Friday, March 17, 2006

2 Reviews

Earth Song

Unlike the others in the Song series, I enjoyed this one thoroughly. Not a keeper, but it worked for me. The characterization was more realistic, thus less extreme than the other Coulters I've read. I like Ms. Coulter's voice & style & am always drawn to her novels. However, 90% of the time I have issues with her characters.

Phillipa de Beauchamp tends to act first and suffer the consequences. Thus when she overhears a private conversation she flees. After wading through the moat & then diving into raw cotton bales wet. EEWWW! Very memorable though & effectively details what type of person she is.

Dienwald de Fortenberry is a semi literate robber baron who lives in poverty. Philippa ends up in his domain due to her flight from her home. Desperate & determined to hide, she makes herself indispensible to Dienwald. He decides he might like to keep her. They spend much of the book verbally needling & poking at each other, although when the chips are down each knows they can depend on the other.

Their relationship is refreshing because Dienwald is gentle & honorable with Philippa, despite her sudden appearance in his domain & apparent poverty. Philippa has been well trained in her duties & is honest to a fault. She sees the best parts in Dienwald & learns to adjust to his foibles. Philippa is quick witted, smart & determined. And jealous of Dienwald's emotional attachment of Kassia (from Firesong).

I enjoyed this book quite a lot. Dienwald & Philippa are funny together. Coulter builds up the sexual tension very nicely.

Secret Song

Daria has grown up under the thumb of her physically & emotionally abusive uncle. Her mother is a widow who lives with the uncle also. Daria is kidnapped by her uncle's enemy while on her way to her betrothal & wedding. The uncle hires Roland de Tournay to rescue Daria. Which he manages to do. While fleeing her captor, they fall in love. She is recaptured & imprisoned again. Roland rescues her. Again.

I have serious characterization problems with this novel. In addition there are a few too many improbable coincidences in the plot. Roland is cruel, dismissive, emotionally unavailable & lacking compassion. Daria is quick thinking & a good actress, but too willing to forgive Roland- too close to doormat territory for sucha likeable woman.

I did read this all the way through, although it was very painful & heartwrenching at times. Not in a good way either. Often I like tearjerkers, but this novel is more a study of endurance & survival rather than a love story.


Kristie (J) said...

I read these years ago and Earth Song was my favourite. I don't think they would stand up for me today though - kind of like Julie Garwood's historicals. There are some books I just have the sense to leave in the past :(

Anne E. said...

Posted a reply on my blog to your post about the Maymont bears.

Tara Marie said...

I have to agree with both of these reviews, it's been a long time since I've read them, but didn't Graelem turn into a pussy cat by the end of Secret Song?

Bookwormom said...

Kristie- I agree with you about not revisitiing old favorites, I think it's too painful. I've changed alot but the favorites are stuck in time.

Tara- Graelam has indeed changed signifigantly for the better by this book. I was surprised & wished Coulter had written his book (Firesong) closer to the person he became instead of asking us to believe he made a 180 degree change after he & Kassia finally make peace/cave in.