Book thoughts: The Shadow Master by Craig Cormick

the shadow master coverThe Shadow Master

Author: Craig Cormick

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Angry Robot

Available now

Note: this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley

Blurb:

Description

In a land riven with plague, inside the infamous Walled City, two families vie for control: the Medicis with their genius inventor Leonardo; the Lorraines with Galileo, the most brilliant alchemist of his generation.

And when two star-crossed lovers, one from either house, threaten the status quo, a third, shadowy power – one that forever seems a step ahead of all of the familial warring – plots and schemes, and bides its time, ready for the moment to attack…

A story of alternative history, love and conflict, madness and magic!
Assassination; ancient, impossible machines; torture and infamy – just another typical day in paradise.

My thoughts:

This book has an interesting premise: it’s a Romeo and Juliet retelling, but the Romeo and Juliet characters are not the main characters. It also has an interesting “what if:” what if Galileo and Leonardo da Vinci, arguably two of the most brilliant people who’ve ever lived, lived in the same time period…and were rivals?

I know, right? It’s a really interesting premise. The book is a fantasy, but has an historical feel to it — the families here are not the Capulets and the Montagues but are instead the Medicis and the Lorraines. It still has a medieval Italian feel to it, in keeping with the Romeo and Juliet story.

I thought I would like it. Unfortunately, I didn’t.

Ultimately, I just couldn’t get into it. Perhaps it was the author’s writing style — there’s nothing wrong or bad about it; it’s just not a style that I can get into.

So, unfortunately, I don’t have a full review for you, because I had to DNF the book. I tried for months to read it, and I kept picking it up, only to put it back down. In the end I had to concede that this book just wasn’t for me.

That being said, I still urge you to give it a try. It may not have worked for me, but it may work for you.

char

I'm Canadian, which according to movies and TV means I'm part of the group that's almost always wiped out during the apocalypse. I’ve watched too much Star Trek and Stargate over the years and spend too much time at my computer. Now, I'm waiting for the arrival of (and human enslavement by) the Borg or the Goa'uld. That is, if my computer doesn’t swallow me first.

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