L. Donaghy

Helpful votes received on reviews: 92% (97 of 105)
Location: Ireland


Top Reviewer Ranking: 436,571 - Total Helpful Votes: 97 of 105
The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I adored it.

From the cover blurb I thought this was going to be a late-Victorian 'Vanity Fair'. Not so: there is a lot of fairly explicit sex and violence, but for the most part it isn't incredibly gratuitous and if you can handle the first chapter or two, they pretty much set the tone. In fact it all settles down once the story gets going.

The writing is direct and fluid, the characters well-rounded and believable, and the plot develops in a cogent way. The final third of the book, in which the story darkens and the pace slows, was more difficult, but I was completely compelled at that point and couldn't wait to find out how it was all going to turn out. And once it… Read more
Devil's Consort by Anne O'Brien
Devil's Consort by Anne O'Brien
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I'm amazed by all the positive reviews, which makes me think I'm just not part of the target market.

From the blurb on the back, I was expecting this to be as much about a female power struggle as about loveless royals. Instead, it opens with the 15-year-old Eleanor anxious to consummate her marriage to Louis Capet, who seemingly can only get off on religion and violence. Nice. The rest of the novel is focussed on Eleanor's sexual frustration, to which she responds by having wild affairs with a cousin and an uncle (which is FINE because she is a DUCHESS and dares the DULL French to judge her) and occasionally demanding an annulment.

I didn't want bare facts, but it's… Read more
The Captive Queen by Alison Weir
The Captive Queen by Alison Weir
42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear, 25 April 2011
I like popular history, especially anything about the Plantagenets, but hadn't ventured into historical fiction until recently, when I picked up Devil's Consort by Anne O'Brien. And it was utter nonsense: just pages and pages of Eleanor of Aquitaine alleviating her sexual frustration by sleeping with various members of her extended family. So I had high hopes of The Captive Queen - I liked Alison Weir's portrayal of Isabella of France but had found it a bit dry, so the expert opinion with added artistic licence sounded good.

Instead, it's just bad sex scenes, strung together with occasional exposition. Meeting Henry, seeing Henry, disagreeing with Henry... everything ends with… Read more

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