Saturday, December 22, 2012

Book Four of Merlin’s Decedents: Guardians of the Promise by Irene Radford

Guardian of the Promise
I received this eBook free from the LibraryThings early reviewer program.  This is the fourth book in a series of novels focusing on the mythical bloodline of Merlin. As this was the fourth book, I decided when I received it that I would find and download the first three in the series.  I hate coming in to the middle of a series.  I have already posted my reviews of the prior three books.  This story is set about 13 years after “Guardian of the Vision,” which places the story in the 16th century, it is about the children of Griffin and Donovan Kirkwood, whom were the protagonists of “Guardian of the Vision.” The main protagonist is Deidre (Dee) Kirkwood the illegitimate daughter of Griffin Kirkwood and Roanna Douglas.  Unlike the prior books in this series, to know what is happening, the reader really does need to read at least the third book if not the entire series first.  In this installment Elizabeth still rules and England is plagued by werewolves.  There is confusion as to who will be the next Pendragon, Dee or one of her Cousins Hal (whom Dee is in love with) or her other cousin Betsy (who is insane).  This book spans a 16 year period and we see Dee, Hal and Betsy grow from pre-teens to adults.  The Antagonist is Meneur de Loups more commonly known as El Lobison and his pet Werewolf Yassmine.
Many of the characters from “Guardian of the Vision” return in this book, so it was nice to know the backstory, although I suppose maybe if I hadn’t read the earlier novels this one wouldn’t have seemed so tedious.  This book took me 2 tries and 4 months to read, I was just unable to focus on the story and had to take copious notes to not forget what happened from one chapter to the next.  I think Radford made the same mistake in this book as she did in “Guardian of the Vision,” instead of focusing on and developing one character she spread herself to thin developing multiple characters.  Radford had Dees storyline, Hal’s storyline, Betsy’s storyline, Donavan’s Storyline and Yassmine’s storyline.  It was too much.  I was unable to connect to any of the characters, they were all too shallow.  What I really liked about the first two books in the series (which focused on a single protagonist) was that Radford went deeply into the characters, I connected to them.  These last two books the characters are like shadows, an outline of what they could be with not enough detail to really see them.  Also Radford dwelled too much on the history and not enough on the story.  I like having historical facts being part of the story, but if I want to read only historical events and details I’ll pick up a history book.
Overall I give this book a 1 star.  I have also received the fifth installment in this series through the LibraryThing early reviewer program, but I am not looking forward to reading it.  I’m hoping Radford goes back to her writing style of the first two books, but I wouldn’t place money on it.

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