by Tanith Lee
But for most of the book I found her hard to admire. Claidi is so utterly ignorant, having been shut up in the palace all of her life, that she can't make sense of what she sees and frequently misjudges people. Usually I find that when an ignorant protagonist is describing new things, there's enough description that the reader can understand clearly what it is, even if the protagonist herself doesn't. But in this case I was often confused. Claidi makes a lot of awful decisions, and it turns out that people she trusts or even falls in love with prove themselves to be unpleasant and deceitful, while the ones she is wary of are the opposite- like the so-called bandits. Turns out they were really travelling traders.
Overall it was kind of a difficult book to read. The characters are written unevenly, and the voice of Claidi in her apparent journal entries was uneven as well. She uses lots of modern slang and expressions which feel out of place in the setting of the story. The adventures were by turns confusing or just boring. The heroine's actions and choices were often frustrating to this reader. Despite all that, I found the curious customs of the various towns so unique, imaginative and intriguing (even though they were often poorly described) that I kept reading just to see what new thing the author would come up with next.
Have any of you read this book? what did you think of it?
Rating: 2/5 ........ 240 pages, 1998