Rated of 5
by Naya G. (Amherst, MA)
Poorly Executed/Loosely Historical?
I was surprised at how poorly written this story was - it has an interesting storyline and the potential for intriguing characters. However, the dialogue and descriptions left much to be desired.
I admit that I don't know very much about 17th century Bohemia but even without doing a bit of fact-checking, I got the sense that historical context was not important to the author's version of this story, and yet it is clear that Lafferty had a wealth of details to share. Feeling the need to do a bit of research on my own, I lost any suspension of disbelief I might have had with the story.
The story definitely had potential - Marketa, in particular, was a character I wanted to know more about but at times it seemed as if she acted out of character, especially with relation to her & Don Julius. The characters all felt either over -dramatized or flat. The story overall was much the same.
Clearly a fair bit of research went into this tale but that is part of the problem - we see the research not the characters or a believable narrative.
Lastly, the ending is an unbelievable twist making the whole novel feel like it was only a detailed but poorly written romance, rather than compelling historical fiction.