A very enjoyable read. The historical backdrop is the real star of this book, and you can't help but become involved in the uncertainty and fear that permeated the months leading up to the occupation of Greece. You get a fantastic sense of the relationships, the dynamics and pasts of Balkan countries and the psychology of their peoples. I enjoyed the narration a great deal - a very unusual reading style that you will learn to appreciate as you absorb the book.
A powerful story, rich in history and detail, despite not being set in any real historical events.
Yes, the first half an hour is a tad hard to follow, with a tremendous amount of new characters being rapidly introduced in a complex mish mash of time and geography. However, once events start unfolding, the story brims with magic and detail, and you find yourself engrossed. By the way, I don't mean magic in the fantastical sense of the word. I mean that Kay has created an alternate world, different from our own, and yet not so foreign that it doesn't ring true. It is simply a complex, rich place with traditions and beliefs and coincidences that start to weave together in a way that is full of mystery, awe and beauty... as well as a great deal of ugliness and hate.
The singing is wonderful, really filling out the politics, religion and geography of the region that start to feel familiar and tangible half way through the book. The mass of characters fill out, becoming very discernable individuals, clashing and coming together to tell this story. The story seems simple, but is brought together in a complex way.
Wonderful narration. And the singing! Superb.
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