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Topic: C.W. Gortner

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Subject: C.W. Gortner
Date Posted: 4/13/2011 2:00 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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Why oh why, am I having such a hard time getting into a reading groove with him.  I started Secret Lion.  Had this been titled Tudors Secret I never would have picked it up, BTB  to American publishers, are you listening?   At least this reader is really really sick of the Tudors!  But I figured it is just set in the Tudor Court, it is more about Francis Walsingham isn't it?  So I put it away for another day, what is a few more months on my shelf right? 

I then picked up the Lost Queen this has been on my list forever, and I finally got it at the library!   Well nothing wrong with it but it hasn't really grabbed me.  I will give this the 100 page rule.  Because I know that it is me not him.

SIgh. 

Date Posted: 4/13/2011 2:25 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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Jerelyn, that was his first novel as I understand it and self published the first time around. Supposedly the new version under the Tudor name has been revised, but I still didn't see a comparison to what he's writing now. I think I gave it a 3.5 on Amazon. I do enjoy his other two books, but they are not like WOW the greatest thing ever written.

Date Posted: 4/13/2011 3:59 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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I liked "The Lost Queen" but mostly because I find Juana to be an interesting character.  I agree with Misfit, it was good, not great.

If it doesn't grab you, it doesn't grab you. 

Date Posted: 4/13/2011 4:31 PM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
Posts: 6,035
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Ditto to what Mimi and Cathy said about Juana. 

Date Posted: 4/13/2011 8:50 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,451
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I agree with everyone else.  I think I liked Juana because I didn't know that much about her.  I will get to reading The Confessions of Catherine de Medici one of these days soon and then if that one doesn't grab me I probably won't read any more by him.

Date Posted: 4/13/2011 8:53 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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I've read each of his books (at least up to Medici). I thoroughly enjoyed Medici. But I didn't care for the Tudor mystery at all. Juana was a good read, but Medici was much better.

Date Posted: 4/13/2011 9:42 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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Funny thing about the Juana book was that I read it in late 2008 when I'd been housebound for nearly three weeks due to broken knee and snow (no one would come and drive me) and by that time books were flying (even Dumas flew). I liked it well enough, but didn't go ga-ga like everyone else. I could never decide if it was the book itself or my continuing dissatisfaction with every new book I picked up. I finally had to start dragging out the old favorites for rereads.

Date Posted: 4/14/2011 9:12 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 1,588
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The only Gortner I've read is Juana, last year.  I liked it quite a bit, but not  "ga-ga".  I think I gave it a solid 4.

Date Posted: 4/14/2011 10:27 AM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
Posts: 1,366
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I enjoyed his CONFESSIONS OF CATHERINE DE MEDICI.  I have read several books about Catherine, out of all of them Gortner's book was the most sympathetic towards her.   Oh, she was still a ruthless queen, but he gave explanations as to why she was that way.  I liked his mix of fact and myth.

Date Posted: 4/14/2011 6:11 PM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2009
Posts: 1,170
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See, I really liked The Tudor Secret.  But then I've made no bones about the fact that I'm a fan of that era.  I also don't mind hf with the emphasis on fiction rather than fact-on occasion at least. 

The one thing I had issues with in TS was how Brendan survived all those mishaps-I mean in the course of what is supposedly several hours-he's imprisioned, almost drown, almost beaten to death, shot, almost beaten to death again, and almost drown-again.  Oh, and in between there he's met a long lost relative(several in fact), met the dying king and pledge himself to that king's sister......

But I thought it was fun-certainly no worse than some others I've read and ALOT faster pace-which really pleased me.  I had just finished slogging thru(and I mean that literally) The Virgin Widow by Anne O'Brien.  I like O'Brien-her romances at least.  But this hf-while good and fairly accurate-took F-O-R-E-V-E-R to get rolling.  A good 2/3rds of the book. 

Date Posted: 4/14/2011 7:43 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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Oh don't get me started on O'Brien. She really took a few not-too-factual side trips (egads Anne's kitchen adventure), plus a very bizarre twist about Margaret of Anjou, but otherwise she wasn't too far off based, especially for a romance writer. My issues were really in the execution with the first person narrative. When thinking in her head about her parents she would call them Duke and Duchess instead of say mother and father. Her next book is about Eleanor of Aquitaine and from reading the advance reviews on Amazon UK I'm suspecting there's an affair with Uncle Raymond. Grrrr.

TS was a light easy read for me, but certainly not the best book ever/best read of the year kind of a book.

Date Posted: 4/15/2011 10:06 AM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2009
Posts: 1,170
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Cathy-that's it exactly.  I thihk I really had a problem with how much of VW was written in the first person narrative.  So much was going on inside Anne's head and very little was actually happening....doing, etc. 

Actually the kitchen adventure thing was mentioned by a couple of other hf writers-Gregory I think and possibly Robin Maxwell.  So that didn't jar me as much as the Margaret of Anjou and her..."interest?" in her son. 

Date Posted: 4/15/2011 10:45 AM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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Jan, the kitchen adventure really threw me because it was so off-based and I began to envision her as Cinderella waiting for Prince Charming to come and rescue her surprise

The twist with Margaret was not only OTT, but really didn't advance the story at all so why in the hell did O'Brien feel the need for it at all. Talk about defaming the dead.

I did have a chuckle early on in the book and probably something readers not that familiar with the history would pick up on, but the conversations she and Richard had recapping old family history. I mean, they both should have known that stuff like the back of their hands, so why would they talk about it like it was fresh news?

 

Date Posted: 4/15/2011 4:58 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Wait, there's a 100 page rule?  Does it overrule the "stop when I throw it against the wall" rule? devil

Date Posted: 4/15/2011 5:58 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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LOL  Beth!

I am actually getting into it now, just in time for a very cold and rainy weekend.  burrrr!