Goodreads gives you the opportunity to copy your book review to your blog. I’ve never done it before, so I decided to try it out. Basically you just copy & paste the html—and it comes out looking like crap on WordPress.
I spent quite a lot of time trying to reformat the damn review, but decided instead to just show it as it comes out. As you see (after the break) the spacing is wonky, the text size is inconsistent. And honestly, I’m too afraid to to even try one of the links. Hell, the GR “spoiler” tag doesn’t even work here, although it dares to show itself. What a mess!
But I’ll leave it as it is for now, because, 1) I’m lazy, and 2) I’ll likely be changing my theme soon, and it’ll all look different again. Maybe even worse.
(Incidentally, the book is about the folly that was the Crimean War, with a [literal] demonic twist. I loved it.)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Devil Lancer: or,
Where The Charge of the Light Brigade meets Supernatural
Wow! What an excellent book! Astrid Amara did some serious research and brought it all to horribly vivid life. I say horrible, because the conditions endured by the soldiers (and their horses) were terrible; you felt their misery. Adding to the agony, the leadership was atrocious. Not just the fictional characters, but the real historical generals were completely inept and out of tune with the needs of their soldiers. (Perhaps that’s why you can no longer buy a commission.)
Elliot Parrish was a wonderful character, the epitome of the gentleman officer, tough when he needed to be, relaxed and joking when not, always charming, and always caring.
Elliott had a good feeling about him, despite what Chisholm’s wife might say. Then again, Elliott’s good feelings toward men had gotten him in plenty of hot water in the past.
A natural leader, soldiers gathered at his tent to share their meager meals, and the army banter was simultaneously humorous and serious, debating such things as the uselessness of lances and the impracticality of rifles.
The author really got the feel and rhythm of the military right. As well as the horror of war. Yet even with such an awful subject, she managed to inject humor.
“You all right?” Elliott whispered.
Henry cracked an eye. “Taking a nap. Wake me when he commits treason.”
[Elliot] stepped from his tent and discovered that, once again, his horse Whisky had masterminded an escape, using his teeth to untie the knot securing him to the picket, and broke free in the middle of the night.
However, the ending bothered me. Unlike the fabulous K.J. Charles, I was grateful for the epilogue. Had we not had it, all sorts of (more) awful things could have befallen our heroes.. (view spoiler)[I felt so sorry for Elliot. He was such a good man, such a great officer, such a charming character, to have him court-martialed and ostracized. In my mind, I’m going to presume his family knows he didn’t commit treason, that his circumstances were all due to a superior officer’s conceit. (hide spoiler)]
This is the second book I’ve read by Astrid Amara, and I’m anxious to read more. Her writing is excellent, her story-telling is compelling, and her world-building highly enjoyable.
Oops. I forgot to mention I read this for the TBR Knockout Challenge. Now I have to find another book to take its place in the 6×6 grid. Yippee! (Really!)