I had high hopes for Heartwood. I was looking forward to unforgettable characters, epic quests and political intrigue. Instead, I got a bunch of trotted-out tropes and dense, slow-going narrative style.
Lord Chonrad of Barle arrives at Heartwood to participate in peace talks that are supposed to improve relations between the different ethnicities in Anguis. Instead, a bunch of water knights come up from the ground and wage a bloody battle against the peace talk participants, stealing the heart of the Arbor, Heartwood’s holy tree, in the process. A scholar finds a scroll that calls into question the characters’ previously held beliefs, and the knights who defend Heartwood embark on an epic quest to retrieve the heart of the Arbor.
Freya Robertson’s style was Biblical, plodding and excessive, and the plot seemed to take forever to get under way. There were too many characters with horrendous names (Grimbeald? Fionnghuala?) to keep track of in a short amount of time, and none were remarkable enough to catch my interest. The army of characters and far-reaching plot were packed too tightly into five hundred plus pages. It was a broad, epic story with seemingly not enough time to tell it.
|Page Count||528 pages|
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|Category||Science Fiction & Fantasy|