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Well researched but slow story
on 13 July 2013
`The Seeing Stone' is a children's novel, and as such, has extremely short chapters, sometimes only 1 page long in places. The way it is written is from Arthur's point of view, and the broken up chapters, that sometimes don't seem to link together, feel almost like diary entries. Although this book is set in 1199, the language used isn't old fashioned but there are objects that they use that aren't really around today. In my copy of the book, there is a definitions page though so this helps a lot, and also there is a character list, with who each character is detailed clearly. The writing style annoyed me slightly in that there were a lot of exclamation points that weren't always necessary, and it made the language sound quite immature.
Reading this I had a few problems in that the characters don't seem to sound their ages. For instance, because Arthur is only thirteen and he is the narrator, it feels almost as if all of the other characters are also his age, which isn't the case.
I really liked the fast-paced nature of this book, helped by the short chapters and the medieval style illustrations that were in my copy really helped set the scene for the story. The inclusion of Welsh words was really well done and I think this is possibly one of the reasons I used to like these books so much, as when I was originally reading this about ten years ago, I was learning Welsh.
After about halfway, I found that I was losing interest in this book. The way it is written is obvious that it is a series and not a standalone book because things happen very slowly and the alternating narrative got a little distracting, to the point where I much preferred one point of view over the other. Some of the mysteries became very predictable and I was forcing myself to keep reading.
Another thing that annoyed me with this book was the dominance of religion in the story. I understand that in 1199 this would have been how people were, and I have nothing against religion,though I am not religious myself, but I found that sometimes it took over from the storyline and some of the other themes weren't explored to their full potential.
Near the end, the story seemed to pick up and although the events were quite predictable, it was actually enjoyable by the end. I think this would be great for younger readers but it didn't really draw me in enough so I won't be rereading the rest of the series.