This book was marketed as being a fantasy romance. It wasn't.
A Sorceress of His Own is romance, through and through, in a historical setting, with verThis book was marketed as being a fantasy romance. It wasn't.
A Sorceress of His Own is romance, through and through, in a historical setting, with very minor fantasy elements to the plot.
When I say that this is a romance, I mean that about 90% of the book is devoted to the relationship. The other 10% covers the three whole scenes where the author has attempted to throw a villain into the mix. He had so little impact on the story as a whole that he was nothing more than generic. His motives weren't developed at all, and were so basic as to be laughable. It was like he was an afterthought because the author realised she couldn't only have the romance.
The romance itself is unbearably heavy-handed. Alyssa, the heroine, has been in love with Dillon, the hero, since forever. She loved him before she'd even met him!. We're told rather than shown that they spend several years building up a friendship over games and such. He loves her pretty much from the moment that he realises she's not an old crone and that he can love her. There is absolutely no effort made at all to build any foundations to this relationship. The reader is just expected to go with it.
And then we get page after page after page of cliché lovey dovey drivel so that is so artificially sweet it made me gag.
To add insult to injury, the ending is one of the most prime examples of deux ex machina out there. (view spoiler)[Rather than making Dillion give us his position as a peer of the realm in order to marry and make a life with the woman he loves, they're just handed her circumstance as the bastard daughter of another peer, thus avoiding any eventuality where he would have to choose between his love and his people. (hide spoiler)]
Finally, the style used here didn't appeal to me at all. The author made something of an effort to give her narrative an "older" sound (ere instead of before, aught instead of anything, "know you..." instead of "do you know...", etc.) This really didn't appeal to me. Especially since a lot of the "old sounding" words she chose to use were actually from a later period. It came across as pretentious.
I was going to give up on this book after 42%, when I realised that nothing was going to happen beyond a romance with no real foundations. For some reason, I convinced myself to finish the book. In hindsight, I should have saved my time.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I'd read and enjoyed another book by Carla Kelly, Marian's Christmas Wish, several months prior to deciding to try another of her books.
Perhaps I shouI'd read and enjoyed another book by Carla Kelly, Marian's Christmas Wish, several months prior to deciding to try another of her books.
Perhaps I should have been wary when I saw it was about the early Mormon faith. It did indeed turn out that some of my reservations about the story stemmed from this point. Oftentimes I found I felt out of the loop about something, or felt awkward that the all the villagers called each other brother and sister. There were times when the characters would start laughing and I'd have to reread to see if I'd missed a joke, but even then I still didn't see anything funny about what I was reading. And to top it all off, all the interactions were so sugary sweet that they felt artifical.
Furthermore, the character was so timid that I really couldn't connect with her. She starts to find her feet later on in the story, but by that time it was too late for me.
It was interesting to learn a bit of American history, but ultimately this wasn't the story for me....more
I'd heard about this one off and on for a few months before I gave into the temptation to read it for myself. It's fantasy set in a pseudo-historicalI'd heard about this one off and on for a few months before I gave into the temptation to read it for myself. It's fantasy set in a pseudo-historical England (Anglia) with some romance thrown in for good measure - in other words, it's a mélange of genres that works very well for me.
I found the story a hard going to begin with. It took until after Elizabeth had stopped going on about Blackwell as though he were a God who could do no wrong that I started to ease into the story. Up until this point, Elizabeth is an idiot who manages to screw up everything she sets out to do. Futhermore, the synopsis tells us that she's one of the king's best witch hunters, yet from the start we see her constantly screwing up the hunts. Once she's taken away by the wizard reformists, she still screws up all the time.
Once I was beyond the point where Elizabeth worshipped everything to do with Blackwell, though, I was found I was becoming more caught up in the events taking place, though this interest waned again towards the end.
Elizabeth didn't always work that well for me, but that could be to do with how she'd been, essentially, indoctrinated to believe in a certain way of life, so I found her to be close-minded. Add to this that it's a miracle she hasn't managed to get herself killed thus far in her life, and she's not a character that really appeals to me.
Other characters were more to my tastes, even if they were rather cliché. I especially liked Fifer, a witch in training, and Humbert, a member of Anglia's nobility. I had higher hopes for Caleb (the best friend / original love interest), and John (the second love interest) - Caleb's character could have been so much more interesting if he'd been made more complex, and John was rather wet to be honest.
