11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Epic storytelling that's over too soon,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Triumph of the Sun (Hardcover)
I would echo many of the points that have been raised elsewhere concerning this book. The storytelling is first class and the imagery and historical detail (whilst not necessarily 100% accurate - for example, many historians would argue that al-Mahdi didn't order Gordon's decapitation..) provides a fascinating back-drop for the novel.
What stops this being a great book is the fact that the last third of the book seems needlessly rushed; almost as if the author is determined that it should only be 500 pages and no more. From the pinnacle of the book where Khartoum is taken the story suddenly shifts from detailed charcter-building towards tieing up all loose ends. Relationships develop, time passes and characters grow, but we do not necessarily feel that we have grown with them so that it almost feels like a drawn out appendix to the main plot, or a type-over of "what happened next" at the end of a film.
That said - I thoroughly enjoyed the book for what it was and would certainly suggest it to all lovers of historical novels, Gordon literature and steely stomached (since some of it is quite gruesome!) romantics.