Blah, dry wirting and unintesresting content. The prolouge with the priest getting burned was fascinating, but after that it was kinda of like he did...moreBlah, dry wirting and unintesresting content. The prolouge with the priest getting burned was fascinating, but after that it was kinda of like he did this , she did this. Maybe my perspective maybe.(less)
The author actually did a good job of trying to recreate Shakespeare’s iambic, poetry and paraphrasing, of course I say that in relevance of how diffi...moreThe author actually did a good job of trying to recreate Shakespeare’s iambic, poetry and paraphrasing, of course I say that in relevance of how difficult it must be; nobody could do Shakespeare. She’s really trying to solve the mystery of where the passion and love in Shakespeare’s writing comes from, figuring it couldn't be from his older, distant, estranged wife Ann Hathaway. Instead she also combines it with the mystery of the marriage records. Shakespeare was a bigamist?!?
Anyways I didn't love it but if you're a Shakespeare fanatic I guess you'd want to read it. (less)
Was it great literature or beautiful writing? No. Was it an extraordinarily entertaining story? Hell yes. It may not be a stand out, but the story was...moreWas it great literature or beautiful writing? No. Was it an extraordinarily entertaining story? Hell yes. It may not be a stand out, but the story was hard to put down because you really got caught up in the plot. It was easy and enjoyable. The story was so real you almost forget you're reading at times. It was over too fast.(less)
Translucently web-weaving story. The rainbow within drops of fairy dew on the grass and the dark side of the moon. I love this mode of fantasy for its...moreTranslucently web-weaving story. The rainbow within drops of fairy dew on the grass and the dark side of the moon. I love this mode of fantasy for its psychological realism. It's clear-cut fantasy but so artfully interwoven into the real world done in a plausible way drawn from the murky folktales and myths of Transylvania. After all I do believe there are other planes and dimensions around me and the idea of portals isn't a new one or entirely fantasy fiction. It's a kind of lay line thing ya` know? This sort of realistic fantasy appeals to me so more then epic fantasy with clear good and evil like Tolkien and Rowling. It's truly is some ways grounded in the enigmatic and supernatural forces of the earth.
The writing was good and it has one of the most beautiful cover I've seen in ages. It's close to five stars it's that good.
The Stravaganza books have always been guilty pleasures with me. You know there's not much technically good about them but you love and devour them an...moreThe Stravaganza books have always been guilty pleasures with me. You know there's not much technically good about them but you love and devour them anyways. This book however was let down from the rest... hard to say why, not as much plot intrigue and romance. Less balls, dresses and politics. And every book more time is spent in the real world as there's more stravaganza there, which I massively dislike. All the stuff going on there is boring and mundane. And I hate Georgina. I don't know if I’m going to bother to pick up the next book. (less)
A powerful heroine, well researched history, a fairly original plot all intertwined with a huge philosophical scope. While still tel...moreA compelling read.
A powerful heroine, well researched history, a fairly original plot all intertwined with a huge philosophical scope. While still telling an in-depth story it also addresses (quote Sunday Reviews) "big themes" like religion, art and censorship. Also excellent detailed painting of the political turmoil of Florence as a relevant backdrop to the plot. Really skillfully done.
Poignant, I feel moved, but also kind of empty and shaken now that it’s over. That's a powerful story. (less)
I was expecting a lot out of this book since it’s always had a lot of publicity. It was a real let down, I got almost nothing out of it. I was expecti...moreI was expecting a lot out of this book since it’s always had a lot of publicity. It was a real let down, I got almost nothing out of it. I was expecting much richer and interesting historical detail. When compared to The King’s Grace by Anne Smith (set in the generation before King Henry Vll) that I read the year before or even what I remember of Doomed Queen Anne by Carolyn Meyer read years ago it does a poor job of portraying the time period, which is more of a shame since historical fiction is my favorite genre.
