I thought I liked medieval novels. I thought I liked characters and stories out of this time period. Oh right, I do like those things, I just don’t like Mistress of the Art of Death. This book is wretched. Seriously, I’m not even sure I have much else to say about it. I know that all over the internet it boasts a whopping 5 star review, everyone raves about the character development, the dramatic setting, the strong, independent, bold main (female) character, etc. But I swear to you this was the most painful 400 pages I have read in years.
– Spoilers –
The plot was convoluted, the characters were obtuse, the relationships between them were ill defined and implausible, the setting was drab and un-engaging. I mean seriously. I really wanted to like Adelia, “doctor to the dead”, the rich adopted daughter of a renowned Salerno doctor. At first she seemed truly self-reliant, recognizing the disdain for her gender in the regions and time period she was living in, but not allowing herself to be tamed. She had a sharp tongue, a determined attitude and a callous resilience to the testosterone driven men recently returned from the Crusades. It all falls apart about two thirds of the way through (I can’t even believe I made it that far) when she (instantly? as in, the course of one to two pages) falls in love with the man she dislikes the most. What. The. Hell?
Additionally the killer she is sent to find, uncover, convict, whatever, is found around the same time as this love is revealed and gets the backseat. We spent 300+ pages trying to find this guy and now he’s hardly worth the paper and ink? I want to know why he did it, what, where, when, who, how? You know the drill, Ariana Franklin! Don’t leave me dissatisfied and longing for explanations and answers! Or do. You know, whatever you want I guess.
Bottom line? It’s all very contrived. I can see that there must be a population of readers that’s into this kind of thing (I mean, it is a National Bestseller and all (then again, Twilight still sells a billion copies a day, so what do I know?)). Ugh, I can’t even come up with a small, fleeting amount of joy that I got from this. It was Abramham Lincoln Vampire Hunter bad but on steroids.Got something to say? No comments