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Prepare to have a 'history' lesson
on 7 September 2013
So far I have enjoyed all the previous Ring of Fire books written by Eric Flint, and have finished them in a relatively short time, wanting to go on to the next. Not so this one. The first half is (as another reviewer described it) concentrated history of an almost somnambulist type, which tried to put people and places together. Not helped by the small size of the maps on the kindle, and even after getting hold of a large scale map it was difficult to sort out which duke, 'von' or other major personas were on whose side! In addition a lot of the language does not ring 'true' in the early part of the book and it seems the writer has imagined too much of a modern lifestyle piggybacked into 17th century life; I can believe the larger picture but not the minutae of local life.
By about half way I was almost ready to give up, but at last some sense could be made of the story, so I have continued to read. Its now some three weeks in (my average is about 4-5 days) and I'm nearly three quarters of the way through. I've perservered because I have read the previous books, but this is not a stand alone novel. Anyone picking this up as their intro to the Ring of Fire series would probably not get past the first few pages and thus not read any of the others either.
I've given it three stars purely because its 'okay', but I could happily have avoided the whole thing.