Read A Princess of Roumania by Paul Park Online

a-princess-of-roumania

This is a truly magical tale, full of strangeness, terrors and wonders. Many girls daydream that they are really a princess adopted by commoners. In the case of teenager Miranda Popescu, this is literally true. Because she is at the fulcrum of a deadly political battle between conjurers in an alternate world where "Roumania" is a leading European power, Miranda was hiddenThis is a truly magical tale, full of strangeness, terrors and wonders. Many girls daydream that they are really a princess adopted by commoners. In the case of teenager Miranda Popescu, this is literally true. Because she is at the fulcrum of a deadly political battle between conjurers in an alternate world where "Roumania" is a leading European power, Miranda was hidden by her aunt in our world, where she was adopted and raised in a quiet Massachusetts college town. The narrative is split between our world and the people in Roumania working to protect or to capture Miranda: her Aunt Aegypta Schenck versus the mad Baroness Ceaucescu in Bucharest, and the sinister alchemist, the Elector of Ratisbon, who holds her true mother prisoner in Germany. This is the story of how Miranda -- with her two best friends, Peter and Andromeda -- is brought back to her home reality. Each of them is changed in the process and all will have much to learn about their true identities and the strange world they find themselves in.This story is a triumph of contemporary fantasy....

Title : A Princess of Roumania
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780765349507
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 480 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Princess of Roumania Reviews

  • Cristin
    2018-12-11 00:11

    I was desperate for a book...My desperation lead me to this dreadful chunk. The first five pages were actually interesting. There was a whisper of promise that mocked me...and then this book became a train wreck. There were no survivors.

  • reed
    2018-11-30 01:01

    Ok, I'm going to try not to rave too much about this book, but it's SO GOOD! It sounds like it's going to be standard issue fantasy -- an adopted girl in a small town starts having weird stuff happen around her and discovers that she is a princess who is destined to fight evil in a magic world. But everyone in this book acts like a real person, not a fantasy trope. The 'evil' characters don't think they're evil. The heroine is more concerned with her relationship with her parents than fulfilling her destiny. Her sidekicks have their own priorities. Everybody makes mistakes, they have regrets, they change their plans, they have weird obsessions, they act on whims and faulty information. So many books that try to subvert or avoid tropes end up being stiff, boring, and self-conscious, but this one is both compelling and realistic. I can't wait to read the rest of the series.

  • Michael
    2018-11-25 05:03

    Although I can see why this book has such a low rating, it certainly doesn't deserve it. If I came into it with a lot of expectations (since the publishers marketed it as though it were some kind of romantic YA fantasy), I'd rate it low too. It's basically a 400+-page prelude to the next book. Half of the narrative doesn't involve the main characters. The pace is positively glacial. However, the premise and the world of the novel (an alternate Romania) are both really fascinating and they kept the downsides from being huge deterrents. Instead of romantic, the story is grubby and deceptive. It also makes me want to go back and read the other two books in the Celestis trilogy. Well, the whole trilogy really.So ignore that low rating, it's worth it.

  • Shannon
    2018-11-14 07:01

    I actually did not finish this book. I stopped at page 243. I no longer cared enough to spend any more time reading it when I have so many other books to try or great ones to reread. I would give it one star, but I actually would like to know what happens in the end. I just don't want to have to do the work to get there.

  • Steve
    2018-12-06 03:05

    I'm mystified by all of the low ratings on this one. One of the better fantasy books I've read in some time. In fact, the first 3 of the series are quite good. Why Park extended this to 4 books is beyond me. The final book really didn't work for me, which kind of sucks after you invested so much time in the series. I think Park rushed these books, and should have given each of them the layering and care that I found in the first book (and, arguably, the first 3). It could have been one of the great fantasy series of all time. Still, I do want to re-read the last book in hope that I missed something. Baroness Nicola Ceaucescu is one of the more fascinating (and complex) fantasy villains that I've ever run across. (The 5 star rating is for the first book.)

