Top critical review
2 people found this helpful
on March 30, 2005
This book is decent, but it's hard to read at times, because it is extremely repetitive. Turtledove feels like if he doesn't remind you of something every five pages, you're going to forget. The most commonly repeated theme is that Gerin the Fox is so very, very clever, and this is reinforced by other characters constantly saying, "Gee Gerin, you're one clever guy." Every character is treated this way - they all have one character type, and the author refers to this whenever he possibly can. One character likes wine. One character always does what's obvious. Other characters don't like one another. If he would cut out the repetition the book would be half as long and twice as good.
On a similar vein, way too much of the narration and dialogue consists of sarcastic or ironic statements that the other characters are too dumb to catch on to. The author tries really hard to make sure you understand that King Gerin is so much more clever than the other dolts in his world, but he (Turtledove) really needs to give the reader more credit and allow them to figure some things out for themselves.
All in all, the story isn't bad, but it's nothing special either. It seemed like the other Gerin the Fox books were better, but maybe Turtledove's style has just grown stale for me as I've read more of his stuff.