Leah M's Reviews > The Tower of Fools

The Tower of Fools by Andrzej Sapkowski
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did not like it
bookshelves: dnf

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. I am providing my honest opinion willingly.

I had high hopes for this book after reading several of The Witcher novels, but it didn't even come close to meeting those expectations. I actually couldn't even make it through the entire book, and gave up on trying to push when I hit the 30% mark, and had to DNF it.

The main character wasn't one that was likable. He was supposed to be highly intelligent, but he seemed more like a bumbling fool that went from one disastrous situation to another, expecting someone to save him from every mess that he managed to get himself in. And he got himself into a LOT of messes. Every single person who bailed him out of a problem situation gave him good, solid advice ... which Reynevan promptly disregarded and did exactly what he was told not to do. It was hard to empathize with him, or even care about anything he did.

The storyline was aimless as far as I could tell. Maybe it got better further on in the book, but if a plot hasn't appeared by 30%, it's hard to maintain my interest. The plot just told a journey where ... things ... happened, but there didn't really seem to be anything really tying it together. In addition, the story is billed as a combination of fantasy and historical fiction, but it seemed far too bogged down in historical fiction and there really wasn't very much in the way of fantasy outside of some limited magic that popped up when it was convenient.

I think the biggest issue for me was were the blatantly anti-Semitic statements that were liberally placed throughout the book. These statements were presented as widely accepted and factual, with no explanation whatsoever, and included ideas such as Jews are responsible for:
-starting epidemics of the plague by poisoning wells
-torturing innocent Christian children to death
-using Christian blood to make Passover matzah
-stealing and desecrating sacramental bread
-cutting chunks of flesh from people who can't pay interest on their debts
and ... the fact that Jews have a stench associated with them that is only removed by drinking the blood of Christians.

These ideas were responsible for the torture and death of many Jews over the centuries, and these heinous ideas still persist. I'm appalled that a book would still be allowed to be printed in 2020 that promotes these ideas further. In addition, there were some statements that while not outright homophobic, toed the line pretty closely.

Overall, I probably could have pushed myself through the lackluster story, but I wasn't about to force myself to read hateful content that is based in ignorant ideas that don't deserve a platform.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
October 13, 2020 – Shelved
October 13, 2020 – Shelved as: to-read
October 14, 2020 – Shelved as: dnf

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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Athena (OneReadingNurse) Hmmm if the jews and catholics and witches and hussites all got along in the early 1400s it would have been pretty highly historically inaccurate, I don't know how much more explanation can be given to that fact than that its the middle of a crusade with a huge witch/heretic/hussite hunt going on. So many authors now vanilla sugar coat things for readers that this felt a lot more historically accurate than a lot of what I read these days.

Definitely dense though. I'm so in the middle of what to rate it

message 2: by Leah (new) - rated it 1 star

Leah M I have never read a single historical fiction book that didn’t include a historical note, other than this one. Added to the fact that the Jewish character didn’t advance the story in any way other than to serve as an excuse to slip in some hateful anti-Semitic rhetoric, it could have been left out entirely. Aside from this, the story just wasn’t up to par - starting with hands down the worst sex scene I’ve ever read, and progressing to a total lack of plot, boring characters, far too many foreign words lacking any definition in multiple languages - it just wasn’t worth my time.

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