Angela's Reviews > Babylonne

Babylonne by Catherine Jinks
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Jun 29, 2011

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bookshelves: medieval, historical-fiction
Read from December 02 to 08, 2009

Like the WNBA or Supergirl, the female character spin-off franchise just isn't as good.

The siege of La Becede has nothing on, well, Jerusalem. Or even Carcassone. On the plus side, the "dress up like a boy and run away from an arranged marriage" cliche, though played straight, is surprisingly appealing just from Babylonne's grit, resilience, and surprising lack of wallowing self-pity. Plus, the tongue-in-cheek portrayal of daily communal life (and survival) in the Cathar diaspora is strangely vibrant and riveting.

Man, what happened to Isidore? He kind of dropped the epileptic fits/guilt therefrom, the awkwardness around women, the super hard-line Catholic idealism, the worrying, the misanthropy.... pretty much any distinguishing character feature. He's a blander, happier version of Roland without the Templar badassery and dysfunctional family issues.

Honestly, a one-sided two-person relationship does not a good novel make. At certain points, even though it would've been a terrible idea and completely non-canonical, I couldn't help but think, "have sex already!" or, "Stab the bishop in the neck!"

It would've made the book actually interesting.
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