- File Size: 796 KB
- Print Length: 352 pages
- Publication Date: June 21, 2011
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0057CVI9S
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,214,291 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Count Scar Kindle Edition
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I knew, intellectually, when I purchased this book that it was not set in Yurt. I knew it had none of the same characters. I knew it was a stand-alone book. Yet for some reason, I was still surprised when I started reading at it was, well, nothing at all like Yurt.
I am not a child, however, who turns up my nose at chocolate ice cream when it turned out I was really craving coffee-flavored. Especially when I’ve already paid for it and it’s sitting there waiting for me, melting all over the—OK, my metaphor is getting out of control. But you get the idea: it wasn’t what I expected, even though I knew better than to expect Yurt, but I read it anyway.
And I liked it. Kind of a lot, actually.
If you’re here, considering this book because you’re a fan of Yurt, you may be in for a surprise as well. Count Scar is darker than Yurt. It’s grittier. It’s waaaaay denser. (I probably averaged 48 hours for most of the Yurt books. This took me about a week.)
Once you get past the fact that it’s not the flavor you might have expected these particular authors to produce, though, you’ll realize it’s pretty delicious in its own way. One of C. Dale Brittain's strengths is in creating mysteries, and Count Scar has an enjoyable one. The title character – his real name is Count Galoran, but he got his nickname for obvious reasons – is a younger son and starts the book at loose ends; he's no longer needed as a soldier, and his older brother certainly doesn't need him banging around the house. So when a distant duke chooses him to succeed an equally distant relation as lord of a tiny county in the south, he's eager to make his mark. It occurs to him to wonder, however, why he's needed at all...and sure enough, the previous countess died under mysterious circumstances. It's up to Count Galoran to figure out exactly what's going on in his new home before all the forces at work make him just as dead as his predecessor.
Another fun aspect has to do with the liberties the authors took with medieval France. In many respects, the book reads like a historical novel. C. Dale Brittain is a history professor, and that extensive knowledge is put to good use filling in all the little details of what life in this fictional land is like, adding to the realism. Of course, the book is full of magic, probably the primary reason I'm so in love with fantasies, but but while it was pervasive - it's not one of those stories where we're told it exists but don't actually get to see it in action - it wasn't overpowered. The authors also created a second, antagonistic, heretical religion to provide a counterpoint to the sway the church held back then...and I have to say, that particular touch really set this book apart. I've been trying to think of another book or author this reminds me of, but the world-building puts it in a class all its own.
It's probably worth repeating: Count Scar has little in common with Yurt, and if you're thinking of getting this book because you liked Brittain's excellent Daimbert series, this probably isn't what you're expecting. It's a pretty great book in its own right, though, so – especially if you're looking for something a bit weightier after following Daimbert's adventures – I encourage you to give this well-written, innovative offering a try.
As for me? I'm off to eat ice cream.