21 January 2007
I just finished Dark Angels by Karleen Koen. I love historical fiction, but not this book. The narration slipped incautiously between a half dozen characters, leaving no sense of suspense as any surprise planned was revealed well in advance of the action. The author violated a cardinal rule of my writing teacher in high school; "Don't tell; show." Throughout the book, the characters are spelled out in excruciatingly obvious tones and rapidly became unsympathetic. The character whose presence I most enjoyed was Jerusalem Syalor, and she is hardly consistent from one section to the next, starting out pictured as a superstitious rustic and transmorphing without explaination into an otherworldly wise woman and savior.
The primary message of the book, if any, is faithlessness. Reflecting upon this, I would have much better enjoyed being faithful to my dear old Lincoln (as related via Kearns) than I enjoyed this brief diversion in English/French history.