First let me say that I did not read the trade revues of the other reading of this book. I am glad that I did not because they lay out the plot in great detail! The book is quite long and at my first attempt at reading I abandoned it after a little more that one hour. The language is very elaborate and florid and there seems to be no discernable plot. Some time latter, faced with a ten hour drive I decided to try again, I am very glad I did. The plot moves very slowly because of the elaborate dialog but it still held my attention with many unexpected twist and turns. You get used to parsing the long and elaborate sentences and they turn out to be quite charming as often it is the characters chastising each other in very polite terms. I also found interesting the portrayal of the European Code of Chivalry with the portrayal of the Code of Honor for the Warrior class in Japan as presented in the Otori Trilogy. I will listen to this book again when I have long stretches of time available, I am sure I missed many important clues in the early part. My ranking went from a one star to a five star.
This is a beautiful fictional story and the reading is excellent. The characters are all believable and only occasionally does the story border on the improbable. I assume that it is historically accurate in the depiction of life for upper and lower classes in a Dutch town in the 17th century. At no time did the story line drag and I was kept involved till the very last sentence.
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