Monday, March 9, 2009

Shadow Music by Julie Garwood ***

This is really less than 3 stars, maybe 2.5 stars. It's not that I disliked it so much as it wasn't exactly a great story - just mediocre at best. I have to say, I'm back to where I was when I read The Bride: I just don't like her style in some of her books.

In the cover blurb, some kind soul writes: "A gripping novel that delves into the heart of emotions - unyielding passions of love, hate, revenge, and raw desire"...

Man, that person read a completely different book. When she writes medievals (as this was), she has this odd, stilted prose, both in the narrative and in the dialogue, that is the opposite of emotional. It's cold, and unnatural. She didn't do what I have disliked about other books - the Keystone Cop thing where everyone talks (nonsense) at once. Good - 1 check in the positive column. But "gripping"? Passionate? Raw desire? I did not feel any of that.

It was ok - the story was another medieval, another English virgin being married to a Scot as decreed by King John to help bind the 2 countries together. In this case, the Scot in question is murdered before the wedding, and the bride is accused of being a harlot and is banished from England. It has something to do with a treasure, and 2 English barons wanting both her and the treasure. However, she didn't even believe the rumored treasure existed, so she couldn't help them with that anyway.

A different Scot, Laird MacHugh, takes the half-English/half St. Bielish (??) Gabrielle under his protection, promising his buddy he'll marry her to restore her reputation. I sorta got confused about this part, but it wasn't worth going back to solve the riddle of why he agreed to do it. His buddy was Brodick of an earlier novel in the series, also married to an English lassie.

Of course, she is good with bow and arrow and managed to save MacHugh's brother from death by shooting the fellow trying to kill him, so that should have been why MacHugh took her in, except at that point he didn't even know she was involved. Over time he and she decide they're attracted to one another and maybe even falling in love, and they do marry and it's all wonderful and then she's kidnapped by one of the bad barons... and then she's saved and everyone else lives happily ever after.

See? It was just another story. I never felt gripped. Really. 3 stars - Serial Reader's Challenge, and Spring 09 Challenge for book set in Scotland.

1 comment:

Cindy W said...

I am not planning on reading that book for the awful reviews!