Starfire's Reviews > The Queen's Bastard

The Queen's Bastard by C.E. Murphy
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's review
Mar 08, 11

liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, historical-fantasy, 6-10
Read from March 01 to 07, 2011 — I own a copy

Previous reviews suggest that this is very much a love it or hate it book, and reading through it, I can see why.

There are things that frustrated me majorly: the two main examples were the constant playing with tenses (which, granted, I finally worked out was about reflecting the main character, Belinda's POV vs anyone else's); and the decision to have a world that's EXACTLY like Elizabethan Europe except that all the names (both country and monarch names) are different but still 100% recognisable as their real world counterparts. The frustration was then compounded by the lack of a map anywhere in the book, so in the first chapter, where the author was throwing country names at me thick and fast, I had no idea which collection of syllables referring to which country what until I got descriptions in later chapters of the major cities there, at which point it became obvious.

That said, I did like Belinda as a heroine. She's another in a long line of powerful-but-broken heroines that just appeal to me; and I thought Ms Murphy did a good job of setting up how she became (or was made) so broken in the early chapters. And I also liked some of the B-characters and look forward to finding out more about them in the next book (which, yes, I intend to read since the library has a copy - I'm just not in any rush to do so)

I can't honestly think of any one of my friends to whom I'd recommend this book wholeheartedly with the expectation they'd enjoy it - but at the same time, I didn't completely dislike it either. It is, I think, a hard book to categorise, let alone review.

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Reading Progress

03/01/2011 page 1
0.0% "This one's been sitting on Mt TBR for WAY too long now. Time to dust it off and read the damn thing (and hope the "historical fantasy in re-imagined renaissance Europe" isn't TOO close to the world of Kushiel and the D'Angelines)" 1 comment
03/01/2011 page 25
6.0% "Good GOD IN HEAVEN, what is going on with the tenses in this book? Murphy seems to swap between past and present interchangeably with no rhyme or reason I can see yet. She's too good a writer for it not to be deliberate, but I haven't worked out what each represents so it's annoying the hell out of me!"
03/02/2011 page 45
10.0% "OK the tenses thing seems to have been a temporary aberration that's settled down now. However, the distraction of historical figures with either totally wrong (Lorraine Walter for Elizabeth I) or partly wrong names (Robert Drake for Francis Drake; and weird names for real countries has now replaced it as pet peeve. I don't remember having this issue with the Kushiel books..." 1 comment

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

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message 1: by orannia (new)

orannia Ahhh. Not for me I think. (BTW I love maps, and it drives me batty when there isn't one. I think that was one of the few negatives about The Doctrine of Labyrinths - I wanted a map in the book [versus online] :)

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