It seems to me the whole storyline and plot was just flat which doesn’t make any sense. Which brings me to the writing. It wasn’t horrible, it didn’t annoy me or anything but I just didn’t enjoy it like most writing. The suspense should have been more built up and executed (haha) with more drama. The voice was unmoving and weak, while there was almost no narrative.
What I’d like to know is does anyone think there's much better Philippa Gregory novel that I should give a second chance? It'd have to be much better, but I knower authors sometimes have hits and misses or write books that are just very different from each other. She seems popular enough and I do love the genre so if you think she does have other higher quality books let me know. (less)
**spoiler alert** Way more then a book. It's a manifestation of power to the people.
It really makes radicalism vs. the establishment into a universal...more**spoiler alert** Way more then a book. It's a manifestation of power to the people.
It really makes radicalism vs. the establishment into a universal timeless theme. The interesting historical perspective only enhances certain philosophies portrayed.
I got two interesting messages or morals out of the story, both inter-linked with each other, although it's certainly my own interpretation, likely bias since it coincides with my before-hand opinions, but I honestly found them portrayed in this story. My kind of book. ;) Okay: basically the substance of the system will never change, only the shape it takes. There will always be tyranny. You cannot win against the ingrown nature of establishment. No more then fire of freedom burning in inside every freewill can be extinguished. The resistance of oppression is just as ingrown in the human condition as corruption. Two opposites that balance the reality of society. This brings me to the second point. What a life! The conviction, the passion, friendship, and experience. The antagonist is a representation of what it means to be truly alive and in the end this is its own victory. To never give an inch, to meet no conditions, to realize your free will and the personnel irrelevance of the established order, not some impossible collective betterment. There's surprising amount of hope in this. The feeling that they can't beat the people, any more then we can beat the establishment because it is the order of nature. The personnel individual level of it makes it a truly greater accomplishment then any achieved by the system. It's beautiful and powerful message that I feel to be true.
Now a little on the details of the book. Well the first 400 pages are good to begin with I enjoyed second half of the novel at least triple as much as the first, way more intrigue and way less crazy religious nonsense. The religious zeal definitely didn't help the first phase of the story but the cool thing is our name-changing antagonist seemed to grow intellectual and realize this. When he takes on the primary leadership role of the Anabaptists in Italy he doesn't rave about apocalypse and being protected by the favourism of god, like the men he use to follow did.
I started to have a small inclination to who Q was around page 450 (?) that grew stronger to the point where I’d place the odds at 5 to 1, although I was never absolutely certain, my guess proved correct! It really evoked betrayal in me because when all the other brethren were slaughter it was a story, but hearing Grosbeck was dead caused a palpable pang in my chest. I felt for him like none of the others killed. Maybe this was what aroused my suspicion though, he was so much better and saner then the others. Why and how?
The whole situation in Munster was important to the novel. It showed the more objective side of radicalism, adding to the integrity of the whole. Those who believe and then win the fight of a just cause, when given power become corrupt like the tyrants they used to hate. I don’t think it makes the fight any less just but like stated above is the equal balance of human condition. It is the order of society. I’m still not sure about out hero in this. He had a certain level of power, people were cheering his name in the streets, yet he seemed abashed by it? Perhaps he didn’t like it because he could sense the corruptive power and didn’t want it. I certainly felt massively let down when he did nothing to stop the fascism of Matthys. Although not tyrannical himself, he was perhaps the one person who could’ve stopped it. Didn’t another character say as much, that all the others had been waiting for his lead? Disappointing as it was, it was honest of the authors. You can’t accuse them of glorification; they showed it like it was. I do feel again though that the hero grew into a somewhat different person from his mistakes. He changes the method of his attack from physical force to a much stronger ideological force. It’s a realist procession of life.
Eloi was my favorite character and my favorite scene was the conversation along the city and wharf of Antwerp. There was a great deliverance and drama to the line about the banks being the antichrist. I lolled for real, it was great.
Seriously this book is so good. More people need to read it. It the kind that should be studied in schools. Epic no matter what. (less)