  • Donna
    2018-12-06 04:55

    The basic idea for this book is a good one. A regular girl is drawn into an alternate world, and learns that she is a princess and that our world was an elaborate fiction created to hide her. The setting is fantastic, an alternate reality with a drastically different political situation, less technological advancement, and an inexplicable magical system.It starts out painfully slow, and there are plenty of other parts where the pacing feels off. The concept of the book is "girl gets transported to an alternate reality," but the first fifth of the novel is set in the normal world. Much of that is drama that isn't really relevant to the plot and doesn't even give us that much of an handle on Miranda.Things pick up for awhile after Miranda and her mysteriously changed friends leave our world behind. But after a quick, desperate struggle, she ends up drifting through encounters with soldiers, hunters, spirits, and savages, most of whom are barely introduced and entirely unexplained before they either die or run like hell after realizing that being involved in this plot is seriously unhealthy. Very little happens.The bad guys in Roumania have a more interesting story and are better characterized than the heroine and her friends, but their stories are also occasionally muddy.Park barely touches on how the magic in the world works. It's a key feature of the plot, but I still have no real concept of it's capabilities or limitations. I assume this was intentional, but as a fantasy reader it's very disorienting to not have any understanding of the system's rules. Why can one character cause disease and create illusions half a world away when he can't use it to further his more local goals? Since there's no framework to explain this, the magic seems more like a plot device than a real part of the setting.The book is written in an interesting style. At times it goes into dreamy prose that, while it has some enchanting moments, is mostly just frustrating. Some of the viewpoint changes are so jarring that it can take several paragraphs to realize that you've jumped between characters.Good idea, poor execution. I'll probably read the next one just to see what happens to the best of the villains, but maybe Miranda will get more interesting.

  • Myridian
    2018-12-11 22:52

    This is a coming of age story about a young woman who discovers that, in addition to being an orphan, she is also from another dimension. In fact the most interesting quirk of the novel is the way that Park makes our world the one that isn't real (very Matrixesque). He also spends a significant portion of the book inside the heads of the "villains," increasing our sympathy for them and changing the feel of the conflict between them and our heroine and her friends. Despite all the accolades that have been lavished on this novel, I found myself bored in a number of places. Firstly, while the characters are somewhat compelling, they also feel too contrived (without being cool) to grip me. Secondly, the first five chapters of the books are confusing. Park is bumping around between dimensions without drawing the connections between the story lines and characters that would make their stories understandable. I think he was going for the, "wow, this is a mystery, let's keep reading," effect, but he just created frustration. Thirdly, while I appreciated complexity and interest of the villains, it took away time from understanding the heroine and made her less compelling. In addition the transitions between the sections with the heroine and the sections with others were often abrupt and jarring and interfered with the flow of the story. All in all, while this is an interesting universe with fairly interesting characters, the style of the story was such that I'm not sure I will pick up the sequel.

  • Amanda
    2018-12-14 05:59

    this series is actually very good, it's not some romance type fantasy filled with teenage angst. I really hate that genre(sorry, romance lovers) I don't think he should have named the first book this though, because that's what i thought it was from the title and the cover pic. Honestly, I think it got such low reviews on here because many of the people who picked it up to read thought they were picking up a romance/fantasy and it is in now way that. It is definitely not a princessy (like the title says),cookie cutter fantasy. I got it for 10 cents at a lawnsale and decided to try it or i never would have ever got this book.It is set in an alternate world that is very much like ours except that Roumania is a world power, America is still largely unexplored and some other differences that i don't remember cause i read it awhile ago. The book deals largely with the political factions of Russia and Roumania. There are no elves or wizards- the characters are all real people. It jumps around to dif. POV's and has some great ideas. It is extremely well-written and original. I was just going through my books, saw this and had to tell people what an excellent book i thought it was. so good that i went out and got the rest of the books as soon as i could. I even bought the final 2 books new as they were coming out and i hardly ever buy new books

