Very mixed feelings on this one, to the point where I still don’t feel like writing a review. I appreciate what Nicola Griffith is going for: this beautifully detailed account of 7th century England with mysticism, political intrigue and other neat stuff. But man, she just can’t quite make it.
I could never connect with Hild as a character; she kind of felt like more of a hologram of what the writer wanted her to be than someone actually human. And yet, Griffith does write some humanizing moments of her.
I couldn’t fully immerse myself into the atmosphere of this world, despite Griffith’s vast research. And yet, it also made me feel like I was in that world in certain moments.
I didn’t grasp the political realities of the situation due to the obscene amount of characters with shifting motives. And yet, the politics are probably what I liked the most.
How I finished this behemoth with consistent frustration and conflicted feelings, I don’t know.
Griffith obviously has some talent but there’s a good story in here that needs to be extracted with better editing and focus. I never mind a long book; indeed I picked this up because of its “Game of Thrones without dragons” comparison. But I can’t help feeling like it was one doorstopper of a missed opportunity.
And yet, there’s some desire to read book two. I passed by it in Barnes and Noble last night…
Yeah I still don’t know how I feel about this one.