Today's book review is Rite of Conquest by Judith Tarr.
This is the story of the Norman Conquest, with the twist of real magic. I don't know the history very well, but I did know where the story had to end up. Perhaps because of my ignorance of the subtleties of history, and perhaps because of Tarr's license, I actually got a more surprising plot than I expected. The magical elements are well imagined and well told, and the characters are interesting and sympathetic. Tarr's prose flows well. Yet I had trouble getting into the story -- I think mainly because it's broken into a lot of short chapters. I've been distracted by enough other things that I haven't actually been reading except at bedtime, and the short chapters mean I'd only read a chapter or two most days; with over 50 chapters, it took a lot of days. That kept me from getting into the flow of the book as well as I should have -- but it does say that the book wasn't so engaging that it pushed itself into my attention more forcefully.
( *SPOILER* A question about the history.Collapse )
So, a solid book, but maybe not quite as good as many of Tarr's. (Or maybe it's just me.) 8 out of 10.