  • Sabine
    2018-12-01 06:04

    First let me be clear that my rating books has changed since I first joined good reads. It is now only those books that I would read again and again or how a powerful impact in my life that will get five stars. 3 is a book I liked, but probably not read again. This book falls somewhere between a two and a three. There were parts of it that I loved. When it comes to the imagination of the author I was truly blown away but his inventiveness and story ideas. But by the time I had 100 pages left I found myself flipping often to the last page to see how much more I had to sit through. Besides one awkward scene at the beginning I was really enjoying it. Although I found myself oddly enough enjoying the parts about the bad guys better, and I think that is because he really did great character development there, while our main "Princess" and her friends just bothered me. And if you are expecting a love story, don't. Hinted at way to many times and then left with no real conclusion. I began to think of this book as I do some of the American Idol top 12. Obviously they can sign, just as obviously this author could write and invent a great fantasy world, but sometimes it just grates on you. Read it prepared for a sequel, which I probably will read because I still hope for the characters.

  • Woodge
    2018-11-18 04:15

    This is the first book in a new trilogy and the title character is a young woman named Miranda Popescu, a girl in her teens living in western Massachusetts. But all that's about to change as she soon learns that she's a princess from an alternate world where Roumania is one of Europe's power players in the 19th century. She and two of her friends find themselves back in this world and somewhat changed in the process. There's political intrigue and interesting characters doing weird things. There's conjurers, spirit animals, simulacrums masquerading as real people, and other oddness. It all makes for a curiously bizarre yet sometimes confusing tale. But ultimately you start piecing together the confusing elements and it's an enjoyable book. Looking forward to continuing this trilogy. (Also, I've read this author before and he's got a unique imagination.)

  • Debbie
    2018-11-26 05:18

    It took me a while to get into this book. I had received a free advance copy of the mass market copy of this book at a SF convention and with a lack of anything to do during some downtime, started reading. Honestly, the only reason I finished the first one hundred pages was because someone I knew was really enjoying it. After the hundred-page mark, the story picked up and I didn't tend notice the somewhat verbose writing style as much. I don't think I'll pick up the sequel, though. This book is probably going to be end up in my library donations box. I enjoyed the last half but it wasn't very memorable.

  • sarah t
    2018-11-14 05:05

    I could barely make myself finish this book. It was a gift from my pop, who bought it based on a newspaper review suggesting that this book was like Harry Potter. Yikes. It was not like Harry Potter - it was not easy to read, or funny, or good, or anthing. It was confusing - I felt like whole chapters must have been missing because I couldn't always follow the plot. Or else maybe I was such a sloppy reader that I really missed whole major sequences. I'm not sure, but man, don't read this.

  • Leigh
    2018-11-22 05:08

    Hard to get into. Too many characters with too little invested in them, so I spent a lot of time trying to figure out who was working for whom. It's an intriguing idea, but tries to hard to be highbrow and fails at making itself understandable enough to be enjoyable.

  • Moira
    2018-12-08 04:02

    Good premise for the story - I love a good alternate universe! Unfortunately, the book was very hard to follow and I couldn't care less about any of the characters. I didn't bother reading the other books in the series. Maybe I'm too old to be reading about disaffected teenagers........

  • Terry
    2018-11-19 06:13

    About 120 pages into this book, the plot is still not very compelling and the characters are still fuzzy. After 163 pages I gave up, deciding that I have too many enticing books on my to-be-read shelf to waste my time with characters I don't like.

