.
I was also a bit disappointed in the fact that the magic/fantasy elements of the story seemed to play a rather minor role throughout most the story. As I was reading I kept hoping that the fantasy would come into play more. I know this is part of a series and perhaps there is more fantasy in the following books, but I still was hoping to see a bit more of it here.
But all in all I thought it was an enjoyable and compelling read which was fast paced, action packed and did keep me wanting to keep reading more. ...more
I have some mixed feelings about this book. While on the whole I did find it to be quite compelling to read, and thought it was a well-crafted story aI have some mixed feelings about this book. While on the whole I did find it to be quite compelling to read, and thought it was a well-crafted story and I did enjoy it on the other hand I felt a slight disappointment that it was not quite what I had hoped or expected it to be.
The start of the book put me immediately in mind of Frankenstein, and I can understand the parallels between Grendel and the monster of Frankenstein both are intelligent, self-aware individuals with the ability for complex abstract thought, an appreciation for art, and the understanding of language, and essentially all the things which we perceive as making us human. But because of their outward appearance they are ostracized, feared, and assaulted. Their attempts to reach out to man are misunderstood, and so they are forced to watch from the shadows longing for companionship until being driven to act as the monsters everyone treats them as being.
The problem is that it felt too much as if the author was rewriting the story of Frankenstein's monster in another time period. Grendel did not truly feel as if he belonged in the world of Beowulf but as if he was plopped in the middle of it as fully formed being. Part of this stems from the fact that we are given no reason for why Grendel possesses the intelligence he has. The glimpses we see of Grendel's mother make her appear as being a very savage, anticlimactic primal beast with none of Grendel's cognitive abilities.
The dragon was an awesome character. The dragon truly felt like this ancient creature that has been around long before man, and would be around long after man. The dragon was intelligent, and wise, and truly felt as if it was of this world. I had thought that Grendel would have been created more like that, to give this sense of being a part of this ancient race which had existed prior to man but instead Grendel just felt like this unexplained anomaly.
This might also in part have to do to the narrative style. The story is told in a first-person steam of conscious narrative. I some ways the way the story is told does make it engaging to read, but at other moments it also makes it confusing and difficult to understand certain events. And so it was not always easy to follow what was taking place. ...more
As a great fan of Arthurian Legend I was really looking forward to reading this classic that so many people rave about and honestly I must say I was lAs a great fan of Arthurian Legend I was really looking forward to reading this classic that so many people rave about and honestly I must say I was left dissapointed.
I throughly loved the beginning of the book dealing with young Arthur and his exploits and adventures with Merlyn. It was a strange but charming tale. I was enjoying the high fantasy take on the story.
But when it reached the point of Arthur as king I found the pace of the story came to a screeching halt and the story took a direction that at times was strange beyond any comprehension. I was amused by the episodes dealing with the Questing Beast but there were scenes in which I had no idea what the author's intention was.
I also found the book to be a bit too preachy in the way in which the author was hammering the reader over the head with his own philosophical ideas. ...more
I remember when I read The List of Seven in high school, and I found the book to be completely fascinating. I kept me on the edge of my seat and onceI remember when I read The List of Seven in high school, and I found the book to be completely fascinating. I kept me on the edge of my seat and once I picked it up I did not want to put it down. I absolutely loved Jack Sparks. So when I happened upon this book I was quite excited about it. Needless to say I was left somewhat disappointed. There was something about this book that I found not quite as engaging as the first book. It took me a bit longer to really get into it, and I thought it started out slow, and had some lulling moments for me.
But with that being said, it did start to pick more as I went a long and had some of the same elements that I remember loving so much in the first book. The characters were fascinating, and the story intriguing, and it did leave me wondering what was going to happen next.
So not a bad read, but there was just something the first book had that was lacking here. ...more
In comparison with the first book I have to say I found this book a bit disappointing. It did not quite live up to my expectation. I think part of theIn comparison with the first book I have to say I found this book a bit disappointing. It did not quite live up to my expectation. I think part of the problem was the fact that the first book had ended upon such a high and suspenseful note I was in anticipation to see what would happen next, only to find that this book was not a continuation of the first but more of a prequel going back in time.
At the onset I did not find this book to be as captivating as the first, and to me it did not seem as if the story was quite as complex, or the characters as well developed. The story did start off rather slowly and the first half of it or so read a bit like a rune of the mill, dime a dozen paranormal romance (and I was expecting more from this author) in which little happened but the erotic exploits of Maeniel whom while I really enjoyed in the first book fell a little flat for me in this book.
Though as the story advanced it did become more engaging, and it picked up more and I loved the character of Lucius whom became one of my favorites within the book.
One of the things which I most enjoyed about this book was the information provided on the fashion and dress of Ancient Rome, I really liked those bits of historic trivia which the author offered. ...more
I was left with some conflicted feelings about this book. Though on the whole I would say that I enjoyed reading it. It was not quite as good as I wouI was left with some conflicted feelings about this book. Though on the whole I would say that I enjoyed reading it. It was not quite as good as I would have hoped for.
In a sense it seems as if Yarbro takes a similar approach to the vampire as Anne Rice does, in humanizing the vampire and exploring human feelings within vampires, turning it into an unexpected hero, yet without making the vampire too shall we say fluffy or sparkly. But I feel that Yarbro lacks the psychological depth of Rice's writing, and so for me the character of Satin-Germain was not vividness. In some ways the characters of the book felt too shallow and did not come alive enough for me.
There were some elements in the book that seemed like a touch back to Bram Stocker's Dracula which I did appreciate. Also I enjoyed the historical angle. I find the legend of Saint-Germain to be an interesting one, and I enjoyed the idea of retelling it as a vampire.
There were moments when I feared this book would descend into too much of a paranormal romance for my preferred taste but I think that Yarbro did a good job of not deviling too much into the romantic plot and still kept an interesting story outside of the romance going.
One of the biggest disappointments for me in this book was that Saint-Germain seemed a bit too human, other then the fact that you are told he is a vampire, and a few subtle hints, there really was not much about him that felt very vampirc, he seemed to lack certain powers and abilities that one expects to find within vampires. Though it was an original as well as a bit more of a realistic take, I myself wanted a bit more of a supernatural element. I do like how Yarbro played with some of the common folkloric myths about vampires in this book. ...more