Jennifer's Reviews > King Hereafter

King Hereafter by Dorothy Dunnett
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Apr 23, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: historical, literature, favorites

This is perhaps my favorite book of all time. First, the historical detail is incredible (although there are some who fault her for fusing two real leaders). In addition, the plot is tightly woven so that any loose strings are eventually gathered in the end, which is important to me. I hate it when authors bring in people or events and then never refer to them again.
I especially love her characterization. Thorfinn/Macbeth has his flaws, and we always see how thoughtful he is about the decisions he makes, whether they're good or bad. The relationships he has with Groa, Sulien, and his foster father Thorkel are realistically captured. I also like the nod to Shakespeare with the threefold prophecy and the quotes between parts.
Yes, her writing is dense; this is definitely not a beach read. But if you love a great story, try this one. I found myself dreading the end, not because I already knew what happened, but because I didn't want my experience to end. Consequently, I re-read this book probably once a year. (I've also read her six-book Lymond Chronicles and her eight-book Niccolo series, both of which are fantastic as well.) Highly recommended!
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09/25/2016 marked as: read

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Sandi Having read all of her novels many times, I too think this is my favourite. Perhaps because it is complete in itself (the perfect quality when wanting to just take one book away with you - I can never decide which Lymond book to take!) Also her later books (the HoN series) suffer from trying to keep one step ahead of her readers. KH just was allowed to flow and unfold without having to consider cliff hangers etc.
The depiction of the relationship between Thorfinn and Groa was delicately done, at the centre of the novel without dominating the plot. And I loved the foreshadowing of MacBeth and his Lady in Shakespeare's play, as well as being shown the writing of the chronicles and biographies that are used as primary sources today. A multi-levelled book that requires many rereads.


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