Inconsistent; halting; odd
Leisurely paced, character-driven novels can be as riveting as action-packed mysteries. However, this book fails to achieve that and instead is so slow and empty that it tested my patience. At more than 12 hours, it is twice as long as it could have (should have?) been to tell the sparse tale of a period in the life of Scotland's Saxon queen, Margaret. The lengthy descriptions of Margaret's gowns, her pious devotions, her generosity, etc., become repetitive and boring.
In addition, like most overly pious individuals, she is tedious and tiresome. For most of the book, she does almost nothing except pray, fast, plead with her husband king to be more charitable, redecorate the castles, and mope around in a guilt-ridden stupor. This is NOT the description of a powerful or vibrant queen. Perhaps that's really how she was, but it doesn't make for good reading.
The other characters were more alive, though they too did little throughout the book and I was left with a "who cares" feeling toward them all.
Finally, the narrator really did a poor job on Margaret. Her voice was weirdly halting and robotic ("I ... am ... a ... queen"). It was an annoying distraction. She did far better on the other characters.
I have read a number of historical novels set in this same era and this doesn't live up to its promise.
I've been a ST fan since TOS ... and still am (except for the latest round of 'dark' movies). I used to read every ST book as soon as it was released. This is the first one I've read in years and maybe it's just a case of not being able to go back again. Frankly, I thought the writing was amateurish -- almost on a class with a fanzine. The overly emotional narration was a further drawback for me.
I'm definitely in the minority here, but I just couldn't get into this book and when Amanda started waxing nostalgic over her moon-struck romance with Sarek, I had to stop and move on to a different book.
Hope you like it better than I did!
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