Top critical review
Decent start, but its all downhill from there until we all drown in hyperbole.
on 20 October 2016
This book starts off reasonably well, but rapidly falls off. By half way I was really struggling. The overall background of the middle ages and the history around the Battle of Crecy was interesting, but the author had slacked in his research, maybe it's from a lifetime of writing fictitious TV shows, where the writers just make **** up all the time.
The main character is a real Mary Sue, he just about perfect in every way. The dynamic with his brother is pretty much lifted straight from Of Mice and Men, as is the setup around them, so at least I suppose he's based the intro on sound, if not original literary ground.
The book makes pretty poor use of language overall. There is an overuse of hyperbole in an effort to make situations seem more dramatic/significant/poignant/exciting/romantic/boring/dangerous, if it seems like I'm suggesting he overuses hyperbole in every situation to the point of over-saturation of the entire novel, you'd be right and it really drags. When every situation is smothered in hyperbole, it just means that none of them stand out.
Other grammatical errors include useless and nonsensical repetition. For example, in a sentence describing a volley of arrows, we have a long stream of hyperbole about this pretty mundane volley of arrows arcing through the sky followed by 'shot fire' literally duplicating the noun to absolutely no purpose. I haven't worked out if these are deliberate (there is so much hyperbole, it wouldn't surprise me), or an error that was missed by proof readers.
There comes a point at which the main character attitude changes pretty radically, and to be fair this is caused by a significant event, but then the author tries to seemingly tie everything to this event, even things of absolutely no relevance, to the point that he starts acting like a complete ****.
The story is quite good, but the overuse of hyperbole as Mr Gilman attempts to show us all the big words he knows at once just drowns out any interest in the story. Eventually with great effort I finished this book, but it was always with the hope that he would start just telling the story, which never happened.