As a penultimate note, one thing that really didn't work for me was the insinuation of what took place between the King and Elizabeth. It was her reason for dabbling in witchcraft in the first place, and the reason she found herself in prison. From the narrative, it's possible to gleen that the act that took place most certainly was not consensual, and yet there seem to be absolutely no psychological repercussions for Elizabeth. This does not seem authentic in the least; it was simply a plot device to get the main character in with the enemy camp, and thus did not give the act and its consequences the attention they deserve. This is the reason why I docked a star from what would have been a 3 star rating.
The final note is that the writing style is very choppy. There are sentences that aren't actual sentences, and more than a few cases where the author doesn't apply correct grammer - in particular, I feel that the rules regarding less / fewer, and when to use me / I need to be studied. These rules exist for a reason.
Witch Hunter leaves off in a good place with something of a conclusion provided, but plenty more action promised for the sequel....more
As is often the case when I read in French, I'm not sure that the story really got to me the way that it would have done had I read itRead in French.
As is often the case when I read in French, I'm not sure that the story really got to me the way that it would have done had I read it in English. This said, the spin on Blue Beard that's presented here, though original, is a bit weird in and of itself, and that won't have helped matters. It's no longer the story of a weird, creepy man who kills his wives, but a revenge story between two brothers.
The main problem was that I never really clicked with either Jean or Marc, and the shift from Jean being a loving brother who helps his disfigured twin acquire his desires, to one who seems to have just shut him out of his life is very jarring and, to my mind, not dealt with very well. I also didn't understand Marc's motivations very well - for hating his brother, fair enough though it seems a bit far-fetched - but the reason behind his obsession with the sculpture he was working on was never clear for me.
As for the presentation of the story, there were times when the scene shifted abruptly when I wasn't expecting it, and I'd find myself a bit lost. There were other times when the scene seemed to drag on and on and I'd find my concentration wandering - not good for a bande dessinée of just over 80 pages.
Desipte my reservations about parts of this story, if I find any of the other installments in this series when I'm next in France, I'm intrigued enough to pick them up and discover how the "origins" of other fairy tales are presented....more
I read and enjoyed the author's Monster Haven series over the past few years. It was one of those series where I looked forward to the new instalmentI read and enjoyed the author's Monster Haven series over the past few years. It was one of those series where I looked forward to the new instalment each time, and I was sad to see it come to an end. When I saw that the author was already tackling a new project, I knew I'd be reading it.
Wynter, the main character, hits rock bottom in her life, and doing so has allowed her to become a candidate for the Mt. Olympus Employment Agency. It turns out that somewhere down the line, Wynter has some Greek God in her genetics.
She has to go through orientation with a scary teacher who seems to be able to read her mind, and then she's assigned to a department, where all her colleagues seem to dislike her at first sight. We get to see her struggle with things that are new to her (like making friends), and strive to succeed in her given task rather than just give up and move on when the going gets tough, as has been her MO over the years.
We see Wynter grow as a person, and struggle to give up on bad habits. She finds a reason for getting up in the morning, for going out and inspiring others as their Muse. She faces the horror of her mother seeming to lose her grasp on reality, and has to deal with the shock of discovering that she owns a talking plant...
The story is interesting, and has good potential as it grows. For some reason, I just didn't connect with Wynter as well as I did with Zoey, and that affected my enjoyment of the story, hence the 3 stars. I'm not giving up, though, and will return for book 2 when it's released....more
This was my 8th Heyer read and I'm sorry to say that it's my least favourite thus far.
In this case, I went into the book expecting to read Horatia andThis was my 8th Heyer read and I'm sorry to say that it's my least favourite thus far.
In this case, I went into the book expecting to read Horatia and Rule's story as they go from a marriage of convenience to a real marriage. Instead, you don't really get to see all that much of Horatia and Rule, especially in the first half of the book, as the story is mostly told through the conversations taking place between side characters.
Furthermore, as soon as the marriage has actually taken place, Horatia's delightful character presented in the first chapter morphs into a very unlikeable spoilt brat - she's spending huge amounts of her husband's money on frivolities, gambling away yet more of his money at the card tables, and if he so much as hints that he would appreciate she act in a particular manner, she obstinately does everything in her power to act in the opposite manner. She came across as a foolish child and I came to dislike her immensely. Rule didn't appeal to me much either; I never felt like we got to know the real him because he hid behind games and lazy smiles.
