Cornelia Amiri, |
It's 61 A.D. in Britannia, and the druidess Sulwen has just witnessed the massacre of her people at the hands of the Romans. She receives a message from the goddess Andraste to seek out Queen Boudica and join her in battle against the Romans. Thus begins this druid's quest.
I was dying to delve into this tale; a mythical and adventurous romance involving the ancient Celts is tailor-made for my reading pleasure. Unfortunately, what I read left me a tad disappointed and more than a little bored.
Sulwen embarks on this journey alone at first, picking up a few warriors from surrounding tribes along the way. Once she reaches Queen Boudica, she is reunited with her lover, the archdruid Rhys. At this point he joins the quest to battle the Romans, and when the two aren't making love they are bickering like children. It was awful. More time was spent arguing about strategy and the misinterpretation of the goddess' voice than the actual battle or relationships.
There are no definitive characters in this book. Yes, there are many characters, but they all could be interchangeable, except for their names; no one has a personality. They are merely names having conversations. I never got a feel or a sense of the people who occupy these pages. It's hard to read a story, or get excited about their journey, when you don't care a thing about the people in it.
One of the most distracting features of this story was that almost every character's dialogue is too frequently accompanied by italicized "thoughts," lending a choppy feel to an already struggling narrative.
Several times I thought about giving up the quest and setting it aside, but I persevered, hoping at some point this story would transform into what the wonderful idea behind it promised. I'm sorry to say it didn't happen. When I finally finished it this morning, all I felt was relief.
19 July 2008
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