This book is not my cup of tea. I can see how it could appeal to others. There are people who would think that the main character is hilarious. I'm noThis book is not my cup of tea. I can see how it could appeal to others. There are people who would think that the main character is hilarious. I'm not one of them. I was bored with her constant monologue on the perceived hotness of Pierce Brosnan and Sean Connery in between bouts of her insatiable lusting for a freaking centaur (like I said, not my cup of tea). Entertaining trash, if you like the main character's sense of humour.
This book is one that I will never read again. ...more
I initially read this story in its original form, when it existed as fanfiction.
Will and Claire are completely different characters compared to the sI initially read this story in its original form, when it existed as fanfiction.
Will and Claire are completely different characters compared to the source material. As such, it is not difficult for me to read this as a work of original fiction.
On the strength of this story, I have always liked the fake marriage trope. Lady Isadora gets some humourous lines; displayed some kickass gun shooting skills, and totally deserves a novel of her own.
The story flow is good, it is easy light reading, and the cover picture is very pretty. In essence, it's about two (slightly) broken dented characters helping each other heal, letting go of their respective sad pasts to find happiness together. And that is always the sort of story worth reading.
In short, I think this series has potential, and I definitely have The Meddling Madame on my waiting list for when it comes out next year.
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Now, I am going to nitpick on the historical inaccuracies that bother me. Please feel free to stop reading at this point because whenever I do this to my friends, their eyes glaze over.
Disclaimer: I never criticise fanfiction because most fanfic writers devote their free time writing out of love for a fandom, and they tend to find it demotivating to receive (unsolicited) criticisms. That said, published novels are an entirely different game, and I definitely criticise novels when I review them.
Firstly, baron is a rank, not an appellation. In the novel, Will and Claire addressed each other as Mr. & Mrs Knightley. Given that they hold the ranks of baron & baroness, they should be Lord & Lady Knightley. In society, he would have been presented as Lord William Knightley, Baron of _____ . Not Baron William Knightley.
There were hardly any mentions of servants. The lady's maid performs the duties of a butler in addition to her own, Claire doesn't wear mourning colours, she gallivants around London unaccompanied by a maid or footman, there are no footmen in Claire's house, (footmen were supposed to be everywhere!), Baron Knightly has no valet, and they are completely unchaperoned (Lady Isadora, being unmarried herself, cannot be considered a chaperone, even if she is middle-aged, which she is not). They even live in the same house as an unmarried couple. This is the stuff of scandal in those days.
Third, no patroness launched Claire into society, no presentation to the royal court at the beginning of the season. Underaged, but no appointed guardian (a legal requirement). No mention of fortune hunters. And yes, I know I am getting ridiculous at this point, but we're talking about a time era so ritualistic in nature that non-adherence to the rigid customs caused scandals and led to ostracisation from society, so it stretches my suspension of disbelief just a little too much.
And about the 'restoration' of the barony ... I don't think that's how it works, but I don't even want to get into that topic lol. This post is already long enough as it is.
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All these, however, do not detract from my enjoyment of the novel (much) and I look forward to future books by this author. :)...more
These days, I spend most of my free time reading Doctor Who fanfiction on a nearly daily basis. However, there are still published authors that I am fThese days, I spend most of my free time reading Doctor Who fanfiction on a nearly daily basis. However, there are still published authors that I am following - one of them being Rick Riordan, who churns out 2 books a year in an irritatingly reliable fashion. Like clockwork. How he does it, I have no idea. I sometimes have trouble writing a mere 1,000 words a day.
The Hidden Oracle is the first book of the new Trials of Apollo series, which takes place in the same universe as the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series. I once pointed out that Rick Riordan appears to have trouble letting go entirely of his beloved Percy Jackson character - and I still stand by it. Even though Percy is no longer the main character of Riordan's books, he appears frequently enough that one stands in no danger of forgetting his name.
The absolute best thing of Riordan's books - and the reason why I'm still keeping on track with his published works - is his sense of humour, as I will prove to you below.
The Hidden Oracle features the god Apollo made mortal as punishment for his role in aiding the bad guys in the previous series, and exiled to earth.
Thus you get golden lines such as these:
Is anything sadder than the sound of a god hitting a pile of garbage bags?
The only thing I knew for certain: my punishment was unfair. Zeus needed someone to blame, so of course he'd picked the handsomest, most talented, most popular god in the pantheon: me.
Riordan pokes fun at main character's arrogance and conceit while showing us the entitled moron that Apollo is, but at the same time, there is character development. Apollo went from this at the beginning of the book:
“It always disappointed me when mortals put themselves first and failed to see the big picture—the importance of putting me first”
To this at the end:
"[...] it feels wrong for me to ask you to risk your lives. You have been through so much just to get here."
I dig it when authors bother to develop their characters. I get that it is the premise of this story, that Apollo should learn the wrong of his ways in order the regain his godly powers; but character development is sadly missing in many of the novels published these days (one reason why I went into fanfiction)
Dual-wielding daughter of Demeter, Meg, who snarks at Apollo at every opportunity.
"Well, according to my extensive research-"
"Some books he flipped through last night," Meg clarified.
And her peach karpoi that only ever says one word (peaches!) that Riordan apparently stole from Groot (Guardians of the Galaxy). Riordan incorporates a lot of ideas from mainstream into his novels; which will either annoy you or make you go, "Hah! I know where this is from."
The best thing, I think, is the return of Leo Valdez and Calpso to join Apollo's team in the sequel The Dark Prophecy (published earlier this year, which I've also already read)
Leo was one of my favourite characters, and the reunion scene between him and Calypso in one of the previous books was a personal favourite of mine.
Of course, a race against time to prevent world annihilation. The usual....more