Even when you get to the second half and you start to see more of Horatia and Rule allowing you to start to understand the two of them a little more, things didn't pick up much. Horatia's suddenly in love with Rule, and I didn't understand why because no attention had been given to the growth of their relationship. Moreover, the second half of the story is dominated by Horatia's brother Pel and though he was an entertaining character, he was a bit lourd. I'd quite had enough of his antics by the end of it all.
Heyer's fabulous style was the only saving grace here, and it couldn't save everything. Oh well, it won't put me off trying again with another novel at a later date....more
* The story actually starts in the first book. All those things mentioned in the synopsisDNF at around the 25% point.
Here are some of the reasons why:
* The story actually starts in the first book. All those things mentioned in the synopsis? They happened in book 1.
* Everything is so damn melodramatic. Dominique doesn't seem to know if he's coming or going, and his mood swings happen so quickly and so often that they're impossible to keep up with.
* There is no character building. There's a lot of heat between the characters, but absolutely nothing to back it up so I raelly just didn't care and felt awkward reading about their interactions.
* The contradictions. -> Dominique orders Isabelle to get ready and come up on deck of the ship. When she does this and overhears a conversation about using a brothel, he gets annoyed that she evesdropped on him and his crew. Then he immediately sends her back below deck!
-> She hadn't even known he was in the same bed with her until his thrashing woke her Next page: His touch would have been intimate, had his gloves been removed before bed. But when she asked if he was going to remove them he sneered...
* The stupidity: -> The tears that Isabelle had been holding in burst. Unable to even see which direction the bed was in, she stood and cried like a small child. How can you not know where the bed is in a bedroom when you've been standing in there for a while?
-> Must she be such a prude? After all, hadn't his hands spent the better part of the night running up and down her curves? No, actually, he hadn't. According to the narrative he spent all of a few minutes - tops! - touching her, then slept on the other side of the room. That's a far, far cry from the better part of the night.
-> Isabelle hugs one servant, then kisses the cheek of another. This is supposed to be set in the regency period! Both of these actions took place within a very short time span after having met the servants. Members of the aristocracy were most definitely not so familiar with their servants.
I got to the point where I was starting to read the book, then finding other things to do instead of read any further. When I choose to fill in endless puzzels instead of read my book, I know it's time to admit defeat.
This book has all the hallmarks that make it a siren call for me. Fairy tale element: check Historical element: check Fantasy element: check
The backstorThis book has all the hallmarks that make it a siren call for me. Fairy tale element: check Historical element: check Fantasy element: check
The backstory to the events was great. I loved the idea that the Spanish Flu didn't just kill those who died, but transformed them into zombies. I loved the setting of a country reeling from the aftermath of war while also having to deal with the zombieism of loved ones. I liked how Ella was essentially the village slayer, despite her reservations about the role that has befallen her.
So, it was a good idea, but there were certain weaknesses in the presentation that let it down. For one, a lot of events taking place to advance the budding romance are very dependant on chance encounters. I can accept and believe a couple of these chance encounters, but not so many as are presented here.
On another note, the language use was a bit all over the place. The narrative was written in the past tense, but sometimes there were sentences presenting general ideas that were in the present tense:
Oh bugger, I saw my lovely hot bath being emptied into the yard. I would cry, but I was too worn out to muster up the tears.
There were sentences where the editing process had failed: The creature carried on its attack, no doubt wondering where I had went.
All in all, pretty good - one that would prompt me to try the author again - but not one that I'll reread every year....more
Read in both English and French. Was a class read back in 2003. I don't have any strong residual feelings about the book, so I guess it wasn't one of tRead in both English and French. Was a class read back in 2003. I don't have any strong residual feelings about the book, so I guess it wasn't one of those class torture reads....more
Read in French for class back in 2005. I remember enjoying the novel, but that could have been influenced by the fact that I liked my French teacher thRead in French for class back in 2005. I remember enjoying the novel, but that could have been influenced by the fact that I liked my French teacher that year, and he inspired us to enjoy the texts we studied as much as he enjoyed them....more