  • Tony
    2018-11-13 04:02

    Can't recall where I heard about this book, or what I heard that was compelling enough for me to seek it out. In any event, I did so, and by about halfway through, I strongly considered not finishing it. Had I realized it was the first in a quartet, I definitely would have stopped, because I basically slogged through 180 pages just to see how it would end, and it's basically a setup for future books.The premise is that there's an adopted teenage girl in present-day Massachusetts who turns out to be the hidden princess of Roumania (aka Romania), or rather, the Roumanian Empire of an alternate 19th-century world in which England has sunk beneath the waves, and there is some kind of German plot to absorb Romania. The first bit of the book ably establishes the heroine and her two friends, before switching to this alternate world where various forces are seeking her.The book's main problem is that much is made of the girl's importance, but it's awfully unclear why she's important, other than some kind of link to a legend. Similarly, the various machinations to find her feel completely ungrounded, and the geopolitical arrangements of this alternate world are confusing at best. It often has the feel of a book that's the second in a series and requires full and complete background from the first book -- but this is the first book, so it doesn't have that excuse.As atmospheric as the book can be, and despite some compelling scenes here and there, the characters just weren't fleshed out enough for me to care -- especially their motivations. All in all, this was a dud for me -- although I could see that if you were committed to the whole series, it might be fine in that context.

  • Melyssa
    2018-12-01 00:10

    I started reading this once and ended up putting it down. I just tried it again because the premise is an interesting one. Sadly, this time around I had to force myself to finish it.This is a very frustrating book. First of all (major pet peeve here) there is nothing anywhere on my copy that indicates it is the first of a series. Not until you reach the end where nothing is resolved and there is a preview of the next book do you get that information. I tend to buy full series all at once rather than one book at a time, so if I had known that it was the first of a series I would have waited and gotten them all at once. It is a personal quirk that I can't really stand cliffhangers.The second reason this book is frustrating is because it meanders meaninglessly for the vast majority of the pages. I am truly disappointed that the Tor editors let this go through as it is, because approximately 75% of the book could have been trimmed and still not made any difference to the story. Characters don't grow or change, plotlines are ridiculously convoluted, and there is really very little anywhere in the book that makes you care about any of the main characters. All in all, I honestly could not recommend this book to anyone. I have absolutely no interest in picking up the rest of the series because I don't really care about the characters or the people around them.

  • Annie
    2018-11-25 00:03

    I wanted to like this book more than I actually did. It is an interesting concept, a fascinating world, and beautifully written. However, the main character, Miranda, was a disappointment. She does nothing to influence her own fate. She follows along, going where she is pulled and tugged. Near the end, when she does make a somewhat important decision, it seems half-hearted. I found the other characters more interesting, more motivated, and more actionable. Perhaps I'll read the other books in the series, but I'm not feeling an overwhelming urge to read the sequel, even though this book ends with so much left to be resolved.

  • Lana
    2018-11-27 23:18

    Many people I know really love this book, people who's taste in books I usually like, so I wish I liked this also. But the truth is, I'm still not sure what I read (or why I read it). I never got it - I never distinguished the plot, or characters. I just never understood what I was reading. Which is pretty unusual for me.

