The story is set in England during the 12th century, a time when cathedral building was truly an art. It was also a time when construction techniques were just beginning to modernize, with several design and style changes becoming available for the first time. The author certainly did his homework on this one, using technical language and building terms throughout the book – but not in such a way that someone not familiar with building won’t understand.
Needless to say, there is a ton of intrigue and plot twists throughout, and there were several times in the book when I wished one of the antagonists would receive the justice they were due, only to see them win out again. And boy, do the good guys suffer in this book. Time and time again they face a considerable setback, one that made me wonder if their part in the story was complete, and another ‘hero’ would be introduced to take on the fight. Again, I don’t want to give away too much, but I will say that I was surprised to see who the final heroes of the book turned out to be.
There was one part about the book that I was not happy with. There are some very descriptive sexual encounters that I simply couldn’t read, some of them fairly violent in nature. Call me a prude if you want to, but I’m just not comfortable with that type of writing, and I found myself having to skip over parts. In my opinion, the story would have been just as enjoyable without them included. Outside of that, everything else about the book was very well done. I do intend to read more of Ken’s work, especially some of his earlier books.
I wish I could have given this book the five star rating that the story deserves, but there are a few reasons why I don't feel I can grant that. The first issue is one that I find with a lot of self-published authors. They either self-edit (which is a HUGE mistake), or they hire someone to edit the manuscript who doesn't have the qualifications, or just does a shoddy job. This book was definitely in need of at least one more round of edits. There are grammatical errors throughout the book, with multiple occurrences in every chapter. Though I was able to figure out what the author meant to say for most of them, they were still extremely distracting. (I do need to put in a disclaimer here - my own books have made it to the first print run with still a few errors that needed to be corrected. And that's after five or six rounds of edits! It really is a hard job to catch them all. This book just had more than I normally see.)
Next, I felt that some of the primary characters were a bit awkward in their actions and dialogue. They just didn't feel like they were acting according to the role that they had in the story. Again, this is just my opinion, and I may be in the minority here. However, I do not feel that these inconsistencies or awkward behaviors drew my attention from wanting to continue reading the story. The storyline is simply that good. Finally, the way every characters name ended with a similar sounding suffix became monotonous and dull after a bit, but that part was easy to look over as I continued to read.
Overall I was enthralled with the reading and finished this book quicker than I had first anticipated. (It is a fairly large book for a YA Fantasy novel). I am looking forward to the release of the 2nd book in this series.
The final step in creating change within your life, is that of acceptance. As long as there is any resistance at all, we will delay or even prevent the change. Even the slightest resistance can prolong our suffering.
So, now you’ve had an experience that you would consider important, and you’ve taken the time to understand what it meant and how it affected your views of life. That’s it, right? If only it was that simple. Now comes the hard part – work.
Yesterday I talked about Experience, the first phase in the process of change. Today, I wanted to share about Understanding, which is the second phase. This is the phase when we first notice something different, a situation or encounter catches our attention.