by J. Anderson Coats
Rating: DNF (for now-I might pick it up again)
Cecily’s father has ruined her life. He’s moving them to occupied Wales, where the king needs good strong Englishmen to keep down the vicious Welshmen. At least Cecily will finally be the lady of the house.
Gwenhwyfar knows all about that house. Once she dreamed of being the lady there herself, until the English destroyed the lives of everyone she knows. Now she must wait hand and foot on this bratty English girl.
While Cecily struggles to find her place amongst the snobby English landowners, Gwenhwyfar struggles just to survive. And outside the city walls, tensions are rising ever higher—until finally they must reach the breaking point.
Yes, I am DNFing a book that has been on my TBR forever and that I was eagerly anticipating. But just because I'm not finishing this book, it doesn't mean its not good. In fact, it had many good things, but there was just one aspect that I couldn't get past.
Writing: The writing was phenomenal. It's obvious that the author did her homework and cared enough about making this book as real as possible via the language. While reading, I truly felt as if I had been transported back in time! I always love when the author takes the time to write in the language relevant to that time.
Also, the characters weren't that bad either. I'll admit, Cecily is not what I normally like and although I didn't love her, I didn't hate her, which is weird considering I normally don't like those with her personality. She's a spoiled rotten little priss pot, but for some reason I found her misery and the way she talked to be kind of funny. She was so overdramatic that it was humorous. Gwenny, is the complete opposite of her. Since I only got about half-way through the book, I haven't read too much about her, but from what I have read she is fiercely loyal and defiant.
Why I DNF:
While its writing is perhaps its greatest strength, it is also perhaps its greatest weakness. Don't get me wrong, as I said before, I love when the author takes the time to write in the language relevant to that time, but it could've been taken down a notch. There were too many words that I had a hard time understanding. Normally, context clues are more than enough, but in this case, sometimes they were not.
Another reason I didn't care for this is because it was not what I was expecting. Normally, even in historical fiction books, I like my characters strong and defiant and if they know how to wield a weapon, all the better. I expected scandals. Not to mention, a hot male lead definitely wouldn't hurt. That's not what happens. Cecily is taken from her home to live in Wales. So far, it is mostly her complaining and trying to fit in. I guess from the synopsis that there would be more action. I figured the fighting would have started by now. But, alas, it has not.
However, my main reason for not finishing this book, is the lack of direction and plot. Normally, the book is leading somewhere. There is a mystery to solve, or something to find, but I couldn't figure out the plot to this book. What's the point of this book? What are these characters looking for? What are they striving towards? I'll admit, I'm impatient. I like my action to start right from the beginning. I got 46% through and I still don't know exactly what is supposed to happen. This feels more like a biography than a story. Normally, even if I don't like the characters of a book, if the plot is still interesting, I'll continue to read it and vice versa. However, this time neither the characters nor plot are phenomenal enough to keep me going. I think this lack of plot is what really pushed me away.
This book wasn't a book that I wanted to throw across the room or anything, its just not one that I wanted to hug either. I encourage those who like heavy historical fiction and girls that really fit into that time period (prissy, rich girls) to read this. Will I pick this up again? I hope so. I'll just have to do it when I have a lot of time that I can dedicated to it.
All the best ♥