book reviews by Althea

The Duke’s Ballad – Andre Norton *

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I feel bad about giving this book one star, but I’ve decided not to finish it. That very rarely happens. But… it’s been over a week, I’m over half-way through, and I keep picking up other books instead.
I don’t find myself even minutely caring what happens to any of the characters. I can barely picture who the characters are; they’re so bland and generic.
What happened? I used to love the Witch World series! I loved Andre Norton in general.
In part, it’s that 25 years have passed. In a larger part, I believe, it’s that this book isn’t by Andre Norton at all.

Slightly funny: The day I started reading this book, the guy was looking over my shoulder. It might have been the first page: “Silly child. You won’t be able to move until I release you from my spell… The captive gasped defiantly, and Kirion snickered… At some stage in the proceedings, the girl lost consciousness.”
He said, “Wow, that is SO badly written. Who is that by?”
I said, “some lady from New Zealand.”
He said, “Are there sheep?”
I said, “No, this is a fantasy book.”
The sheep showed up, I believe, on page 54. It was an off-screen appearance, but still….

Anyway, there’s a girl, she’s secretly a witch, and she must endeavour to stop her evil brother, with the help of her nice brother.
I don’t know if she succeeds or not, but it seems likely that she will.


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