6 member(s) found this review helpful.
This is a behemoth of a book that won't be for everyone. It is not to be entered into lightly, so capable is it of simply draining away an entire day before you realise it's too late. Sometimes moving, sometimes frightening, and often slyly informative, this book is chock full of sneaky, subtle humour that leaves one with a general feeling of reading while sitting in the sunlight . . . whatever the weather may be where you are. I've read this book three times in less than a year. It's THAT good. The antiquated prose may turn some people off, but for those who are willing to give it a chance, this is a staggering literary feat that should not be missed by anyone with even the slightest bit of whimsy left in them.
3 member(s) found this review helpful.
This book was compelling. While sometimes tiring, I felt an urgency to read on. The characters weave in and out of this novel, sometimes disappearing for hundreds of pages and then popping up again. The story is facinating, really, but not for the impatient reader. This book is also not for anyone who does not have time to read every day, because one really has to keep track of all the stories going on simultaneously. I agree with other readers who say that the first 500 pages seem to drag at times, but I think they are necessary to the last 500 pages of the story. Then, long about page 600 the whole thing starts to fall into place. I'm not sure what I think about all the footnotes. In my opinion, they were not essential to the story--just little tidbits that might enlighten the reader. I chose not to read them, and the story still kept my interest. I think a glossary in the back would have done just as well. Overall, this was a dandy read that I would suggest to others as "something different" to read for a change. I will definitely read this author again.
2 member(s) found this review helpful.
The book drew me in from the beginning. It's a tale about 2 magicians in England in the mid-1800's and how their actions change the course of British history. It has something for everyone. I'm not a big "fantasy" person but the magic had a note of normalcy to it. She created an entire history of English magic (somewhere between Tolkien and Rowling). There is a lot of British society to it so there is an element for Jane Austen fans to appreciate. Maybe even a bit of Dickens. It is just an incredibly well rounded book. It's a pity to say it's a book about magic. There's so much more. That's just the beginning of it. The book is long, some 800 pages. But it went by so fast for me.