08 September 2010

DNF: The Fool's Tale by Nicole Galland

The Fool’s Tale At the end of the twelfth century, Wales is a collection of disparate territories, none of them smaller than the little kingdom of Maelienydd. In the interests of security, Maelgwyn of Maelienydd agreees to a match with Isabel, who is not only English but one of the powerful Mortimer family. Although he is content enough with Isabel, Maelgwyn has good reason to hate the Mortimers. So too does his oldest friend Gwirion, who has naturally gravitated to a position at court akin to that of a fool, and who has no qualms about making his animosity felt.

Well, I can’t say Marg didn’t warn me....

I actually might have been able to read the whole thing if I could have found sufficient determination. But I decided I have better things to do with my library card than renew a book in order to keep crawling through it at the rate of 25 pages a night. I couldn’t seem to stop my mind wandering all over the place as soon as I had the book open.

I’m not sure precisely what was wrong with it (the book, that is, not my mind!). The characters just failed to grab me, and Gwirion’s antics failed to amuse me. And when I skipped ahead to see if it improved later, I discovered it to be far more fictional than historical. Galland’s style worked much better in Revenge of the Rose, where the European realm in question remained unnamed and presumably fictional. Mixed with actual people and places, it clashes.

This was supposed to be part of the Historical Fiction Challenge, but since I didn’t fix a list at the start I feel it would be cheating to use a book I didn’t finish. Good thing I’m off to the library tomorrow to hunt for a substitute ... or two :-) Pages read: 87 of 519


  1. Yep! I warned you. Terrible book! lol

  2. I bow to your superior wisdom!


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Header image shows detail of A Young Girl Reading by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, c. 1776