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Review: Niccolo Rising, by Dorothy Dunnett

Niccolo Rising is the first in the House of Niccolo series. In this particular book, we are introduced to young Claes, who begins the story as a servant in the dyeing establishing of the widow Charetty in Bruges.

I picked this novel up because, as any reader of this blog knows, I love historical fiction. On the whole, though, I struggled with Niccolo Rising, primarily because the author lost me when she got into the political events of the time. Frankly, I was bored, so much that I began to skip pages to get to the more interesting parts. The language is dense and difficult to follow. I had to read this book is short fits and starts because the author really packs the information in, sometimes to the detriment of the plot. But when the plot got back to Claes, it was actually quite interesting. It’s just too bad that there was so little plot there. Too, it was really difficult for me to identify or even understand the main character, since the third-person narrative doesn’t actually revolve around him most of the time. It was disappointing, considering all the good things I’d heard about this book prior to beginning it.


Marg said…
Dunnett is one of those authors that I have been meaning to read forever, but I must confess I am a little bit intimidated at the thought of doing so!

Thanks for the review.
Daphne said…
I had a hard time getting through this one as well and pretty much for the same reasons you stated. I started reading the next book in the series, The Spring of the Ram, and gave up after a few hundred pages. There are too many books i want to read to slog through one that I don't find that interesting.

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