Samantha's Reviews > The Kingmaking

The Kingmaking by Helen Hollick
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Apr 07, 12

Read from March 24 to April 08, 2012

I started this book over the summer and lost interest about 100 pages in, due in no small part to the fact that I was insanely busy. I also didn't relish the idea of lugging around such a thick text in my bag, especially when I rarely had time to read. But then I picked it up again a few weeks ago, having decided to give it another go, and I was pleasantly surprised by what I found.

Hollick's world is well-crafted; she has taken characters I know and love and transformed them, while still maintaining a deep sense of who they are in the legends. She spends a lot of time on exposition, which can be irritating, since it slows the first half of the book to a snail's pace. Once things begin to pick up, however, she captures my attention completely. I had fun reading the second half of this book, which I wouldn't have expected given how much violence occurs.

My biggest complaint is that her writing is unworthy of the story it tells. She uses commas where they aren't needed and forgoes them where they are; her point of view, which would do well with third person limited and alternating chapters, switches so often between characters that it seems sloppy and unstructured. Rather than focusing on the protagonists of the story, Hollick enters the heads of character seemingly at random, without any indication of what she's doing. This is not third person omniscient. It doesn't read like an all-knowing narrator is telling the story. Instead, it reads like someone inexperienced in the ways of writing focused fiction. That's unfortunate, given how full and complete this universe is. If the writing were better, this book would have a much higher rating from me.
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03/23/2012 page 107
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