  • Simon Mcleish
    2018-12-11 06:15

    Originally published on my blog here in April 2007.One author who is mentioned several times in the quotations printed on the back of A Princess of Roumania is Philip Pullman. Now, anyone who has read my reviews of the His Dark Materials trilogy will know that Pullman is an author I think massively overrated, and so I found this somewhat off-putting. The praise I had read for A Princess of Roumania in the end persuaded me to give it a try, and I am glad that I did. While I can understand the comparison to Pullman, Park has more interesting ideas, a more atmospheric setting, and, above all, the ability to write convincing characters; while many consider His Dark Materials a classic, A Princess of Roumania is much more deserving of the label.The story is simple; in fact, it is the ultimate fantasy clich├ę: the lost heir. Park mixes it with alternative universes, also not especially new: hiding the lost heir in our world is something I planned to use in an abandoned novel I began in 1991, among other uses of the idea. The first slightly unusual aspect to A Princess of Roumania is that our world is the fictional one, magically created solely to hide the princess Miranda from her family's enemies. Park's Roumania is a great power in decline, threatened principally by the Germans; her father was wrongfully accused of betraying Roumania to them twenty years earlier, an event which led to the elevation of one of the Roumanian generals as the power behind the throne. The baby Miranda was hidden by her aunt, an adept of magic, with the aid of a pair of books: each describing the history of a world, one real and one fictional; when both books are destroyed, the spell is broken and Miranda is returned to the "real" world. An odd quirk means she's fifteen even though twenty years have passed: this is not explained (though of course future novels in the series may do so) and suggests that the flow of time in magical worlds is different from that in the real world, an idea which goes back to folk stories where people kidnapped by fairies find that after a single night everyone they knew is dead of old age.The pace is slow; the point of the novel being to establish the characters and set the stage for their interactions. Quite a lot does actually happen - it just feels relaxed to read it. Park doesn't quite manage the (surely impossible) task of persuading the reader that his Roumania is more real than the world we live in, but he comes closer than a lot of writers. It is the characters which really excel. This makes Park's work reminiscent in truth of one of the other authors to whom he is compared on the back of A Princess of Roumania, John Crowley, who is one of my favourite authors of all. Involving, rather than exciting, is the order of the day; and A Princess of Roumania is guaranteed a place on my reads of the year.

  • Jenn
    2018-12-13 23:03

    I read this book and also got 1/2 through the next one. I cannot for the life of me tell you what was really going on. I remember and understood bits and pieces and from those, I liked the premise. The plot was just too confusing to really get a sense of what everyone was doing and what their motives were. The story is about a girl who was sent to another dimension to be raised because she was the daughter of royalty that was supposedly killed. Her dimension is one where Roumania is basically all of Europe. She's a weak person. She's put into situations where I'd punch someone but her reaction is to plaster herself against a wall. It gets annoying. People want to kill you; you kill them first. There's the occult with the woman hunting her down to kill her so that she can retain/get more power. There's the loyal servant guy that was actually her friend from the alternate diemnstion but his body is changed and is accompanying her to wherever she's going that's really cryptic and creepy. There's her friend from the alternate dimension who gets turned into a dog by entering her true dimension. It all sounds great but ends up being really muddled. I don't know if it's the author's intent to make you distrust everyone but books like those aren't my scene.The book over all is dark and a little depressing which by itself or maybe paired with a more thought out style would just contribute atmosphere. Like the book is actually written though, it just makes you really want to put it down and not pick it back up. It's supposed to be cerebral in some ways and does kind of come across when talking about the cliche evil woman and her machinations. It gets into the theory behind how she's able to do some of the magic she does. But I think it tries to operate on a higher level than your average book but doesn't make it.2 stars because the idea is there and is intriguing but ultimately falls flat.

  • Sam Kabo Ashwell
    2018-11-20 07:14

    This owes so much to His Dark Materials that it's hard to assess separately.To a great extent it's less satisfying; the characters are less rich, the picturesque, significance-laden artifacts are less significant, the teenage protagonists more generic. The alternate-world Romania features mostly as a variation on Ruritania; there are snatches of culture and language but they never really begin to cohere into a strong setting. The plot moves at a jerk-and-juxtapose, tumbling, pay-attention-or-you'll-get-lost pace that I associate with Diana Wynne Jones, and the story plays the same kind of slippery identity games as DWJ tends to; but in spite of this, it feels as if the plot moves quite slowly, after the manner of the first book of an Interminable SF/F Series. Which it turns out to be, by the final pages.The main triumph of this book is the ambiguous villain Baroness Ceausescu: ruthless but guilt-ridden, resourceful but barely hanging on, a schemer who doesn't know where her schemes are going next. She's a great deal more interesting and attractive than the protagonist Miranda, who is largely a blank. There is a lack of compelling characters in general, which is a failing, because it plainly wants to have a broad and appealing cast. The other thing is that nobody in the book ever seems to really talk; all conversations are shuttered down, bare-bones, a great deal is never said for no real reason.It's quite frustrating, because the book that this wants to be is perceptible, and it's a pretty good book; a delicate web of metamorphoses and poetic motifs, sorceries and descents into the underworld and spirit animals, nastiness and bitter compromise, wendigos and mammoths. But it doesn't come out that way; the elements are all there, but they aren't deeply interwoven enough.

