Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Another Perspective of Fantasy Fiction

Heartless (A Different Perspective)

Anne Elisabeth Stengl

So I thought that it would be really cool to get another perspective on Heartless from a friend I lent the book to. You can see that we stand on two ends of the spectrum when it comes to fantasy fiction. My review of this book is somewhere down the page. Here it is: 

This book was suggested to me by a highly-esteemed colleague and I trusted her judgment as I dove into Heartless. However, as a person who reads action/adventure novels and dabbles only occasionally in fantasy, Heartless was definitely a difficult read. I guess I didn’t quite know what I was signing up for. When they say fantasy, they mean a complete and total lack of realism to the point of conflicting with the book’s own natural logic (or so I assumed there was). The plot was slow and there were definitely some characters I wanted to strangle (*ahem* Lionheart…). Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable book…why the contradiction? Despite the missing element of fast-pulsed action, mystifying suspense, and the fact that the main character was one of the most pompous, overly critical, shallow expression of feminism I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading about, I was deeply enthralled in the surrealism of Princess Una’s situation and the unconditional love of Prince Aethelbald (even though she treated him like trash).

As far as plotline goes, things move pretty slowly in the beginning and lag in the middle. Nothing really heart-pounding occurs until much, much later than I was expecting. Aside from her beautiful descriptions and vivid scenery, Ms. Anne Elizabeth’s early plot sequences put me to sleep – many times. Keep in mind, as I mentioned earlier, I don’t normally read fantasy so your mileage may vary. As the action did begin to pick up and the dragon swooped in, I was majorly confused and had to re-read several times in order to get a clear-as-mud idea of what was going on. Maybe it was the fact that I kept dozing in and out of sleep or maybe it was the fluffy description of just about everything that I need clarity on or maybe I’m just stupid. In any case, the lack of any kind of familiarity in this genre drove me batty and I still don’t think I have a very clear picture of what exactly happened.

Overall, Heartless, was a good read for those who are more inclined toward the world fantasy where just about anything can happen. For those of us who enjoy books with a solid foot in the real world, this book will seriously make your question your sanity and make you loathe the name Una…or Lionheart, for that matter.

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