Rachel's Reviews > Here be Dragons

Here be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman
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Jul 28, 08

bookshelves: historical-books
Read in January, 2005

After reading the many complimentary reviews, I almost couldn't sleep I was so excited to get my hands on this book. I've spent two evenings of my free time working my way into it, and I've finally put it down. I just can't read this any more. First of all (I'm on page 283), I can't tell whose journey this is. John's? Joanna's? Not Llewelyn's, he's (by far the most interesting character) barely been featured in the ten years I've covered. I feel like the writing is mediocre. I get kicked out by the odd constructions, and the occasional modern cliché. (Okay, perhaps they did say "That is for me to know and you to find out" in the 13th century, but still... It's corny!). But more than anything, I keep waiting FOR SOMETHING TO HAPPEN! I mean things happen, but mostly I find out about them by characters discussing them afterwards rather than showing the characters living through the events themselves. Llewellyn spends years battling and conquering his uncles to become Prince of Wales and none of it is shown. Only discussed.

I did enjoy my introduction to the Welsh language and the Welsh culture. I felt the devises used to help the reader pronounce the odd names were rather obvious though and would have preferred a pronunciation guide.

To those of you who love this book so much, I wish you well. Personally, I'll pull out my beloved copies of Dunnett's The Lymond Chronicles and reread that.
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Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) I mean things happen, but mostly I find out about them by characters discussing them afterwards rather than showing the characters living through the events themselves.

UGH! I haven't read this one, but her most recent books do this and it drives me nuts! I'm getting the impression she has ONE template to writing her books and she just plugs in the different names and places.


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