Arlene's Reviews > Shadow Music

Shadow Music by Julie Garwood
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's review
Oct 22, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: read-2010, historical, adult
Read in October, 2010

After going through an extensive paranormal book reading fest, I felt it was time to dive into something different, and I decided on a historical fiction novel by Julie Garwood. I’ve enjoyed a few of her books in the past and have found her light and somewhat mischievous writing is the perfect antidote to a brain that has been on vamp!re cr@ck for months.

Unfortunately, I was quite disappointed in this novel and surprised at how far she veered from her normally formulaic and predictable plots and enjoyable characters. Now don’t get me wrong, for some writers taking a chance is a good thing and much needed in some cases, but when you have a well known historical writer that’s expected to deliver witty, fun, well blended characters with a ton of chemistry getting something on the opposite side of the spectrum is quite the disappointment from any angle.

Shadow Music tipped the scale in historical fiction, so I got what I was looking for there, but the majority of the novel was focused on intrigue, deceit and political strife, leaving behind the opportunity to develop the main characters where you’re hoping to get some chemistry, romance and light hearted conversation. Gabrielle and Colm very rarely interact or engage in any meaningful conversations, which I’m used to getting from Garwood. So with the lack of chemistry between these two characters, when the love story is sloppily plugged in at the final hour, I had no interest in reading it because it didn’t feel credible to me.

What bothered me the most was the focus on St. Biel. Okay, really? I went to Catholic School for a pittily twelve years and when I first read that, I asked myself “St. Biel?? There’s no St. Biel!” :/ So how am I supposed to accept the fact that this King named his land after a saint that never existed to protect his people; and the holy crusaders nor the Church, including the Pope would not know there was never a St. Biel? The plot was immediately placed on a square table with only three legs to stand on. S.L.O.P.P.Y!

I was surprised at the amount of characters Garwood infused in this book, most of whom I didn’t care one bit about. It’s always interesting to read about the feuds that occur between the low and highlanders, but I don’t think it was necessary to include everyone and their laird. Pick a couple of clans and go with it and leave the rest of Scotland alone.

Although this book is interesting to some minimal degree, I don’t feel it’s representative of the magic Garwood is capable of. If you’re slightly versed in the holy crusades, the plot will fall apart for you at the starting gate; and if you have an ounce of problem solving ability, you’ll figure out in a few short chapters the secret of St. Biel and the myth of the hidden treasure, thus making it a long journey to the finish line.
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07/28 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Jenn (new)

Jenn So glad I decided to check my friends reviews before paying 7.99 for this. :I
I'm having a difficult time finding a good highlander story- or series.

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