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Customer Review

on 10 June 2012
I haven't actually finished this book yet, but so far it has been a very mixed experience. It's brilliantly written, full of wonderful description, and the storyline is interesting so far. What annoys me is the 'Author Note' at the back of the book saying how much Celia Rees loves the play 'Twelfth Night'. I have to say, I honestly cannot see how this could possibly be true when the original story and characters have been, as Olivia would say, 'most notoriously abused'. It's not like there's a lack of Shakespearean tragedies where pretty much all the characters die and everything that happens leads to disaster, so why has Celia Rees decided that these aren't enough for her, she's going to take one of his best comedies and write a book where about the whole 1st third does nothing but talk about the horrible things that happened after the play ends, and how all the characters die?!! The other thing that really annoys me is how she takes Sebastian, a reasonable, loving, kind (if perhaps a tad hot-headed) and made him into some horrific fairytale villain who gets jealous of his sister and her husband, goes off hunting and getting drunk, doesn't care at all when his sister and wife die, bring back soldiers to invade and take over Illyria, and then sells his son and neice as slaves?! Grrrrrr!! Overall, good book, but I think it's probably much better if you either know nothing about Twelfth Night or you can just think of these as totally different characters who just happen to have the same names.
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