This book was an excellent read. The beginning started out somewhat slowly, but it really ramped up after the first 30-45 minutes. The author integrated a well loved story with rich history, excellent descriptions, a troubled but essentially lovable "Hood", and a thread of magic that was both believable and a perfect addition to this great story. I am early and impatiently anticipating the next book!!
This book is dismally depressing. The horrible events that befall the characters never seem to cease. The violence and sex is gratituously described and doesn't seem to add anything to the plot - which meanders too much between the various perspectives. I tend to enjoy multi-perspectived books, as a rule, but this one is not on that list. Some of the characters are so awful and the descriptions of their pursuits are so disgusting that one tends to skip through them. I still don't know what the point of the story was at the end - really. It follows a typical epic narrative but often these have a common denomnator that links everything together. The cathedral is supposed to be it, but the misery, the violence and the horror detract from it for me. The sex scenes are uncomfortably akward, even when they aren't meant to be - like a romance novel or bodice ripper gone bad. The detail is, I think, meant to illustrate the humanity or lack therof with in the story, but I found it to be over the top. I give it two stars for some of the charcters and their stories, but would not read it again. To be honest, I only finished it because I dislike not completing a book once started.
I very much enjoyed this book. Only one small complaint is the amount of French both old and modern dialects. (I am not a linguist by any means.) You do become used to it and the beauty of the language won me over. Other reviewers have mentioned the skipping back and forth between the two time periods - I did not find this to be hard to follow, the characterization helps to clarify what time you are in. I loved how Mosse brought the two periods together. You will find yourself wanting her to write more about one over the other by turns! Engaging characters and deep relationships - all in all a beautiful and original story.
I LOVED THIS BOOK AND THE OTHER TWO IN THE SERIES! THE RELATIONSHIPS WERE DEEP AND RICH, THE CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT WAS AS FULL AS IT GETS AND THE STORY SUCKED YOU IN. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!
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