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Phil's Rambling Rants

August 26th, 2006

August 26th, 2006
07:24 pm


Book review: Bard
Today's book review is Bard: The Odyssey of the Irish by Morgan Llewelyn.

This is a fairly long book, and I've been so swamped that I've hardly had any time to read.  I started this book in Minnesota, and it's taken until now to read it, because most weeks the only reading I did was 3 pages or so at bedtime.

There was enough to the story that I didn't want to give up, but not enough to really motivate me to devote more time to it.  I'm completely unfamiliar with the historical basis of the story -- the arrival on Ireland of the Gaelic tribe, and the life and influence of the great bard Amergin.  There's a lot of threads to the story, and several of them are interesting, but some of them didn't seem to be quite right.  There's a villain in the piece who is at the same time an interesting study in how evil people can influence a society, and hard to really believe in.  And, as I try to avoid any spoilers, I note that there's a certain group who seem to have an outlook on life -- and who use and are described with language -- far too modern and scientific to fit in a historical fantasy; these passages grate.  Still, there is some interesting philosophy.  Probably more than really stuck with me, as I struggled to get through the book.

So, overall, I have to rate what I got out of the book, even though it may deserve better, and thus I give it a 6 out of 10.  Much too long; certainly strengths, but also serious weaknesses.

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