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Review: The Ruins of Lace by Iris Anthony

The Ruins of Lace by Iris Anthony

Egalley thanks to Sourcebooks

Synopsis from Goodreads
Lace is a thing like hope.
It is beauty; it is grace.
It was never meant to destroy so many lives .

The mad passion for forbidden lace has infiltrated France,
pulling soldier and courtier alike into its web. For those who want the best, Flemish lace is the only choice, an exquisite perfection of thread and air. For those who want something they don’t have, Flemish lace can buy almost anything––or anyone.

For Lisette, lace begins her downfall, and the only way to atone for her sins is to outwit the noble who now demands the impossible. To fail means certain destruction. But for Katharina, lace is her salvation. It is who she is; it is what she does. If she cannot make this stunning tempest of threads, a dreaded fate awaits.

The most lucrative contraband in Europe, with its intricate patterns and ephemeral hope, threatens to cost them everything. Lace may be the deliverance for which they all pray...or it may bring the ruin and imprisonment they all fear.

 Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository US/UK


* * *
 An intricate and confusing hell of a mess just like lace gone wrong. There is some sort of pensive beauty in this novel and very dramatic flourishes in the end (you either die or get rich!), however that synopsis you've just read? It's nowhere near the real thing.

First of all there is an overabundance of POV's in this book!

Lisette - is a daughter of an impoverished aristocrat, Alexandre is an orphan and his ward, the count is a villain as De Grotte as well, Katharina is a lacemaker and there is also her sister who tries to set her free; Denis is a soldier and Chiat is a smuggler's dog.

Yep, there is dog's POV as well. So, eight characters in total unless I forgot someone. It's too much, folks. The pace crawls, the characters stagnate and muse about their life choices instead of acting. It was frustrating. It took me 15 days to get through the first half of the book and another few hours to read the second half. 

I did like how Iris Anthony played with words and images, I also appreciate historical value of this book because the topic itself is pretty unknown to the general public, but overall it was an underwhelming read.

* * *
Честно говоря, книга эта меня разочаровала. Во-первых, синопсис никак не отражает происходящее в книге. Куча главных персонажей от лиц которых ведётся повествование: Лизетт - дочка обедневшего гасконского дворянина, Александр - сирота под попечительством отца Лизетт, Граф - полусумасшедший злодей, шантажирующий упомянутую выше семью, чтобы они достали для него кружево, Де Гротт -  фламандский контрабандист, Катарина - кружевница, её сестра, пытающаяся вызволить Катарину из монастыря, где та работает, Дени - солдат и даже Чиат - собака контрабандиста.

Ага, нам как раз не хватало глав с точки зрения собаки.

Как и следует ожидать от этой весёлой компании - книга продвигается с мучительной медлительностью и заканчивается также драматично как и индийское кино - герои либо умирают либо неожиданно богатеют и обретают потерянных родственников. Есть какая-то созерцательная, тихая красота в этой книге, к тому же сама тема малоизвестна и очень интересна, хотя и неудачно всё так оказалось написано. Читать чисто ради исторической ценности.


Blodeuedd said...

Dunno about the many pOVs, but the rest sounds just lovely :D

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Wow, I've read books with multiple POVs that work well, but this sounds like they are over done. Thanks!

Christina said...

Ugh, this does not sound like my thing. I eyed it several times at BEA, but ended up passing it by each time.

I love dogs, but a canine POV mixed in with the others sounds like a bad plan.

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