Christine's Reviews > This Is All I Ask

This Is All I Ask by Lynn Kurland
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Sep 19, 12

bookshelves: romance, abandoned

I usually reserve my one-star reviews for utter, painful rubbish. This book does actually have some redeeming features, so maybe I should nudge it up, but I can't see past the ridiculous portrayal of blindness suffered by Christopher, the male protagonist. You may feel free to groan at the painful pun. I assure you the pain won't come near that of trying to figure out on which planet the author ran across a blind person. Hmmm....maybe if this were relabeled science fiction? Nah...

I quit reading 2/3 of the way through (and I'll relay my put-down moment in a minute), so I didn't get to the point where, I assume, the hero miraculously recovers his vision. If he stays blind at the end, someone leave a comment, and I'll nudge it up to 2 stars, I swear. But I've just got this feeling...

Christopher is hiding his blindness from his people. His squire knows, and one night. (This is set in the 1200's, ftr). I have to assume he is totally blind, although the author has no description whatsoever of his specific visual problem, probably assuming, as many do, that there is only one way to be blind. So let's go with the idea that this guy is BLIND, nothing but darkness, not even the ability to detect light.

Um....and no one's noticed? The thing is, you can memorize how many steps it takes to get around your keep, and the general location of furniture. But furniture moves, especially when there are lots of servants bustling about and they don't know they're not supposed to keep it in one place. Auditory cues are great, but they won't help you look a person in the eyes.

But wait, there's more! Because this blind person can fool more than just the servants...he can fool the knights he still trains with. He can apparently joust with a few shouted hints from his squire, sword fight, wrestle, and do hand to hand combat. He's described as being better than most sighted people. Unbelievable! No, really. Unbelievable. Blind people can adapt in seemingly miraculous ways at times, but not being able to see is actually a big problem.

The description of this guy's blindness was so poor that at a couple of points in the book, I thought he had miraculously gotten his vision back. It was amazing how many times he "looked" at things. He had very little trouble finding things, even things that do not necessarily stay put (like blankets to cover his wife). At one point he tripped over a stool, hit his head against a chair, and then "looked" at Gillian. I was sure the author was going to suggest that this bump on the head had restored his wight, but that's not at all what happened.

I'm not sure why the author decided to make Christopher blind. The condition had almost no impact on the story or the character.

***

I feel the need for a scene break here. Sort of a...moving right along...because alas, I am not done. Gillian was an interesting character, and probably the reason I kept reading as far as I did, despite everything. She was an abused little creature at the beginning, one who had to learn to trust. I thought the initial description of her abuse and her mindset as a result of the abuse was very good. I did find that her ultimate trust came too easily, but under other circumstances, I probably would have overlooked it.

This story got boring pretty quickly once Gillian started to get over her fear. It didn't move quickly in the first place, and it slowed to a snail's pace afterward. The two loved each other but wouldn't say the words. (My "Quest for the Three Magic Words.")

Gillian was embarrassingly innocent. I got the impression she didn't know men have penises. Christopher found this sweet. I found it disturbing. A little innocence can be fun, and it's a hallmark of historicals, but for me, this one went a little over the top.

My put down moment came on me gradually. I kept hitting "speed up" on my audiobook player, wondering how on earth the thing wasn't just about over, because there wasn't much left to do. I was contemplating hitting the fast forward button to skip a few chapters, thinking maybe they were going to do something with her father (although really, they didn't need to), but then came the sex scene. Well, actually, then came the curtain in my face to keep me from reading about the sex scene. Argh! Are you kidding me? You've spent how many chapters on tentative kisses, the fact of her innocence, and the fact of his desire, but when they actually have sex it's suddenly the next morning? Um, that was an important moment that you missed right there. You can't skip moments you've been gradually leading up to for 2/3 of the book! This was a critical moment for her. This book claims to be all about trust, about Gillian learning to trust, and about Christopher learning to trust. The author could have glossed over the physical details for all I cared, but skipping the emotions and the intimacy....well...at this point, I really should desist.

Oh, and in case I didn't make it clear, I don't recommend. :)
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Jacqueline (new) - added it

Jacqueline Great review. Heading over to mark it as 'stay away from' right now.


message 2: by willaful (new)

willaful I'm pretty sure he does stay blind, though I could be wrong -- it's been quite a while.


Christine What a pleasant surprise. I went ahead and skimmed to the end to confirm. It has been bumped, as promised. :)


Christy A little information about the author... Lynn Kurland does not write sex scenes, i thought this book portrayed the more intimate scenes with dignity, who wants to read soft porn all the time? If you want that read Fifty Shades. Christopher never regains his sight, and one of the main reasons why it took Gillian and Christopher so long to really come together was because he felt that he couldn't protect what was his. As for no one noticing that he was blind, thinking about it in terms of he was the servants lord, how many servants would have actually made comments about his blindness, they would have been too afraid. In once scene they do allude to the fact that he is blind when a servant girl is helping Gillian get ready for the ceremony and the servant girl says how sorry she is. (pg. 48) As for his being blinded, she describes that he was blinded in an ambush that was meant to kill him. Most likely meaning his head had been injured which most likely took his sight. The only training he does besides jousting is wrestling, he's a thirty year old man wrestling with his squire, who is 16. He probably does not need his sight to win like that. Warewick is described as being a problem, which if you had read completely he pops up later on in the story, revealing that he knows Chris is blind, as well as embarrassing him in front of all of his men, both with his fists and with his sword. He does not start fighting with his men until later on, with wooden swords, where it is described that he gets his fair share of slivers... The story was wonderful, Chris is a frustrating and sometimes exasperating character but overall well written.


Christine I have to be honest with you...when I saw that I had a comment on this review I had to reread my review to remind myself of the story, and even then, I have only vague memories of it. Since I only read it 6 months ago, I suppose that says something else about how it impacted me. :)

Your are, of course, entitled to your opinions, as am I. My reviews are always honest reflections of my reading experience, nothing more, nothing less. I try to explain my feelings, so potential readers can gauge whether or not we might see eye to eye on any given story.

I'm glad you enjoyed this book, and I am glad there is such a wonderful variety of fiction out there for different readers to enjoy.


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