Tuesday, December 29, 2009
ROYAL BLOOD rona sharon
Royal Blood is a Tudor-period vampire romance. Yep. Tudor period. With vampires. That could work, and for a lot of readers it clearly did. For me, it was a total clunker. Sorry. It seems that once again I am out of step with the mainstream of popular opinion. What sort of reviewer am I?
The ornate use of language struck me as off key from the very first page--sometimes sounding like an undergraduate trying to use a vocabulary they haven't quite mastered yet. "Mud splotched the grille of his visor as massive hoofs reached his sprawled form and reared up, threatening to fossilize him in the midden." What? Rearing hoofs (as opposed to 'hooves', and disembodied from horse) are going to fossilize (a word and concept not invented for another 300 years and not related in any way to being crushed) him in manure pile (that is presumably some distance away from the jousting field). I like ornate language, but I like it to make a little more sense. Many reviewer's seem to consider the language historically accurate but it struck me as rampantly anachronsitic and awash with unecessary ticks like hundreds of uses of "alas".
We meet King Louis' unwed daughter sleeping with a commoner, dragged naked through court and called a whore before being sent off as a spy. Uh-huh. Right. Where she will meet Michael Devereaux, heir to an Earl, who will go on to save the King's life, win the princess's heart and investigate some mysterious murders. The hero's struggle with his vampirism which he takes to be a seating sickness is probably the most interesting aspect of the book, but otherwise I found both the historical and paranormal aspects unconvincing separately, and jarring in combination. The first half of the book only hints at the role vampirism has in this world, then it springs up rather suddenly and takes over the plot.
One thing I will say is that this is a highly original book with an idiosyncratic plot, subject and voice. You'll either love it, or in my case be very, very irritated by it--but you probably won't be bored.
Love Vampires: 4/5
Running average: 2.5/5