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All Fall Down (Tales of the Latter Kingdoms Book 2) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 357 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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When the plague hit, it was terrible to suffer through the losses of life...while learning about the various manifestations of the disease. Hearing another favorite character had the cough and difficulties breathing became as difficult for me to bear as it was for Merys. Learning about lancing the bulbous plague boil and draining the poison was interesting.
The plight of citizens captured by slave traders, and their possible outcomes presented a story line of interest that threaded through the entire book. The obvious attraction between Mistress Merys and Lord Shaine was a bit of extra intrigue that kept me guessing throughout this story.
Recommend for anyone who enjoys an intriguing twist on reality.
The author tells us that Merys loves Lord Shain, I never saw any passion in their interactions. Based on the scenes between the hero and the heroine, she could just have been delusional about the whole thing. It seemed that the author wanted a romance, so she pushed her characters into one, but I never believed it.
The book was a pleasant read, better written than most independently published books - just don't expect much of a romance.
First the cons:
1) I did not like that the AU had gone to such trouble creating an alternate and non- modern world and yet chosen to make modern medical practice such central part of the storyline. It would have been much better if Pope had been more original both as to practice and nature of disease.
2) The story does drag a bit in the second half, and I agree with other reviewers that Merys seems to do little more than they did in the Middle Ages in spite of more advanced training and concepts. Was hoping until the very end that it might turn out to be something unexpected that would be the cure.
3) Her characters could have been slightly more fleshed out and given a little more edge. So could the ending which seems rather abrupt. Too little time on the fate of land and people.
1) The story was well written, stand alone, enjoyable.
2) I really liked that the AU seemed to raise the question of slavery in a less than black and white manner. Especially considering that for most of human existance slavery was commonplace, and despite a great deal of misery many slaves also made new and happy lives for themselves. It is nice that perhaps in fiction we can explore themes that question to what extent freedom equates happiness and what is freedom. The only issue I have is that I felt at times Pope chickened out a little and was too willing give the standard response. But all credit to her for even raising an issue most AUs wouldn't bother with.
3) The female protagonist is neither TSTL, stridently annoying, nor any of those other characteristics that normally beset female heroines in fiction. If anything she is a bit too perfect, the too dedicated healer. And that is what I meant in my con above. Would have been nice to have seen misjudgement, temper and need to apologize, that would have shown greater depth of character.
All in all I give the book 3.5 stars, but round it up as I enjoyed it till the very end despite its flaws, and would not hesitate to read more by the same AU.
There is also the fact that some of the facts with the plague are a little un-researched to put it nicely. To encourage a suspension of disbelief the author needs to have a certain reality about the make-believe world. Yet there is something likable all the same but for me not enough to read more in a hurry.