I too am a huge fan of Penny Vincenzi and couldn't wait to get stuck into this huge, blockbuster of a novel. I enjoyed it up to about three-quarters of the way through but even though there was still a good 300 pages to go, I lost interest in the plot and characters and had to put the book down.
This latest novel really did need pruning. I suppose it's a personal opinion but I felt that the stories of some of the characters who took centre stage just went on and on and bloody on! I really couldn't give a toss about them eventually because they were far too self-indulged and added nothing to the story.
And I shall admit here and now that I still haven't finished the book! I am an avid reader and huge books don't worry me - providing they have something to say right to the last page.
I put down the book last weekend and since then I've read two other, shorter, novels because I was longing to read them and don't see why I should have trudged all the way to the end of 'The Best of Times' just because I'd bought it. I may get round to finishing it off eventually, but I picked it up again this morning and sighed... there was a another novel I wanted to read much, much more and so, back to the bottom of the reading pile it goes.
All I can say is: Ms Vincenci, get yourself an editor who knows how to edit (there were some dreadful typos within its pages as well) who knows what your fan-base really wants and that's a well written yarn without lousy sex and bad language. We expect more of you and I, for one, am disappointed.