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© Cecilia Dart-Thornton; (P)2006 Books in Motion
It's such a shame, the story line was interesting until it became confusing...the main character keeps changing her name, I realize the identity issue but honestly enough is enough.
The Pied Piper? The most used logic puzzle with the doors? I'm sorry but bad enough to blatantly incorporate another story line and try to make it actually work, but it is made all the worse by the excess of flowery descriptive phrasing that actually begins to detract even more from the story.
I am curious what happens, but not so sure if I'm curious enough to get the next book (which they've divided in half for double credits).
There are elements of a good story in this second book of the Bitterbynde trilogy, but I have to agree with other reviewers of Dart-Thornton's books. She seems to be in love with words to an excessive degree. I love good description, and a varied vocabulary, but it is almost as though she has something to prove by giving lengthy and overblown description of absolutely everything. It becomes exhausting and causes the plot itself to drag. Her rich embellishments would be far more effective if they were used much more sparingly. It really does become embarrassing. To make matters worse, the narrator clearly reads as though she is reading poetry most of the time, which I suppose she must surmise it is from the flowery style. Faulkner lifts her voice at the end of almost every sentence, as one might read poetry from line to line. In addition, she mispronounces many of the words, which detracts from the flow. I am sure she got awfully tired of looking up words and just guessed at many of them. Unfortunately, her reading has caused me to be certain that I don't listen to any more books read by her.
Oddly, though, she does an admirable job of slogging through the verbiage and often can distract me from the pure agony of hearing the lists of 50 food items. I just let my mind rest and go without paying attention (until she mispronounces something). I WILL finish the series, though, because I want to know how it is resolved. It is sad that it has become such a chore. A trusted editor and coach could have helped this book so much.
After the first book, Ill-Made Mute, this is quite a relief for the main character and the readers! This book is sort of the sweetness and calm recovery after one horrible calamity and before the next. Though, there is plenty of nastiness and surprises for our character and her associates. I love Dart-Thornton's writing -- it's almost like reading Shakespeare (well, not quite), but very prose-like with incredibly detailed descriptions that color and define an object or scene or the environment for the reader. Excellent writer!
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