Tracey's Reviews > The Twelfth Enchantment

The Twelfth Enchantment by David Liss
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Sep 06, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011, four-star
Read from September 02 to 05, 2011

I have read all of David Liss's books, even though the last few have disappointed, so I was excited to see that he had a new one out, and I think it was much more engaging than the last few. However, this will be a bit of a shock to any readers of his very historic fiction who might be expecting more of the same. He takes many liberties here that he does not with his usual work.

This story is much in keeping with modern inclinations regarding the supernatural, although set in the 19th century. This is the story of Lucy Derrick, a woman caught in a very bad situation, battling undead with the help of men, both virtuous and not so much, and magic. It is the story of growing from a teen to an adult, and seeing the world less in black-and-white, and of coming into your own power. Other reviewers have said it is very Jane Austeny, I myself found it to be very much along the veins of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell, by Susanna Clark - in fact, at times it read as if it could have been an excerpt from that book. (Another that I enjoyed very much.)

It started a little slow for me, then really got moving. After about a third of the way in, I couldn't put it down. I stayed up late into the night and then started right in again the next morning. I had to keep reading until the final battle.

It gets four stars rather than five four a couple of reasons. It was slow to get into. The middle was great, but the ending left me a little disappointed. A number of things there were left unfortunately unexplained. And finally, while the motivations of the main characters were perfectly clear, the supporting cast often left the reader wondering why on earth they were making the choices they made.

Overall, though, a recommended read.
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