I wasn’t about to pass up anything to do with Elizabeth I, especially not when vampires are involved. It seemed like such an awesome idea, but the execution was…meh. It was all right, but I was nowhere near sold. I wanted to like this one so much and it had a lot going for it! Elizabeth and her court, Arthurian legend, vampire lore, even a gimmick about the author’s pseudonym, but it never came together.
The writing was lovely at times but it tended to go overboard quite often, and the story was at least interesting if predictable. Ms. Weston pulled out all the big names, from William Cecil to Francis Walsingham, John Dee, Robin Dudley, and Kat Ashley. Sadly, Walsingham and Kat were the only ones that were noteworthy. The others ranged from tolerable to annoying–i.e., Robin. Honestly, I didn’t take to Elizabeth, either. I never really believed her as a long-awaited slayer and there wasn’t much to her as a queen. She never made it past two-dimensional. I’m not sure what to make of Mordred…I couldn’t tell whether he was supposed to be a villain or an antihero, and his motives were inconsistent. The only points I’m handing out are for being only the third book I’ve ever read that didn’t make Anne Boleyn out to be a total biatch.
I take it this is supposed to be the first book of a series? If so, there wasn’t much to entice me to keep reading. The mix of Elizabeth, Arthur and vampires was sloppy, the characters irritating, and the writing patchy bordering on purple. What’s killing me most is Elizabeth! I have such admiration for her, and there is nothing about this characterization that is even likeable! I can overlook everything else if the protagonist is a strong, solid lead I can believe in and relate to, and it didn’t work out that way. I was expecting something better, but was sorely disappointed. Feel free to skip this one; in fact, I urge you to....more
That's an interesting twist on things, making Merlin a predecessor of Sherlock Holmes. And Nimue (sorry, I meant Colin) makes a good Watson. As someonThat's an interesting twist on things, making Merlin a predecessor of Sherlock Holmes. And Nimue (sorry, I meant Colin) makes a good Watson. As someone who has read a lot of Arthur retellings that didn't go down easy, believe me when I say that this is the best one I've read so far. Some of the plot twists were predictable and the villain was made apparent a little too early for my taste, but the actual unmasking was satisfactory. I'm basing my rating mainly on the characters of Merlin and Nimue: The mixture of smarts and sarcasm was right up my alley if I don't say so myself. This felt more like a skewed Arthur Conan Doyle story than anything--it just happened to take place in Camelot. Maybe in that respect it's not a good Arthur book at all, but it's still a good book, no matter how you slice it....more