Lauren's Reviews > The Fool's Girl

The Fool's Girl by Celia Rees
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Aug 02, 11

bookshelves: historical-fiction, action-and-or-adventure
Recommended for: 12 years and up
Read in August, 2011

This book was okay. The Fool's Girl is well-crafted. Its plot is sound, entertaining, and original (unless you count building off of one of Shakespeare's plays). But it was not inspiring nor adventuresome, funny nor depressing, heartwarming nor serious. It was simply okay.

Upon reflection, I find that my favorite character was not the main character. For me, the main character is a bit of a bore-- there was nothing special about this strong female character. Her story and life were interesting, but not her personality or choices. It didn't help that sometimes I felt like she was snobby-- but thankfully I did not get that sense too often. Like I said, I cannot call her my favorite although she is the main character.

Instead, it was Feste, the clowning fool that guards her side, who is my favorite character. It's funny, but I can't remember her name (I looked it up and its Violetta) yet I have no trouble remembering his. I think part of the reason I remember his name is that he was a more convincing character. His actions and words were undoubtedly his own. His description was clear and memorable; his responses fit with his goals and personality. He had his noble characteristics as well as his faults. In general, Feste had more life and originality in him than Violetta did on any page of the book. She seemed almost faultless, besides being sometimes thought of as naive (her sometimes-snobbishness was supposedly proof of her being a duchess). All she did was nobly pine for her country, the relic, and her love.

Another notable character in this story is William Shakespeare. This book was not the first that I've read of a fictionalized Shakespeare and (although I'm no Shakespeare expert) I think she did a good job with him. I trust author Rees's research of Shakespeare as well as of the era of the book. Overall, the book felt real to the time period.... though maybe it should have been more dirty... ;P

Overall, it was a pleasant, quick, summer read for me. But there was one aspect that seemed a little strange. (view spoiler)

Now, the rest of this review has nothing to do with the writing/characters of the book, but is some complaining about the book binding. Sorry, but I just cannot let it be unaddressed...

I was very interested in this book because this author wrote another favorite book of mine: Pirates! The cover of that book is remarkably similar to this book-- too similar. When I picked it up, I assumed there must be some connection between the books. But there isn't. These books share nothing besides being written by the same author and have a main female character. But the cover insinuates that they do... Why? Why did author Rees choose this cover? Or perhaps, if her publisher chose this cover, why did he/she do it? Why would anyone do it? Oh. For the money. Not for the book or the readers... but to attract the great readership of the other great book, and try to earn more money through this connection. A book should be great on its own, it should not try to lean on another to become great (this is true for sequels/series too).

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