  • Melanti
    2018-12-10 00:02

    Technically, I didn't actually finish this book. I managed to make it to about page 320/370 before realizing that while my eyes had moved over the last few pages, I had no idea what was really in them, nor did I have much of a desire to find out. So, I admitted defeat and just skimmed the rest of the book, reading just those bits that looked interesting. And there was just a couple of those.There are some interesting components to the book. (view spoiler)[For instance, what we think of as the "real" world is just an artificial construct, designed for the sole purpose of keeping the main character safe. And when the heroine (if you can call her that) mentions wanting to return to this world late in the book, she's told that this world is her childhood, and everyone has to leave their childhoods behind sometime. I thought that was very interesting and thought provoking. (hide spoiler)]But... all the characters (Miranda especially) seem flat and nearly emotionless. While Miranda is thinking of her previous home (this world) I didn't really perceive any shock, despair or grief when she realizes this world is gone forever. I do see a little sorrow and maybe some bemusement. But there's nothing of the depth of emotion I would expect from anyone in this situation, let alone a teenager. Here's an example of how her emotions were displayed: "In her warm tent, Miranda lay still until she started to cry. Then she got up, unbuttoned her tent, and went down to the stream to wash." I don't think I have to say more. The villains were more realistic but even they weren't enough to keep me engaged.So, all in all, there were some good ideas here, but poor execution of them.

  • Kate
    2018-11-22 23:12

    I would actually give this a 4.5, but it rounds up to five. It's one of those books where you can't tell until the end how good it's going to be. The basic premise is that the world we live in was actually an elaborate construct used to hide a princess from the people who wanted to capture or kill her. In the "real world," magic works. The cover blurb from the Washington Post Book World says, "Move over Harry Potter and the Wizard of Oz, and make room for a magical princess." That's idiotic. The book actually reminds me more of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy: parallel worlds, spirit animals, alchemy and some very dangerous magic. That's not to say it's derivative; the story is very original.What I liked most was the depth of the characters. Most of them are fully fleshed out and have very believable motivations. For the first half of the book I was rooting for the villainous Baroness Ceausescu much more than for the heroine, Miranda, who starts out a bit insipid. I hope that the sequel will show more of characters like Andromeda, whose mind is left more or less shrouded in mystery (she spends most of the book as a dog).I was surprised to see how poorly this book was reviewed. It's understandable, though, because at first the writing makes it a bit hard to get into. It's written in a very dreamlike, lyrical style; you have to pay attention to every word, or you'll get lost. At times the writing can be a bit pretentious, but I really think it gains strength as it goes along. I had never read Paul Park before, but will definitely be looking for other works by him.Overall, a great read; I'd definitely recommend it for fantasy fans.

  • Janet
    2018-11-16 23:01

    Unfortunately, this book met my low expectations for stories involving ordinary (or supposedly ordinary) people suddenly finding themselves in another world. I was also disappointed by how uninteresting I found the lead character and most of the people around her.When title character Miranda finds herself in the alternate world where she is a fugitive princess, she displays neither fear nor wonder. People are trying to kidnap or kill her, but she seems to feel little more anxiety than she did during the more mundane conflicts she experienced in her normal life. Her two best friends are miraculously changed, but she takes it so much in stride it's hard to believe she's paying attention. The antagonist character, a Baroness, is by far the most lively and intriguing person in the story, but the author doesn't do very well presenting the context of her life or her motivations. There's a complicated historical-political background that I simply lost interest in trying to make sense of. Neither the characters nor their environment are compelling, although I kept feeling like they *should* be, if only the author would pump more life into them.

