Thursday, 11 September 2014

The Minstrel's Tale (review)

by Anna Questerly

The Minstrel's Tale
Book II


I have sworn an oath to uphold the secret, a great and terrible confidence that changed the events of the world. Yet I find the guilt of my own contribution to the horror, gnawing away at my innards. I have thought of little else these past years. Whilst my life wanes and the end draws near, I find I dread living with this wrenching guilt more than I fear the grave. And so I will take pains at last to share the awful truth; may God have mercy on my soul.
[Incipit of Amos Questerly's Tale]


I found this pretty nice. Sometimes it caught my imagination a lot, some other times I found it forced, but it was a nice reading. I especially liked the portrayal of the life of the minstrel, and how his job was held in high esteem by everyone, from the kings to the poorest beggar. It is not hard to understand why: people's desire to hear new stories, to expand their fantasy, adventures, characters, emotions, is the very same that makes me open one book after another, so I understand very well its importance.
One thing that I didn't like is the development that takes place at the end of the novel, with Anna, in the present time:
it seems like a forced insertion, banal and boring!
This book is the first of a trilogy: I didn't know, but I should had imagine it (it's difficult to find a stand alone for free!). It ends right at the climax, leaving us the curiousity to see how Amos ended up in the unhappy situation that he describes at the beginning. In short, now I really need to read the sequels! :)

Quotes

The plane touched down four times, like a flat rock skipping across the surface of a lake.
[incipit]

The warm, familiar scent of books drew me into the next dark room. I turned on the light and smiled in delight at the library.
(Page 3)

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