I’m currently reading this book and honest to God, it’s a slog.
I recently decided to blog more, and read more, trying to be less hyper focused on the national impeachment trial crisis. So I started using my elderly iPad, with a ZAGG keyboard featuring a busted “R” key, instead of the bigger desktop and medium laptop I have, because reasons. And herrrrrrrrrrrre we arrrrrre blogging.
So far, I’ve checked out 3 books and read two, and this last one is just not that good.
The author has a lot of writing credits for TV and media – but the characters are flat, the premise is a bit precious, and it reads like a spec script for a Victorian murder series that didn’t sell.
I’m a fast reader – I read that little dragon fantasy novel in a day. I read the true crime book in a few hours. I’ve been at this Ashmolean thing for a week. And I usually am a sucker for a British cozy set someplace like Oxford or the Cotswolds.
I have even contemplated skipping to the end and not finishing it. That’s heresy.
Meanwhile, I ordered a replacement R key, so that’s hopefully going to have a happy ending!
UPDATE: I finally gave up at about 175 pages in and skipped to the end. See Goodreads for a final review.
Finally, I ended up skipping to the end, something I almost never do with mysteries. The characters are engaging enough but a bit anachronistic, the dialogue labors to be arch, and the setting mentions just enough local color to be “Oxonian” without really giving the reader an immersive experience.
Full disclosure: I’ve visited Oxford (and the Ashmolean Museum) a few times but am no expert, and I’ve read authors who set mysteries there like Crispin, Sayers, and so on. This book just didn’t give me the right sense of time and place.
And the ending? Unsatisfying.
Lock the doors before reading.
What a perfect little book, introducing us to a lush Regency-era romance of manners and family intrigue – but with dragons.
How would such a society operate? What happens when the Industrial Revolution hits and manual dexterity becomes even more critical? And how the devil do they fit on the steam trains?
I read this book – no, I devoured it whole, as is proper – within a few hours. The local library happened to have the pocket hardcover edition, and it’s a beautiful little volume.
it doesn’t seem to be part of a series, and leaves some intriguing questions about the ancient history of dragons. I’ll definitely read more by Jo Walton, an award-winning author, and hope that she’ll answer some of those questions some day.