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
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
Another Beauty and the Beast retelling earning itself an automatic spot on my TBR.
The story follows the original BatB story so closely that it doesn'tAnother Beauty and the Beast retelling earning itself an automatic spot on my TBR.
The story follows the original BatB story so closely that it doesn't really allow itself any originality, which definitely did not work to its advantage. I didn't feel drawn in by it because I didn't feel it was really offering me anything new.
There were some good ideas to it all, like the story behind House, but throughout it all I found I was mostly frustrated to with Bryony because she was incapable of seeing what was right in front of her face, despite several characters making it pretty damn obvious at various points in the story. It was most irritating....more