Top critical review
disappointing - not sure i can finish
Reviewed in the United States on November 13, 2012
I read the 4th book of the series first (and it was FABULOUS!!), not realizing it was a series so was anxious to go back and read the stories of the other children of Elden. I've not read anything by Showalter before but if this is an example of her work, then I won't be reading anything else.
The basic premise is simple: the 4 children of murdered parents are sent away by magic before their parents' murderer can get to them. This is the story of the oldest, Nicolai.
I thought I could get past the bad dialogue (think Tarzan: Jane, Mine.) I thought I could get past the pages upon pages of telling backstory that is used to try and flesh out each character rather than showing in present tense how they grow and develop as people. And it's repetitive, as if the author couldn't find new things to fill in the history of the characters.
I just couldn't get past the confusing and muddled way Showalter tried to weave together a plot. I got so confused at one point trying to understand whether or not Jane and Nicolai had met before I read several chapters twice and still found myself scratching my head. There's no continuity. No connection between scenes at times, or even between events within a single scene.
I couldn't even enjoy the love scenes because they are so muddled with bad dialogue and awkwardness that I found them amusing rather than sensual.
So why didn't I give it a single star? Because I'll keep reading just in hopes that I'll understand the final book a little better.