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on Nov. 09, 2011 :
This book was tough to read. Literally. I had to make myself read it due to one major issue: the language.
You get the sense that Chris Turner loves the English language, from his wide and varied diction. This meant that the book's greatest strength and greatest weakness is its language.
I had I hopes from the introduction, which is very strong. The first sentence "Baus, an impulsive young man, seemed destined to become an outlaw". The sentence is attention catching and promises an adventurous story-line. This is supported in random moments in the book, such as a dead soldier described as having "sad, fish-hungry eyes", which is a very effective use of imagery.
However, at many times, I didn't understand what was going on because there was too much descriptive language, which tended to confuse me as to what was happening. This wasn't helped by the fact that many words (such as 'ophidian', 'obdurate' and 'obstreperous') were obscure (to me), and didn't seem necessary and actually detracted from the "magic" of reading.
While Baus was initially a curious and engaging character, as the book developed, I lost the goodwill I held towards him. Although he is a Rogue, he should have at least some redeeming qualities, if not only to endear him to the reader. And again, the language didn't help in forming a reader-character bond. It made his less redeeming qualities (his lack of hesitation to take advantage of others was most prominent) more obvious and obscured his good qualities (of which I couldn't see).
I really tried to like this book. The plot was decent and the opening had a lot of promise. But unfortunately, it didn't suit my tastes and in the end, I had to force myself to finish the book.
Disclaimer: I got this book from the librarything members giveaway. I wasn't asked to write a positive review.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)