What I'm reading, what I'm thinking of reading & what I've read. And stuff.
This review was originally posted on Amazon (and it's still there - I just checked). I've edited it slightly hear for greater clarity. It's the only time I've been sufficiently moved to write an Amazon review. It is a review of as much of the series as I could bring myself to read. Yep, a DNF! Frankly I'd rather gouge my eyes out with a blunt pig's trotter than finish this series.
I was very pleased to finally acquire this book, having heard of it several years ago. Although I'm not an expert in history, I have read a lot of books concerning this period, and always look forward to reading more. My pleasure soon turned to dismay as I started reading. Through the first few chapters I had a growing but unspecific feeling of unease - something about the prose didn't ring true. It was nothing I could put my finger on; aspects of the story didn't feel authentic.
Eventually I stumbled across details that I knew were wrong. For instance, in this period the term "Your Majesty" to address the King or Queen had not yet been introduced. This didn't come about until the time of the Tudors. Plantagenet monarchs were content to be addressed as "Your Grace". Yet the term was constantly in the dialogue. Next, Edward IV was several times described as wearing a collar of interlinked S's. Unlikely. Yorkist collars tended to consist of roses and suns - the interlinked S collars were favoured by the Lancastrian nobility. Then in book 2 of the series we were asked to believe there was a Jewish money-lender in Whitby. As this story is set slap bang in the middle of the three hundred and fifty year period during which all Jews were banned from England, I find this hard to believe. Book 3 would have us believe a crescent moon sailed the sky for an entire night. I ask "On which planet?!" A crescent moon when new is seen only at the start of the night, and when waning is only seen in the hours before dawn. The only moon that is seen all night is a full moon.
These known inaccuracies ruined the book for me. I found myself questioning every detail I read. Was it true? Was it authentic? Or was it just a flight of fancy or wishful thinking on behalf of the author? In the end I was unable to finish the 3rd book in the series because I found myself irritated to the point that I no longer cared about the fates of the characters. I'm only grateful that I got the books out of the library rather than spending hard earned cash on them.
I'm left wondering how such glaring errors could make their way into a published book...or am I expecting too much that a work of historical fiction should reflect its setting accurately?
Yeah, so my recommendation with these is Avoid. I still can't make out what I was thinking to even attempt the 3rd one after the first 2 had been so dreadful.