  • Paula
    2018-12-01 03:14

    Another bookswapping experience, if I recall correctly, this one the first in a series of four books.The basic premise of A Princess of Roumania is that beloved by many books for teens - our protagonist Miranda Popescu, herself a teenager, is not what she seems and is instead really royalty from elsewhere. In addition to this, her two closest friends are not really just her friends but loyal subjects sent to protect her. So far so good, except I found the prose incredibly hard to get into and the character of Miranda so unlikable that frankly I didn't care when she was placed in peril. Which is never a good sign for a standalone book, let alone the first of a series.If you're so inclined, the series continues in The Tourmaline, but I know I won't be continuing after failing to get through this volume without a strong desire to throw it at the wall about a third of the way in...

  • Marie desJardins
    2018-12-05 00:04

    I made it almost halfway through before I gave up. By page 150, I still understood almost nothing about what was going on -- but more problematically, I seriously didn't care. Miranda, the main character, is neither likable, insightful, kind, or heroic. She's downright thoughtless and rude to her two best friends. Who cares if she is a princess? She's just a spoiled brat, and not a particularly intelligent one at that. I thought maybe when she broke through into the other world, some sort of enlightenment would dawn on her, and she would wake as though from a dream, but that doesn't seem to be happening.Meanwhile, the other characters are just cryptic and confusing, and again, they don't have any actual personality or depth, so I can't bring myself to keep reading in order to try to learn more.Very disappointing. Although the reviews here follow a bell curve, the reviews on amazon seem to be seriously bimodal -- people either loved or hated it. Count me in the latter half.

  • Kristina
    2018-12-06 05:56

    That "read" is kind of deceptive, since I didn't actually finish the book. The writing was just not very good. For example there is a part that reads, "In her warm tent, Miranda lay still until she started to cry. Then she got up, unbuttoned her tent, and went down to the stream to wash." This may not sound that bad, but this is how the author chooses to have the character deal with the previous (small) paragraph describing her thoughts about what her parents might be thinking or doing. The character has been transported to an alternate reality, seen people die and been kidnapped, and this is all the author can muster for this character's feelings about what her parents could be feeling or doing? The main character seems to have no emotion. The secondary characters are odd and oddly fleshed out. Sometimes its difficult to tell which character is which. And I wanted to start reading Linger, because I have been waiting for that one forever.

  • Roslyn
    2018-12-04 03:18

    I had high hopes for this one, but I found it rather disappointing. The idea on which it is based is brilliant but the prose and pacing let it down. Between 2 and 3 stars.Revised review: I just found some notes I wrote back in 2006 on this one! Here is what I wrote then:Based on reviews I'd read and everything else about it, I was sure I'd love this book. And I'm still naïveenough to believe that a book that has rave comments on the blurb by Ursula le Guin, Karen Joy Fowler and John Crowley must be as good as it sounds. But, although it's based on an idea that's really brilliant, and has at least two intriguing characters, I found it so bloated and padded out and filled with unneccessary plot tangents (not to mention a heroine who didn't really grab me), that it was a bit of a struggle to finish it. I found the prose fairly dull (except in a few bits that involved the two interesingcharacters) and even clunky/incomprehensible at times.

  • Erik
    2018-11-28 05:15

    This is an odd book and an odd read. Like many of the reviewers, I wasn't sure if I was enjoying it-- until I suddenly realized that I was physically on the edge my seat, and I'd devoured a hundred pages without noticing. The writing style has a dream-like quality, in that what's described first are impressions from the POV of whichever character is foremost. This can sometimes be a little confusing as each character knows more or less than the next, and their impressions contradict each other. Further, the language used feels almost as if the author spoke Romanian as his native tongue, which is to say, the author has captured the voice of a Princess of Roumania perfectly, even if that makes for sometimes difficult reading. To those considering giving up, note that the second book picks up a bit.