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Review: The Pindar Diamond, by Katie Hickman


Pages: 277

Original date of publication:2010

My edition: 2010 (Bloomsbury)

Why I decided to read: I read The Aviary Gate last summer

How I acquired my copy: LTER program, August 2010

The Pindar Diamond is a follow-up novel to The Aviary Gate. While they can be read separately, I would recommend that you reading The Aviary Gate before this one. The Pindar Diamond opens in 1603 and 1604, when a travelling group of performers take a mysterious woman, washed ashore on the Italian coast, into their care. Meanwhile, in Venice, Paul Pindar is on the hunt for a priceless diamond called the Sultan’s Blue; and his friend, John Carew, becomes entangled with a nun named Annetta.

It’s only been a year since I read The Aviary Gate, but I found when reading its follow-up that I had to go back and re-read my review of the first! I just didn’t remember any of the characters, except for Celia. Having read the sequel, though, I don’t think that I’ll remember the characters much further. I loved the setting of Venice for this one, but it wasn’t well-described, I felt. For all the description we got of the city, the book might as well have taken place in, say, London or Paris.

The author recycles some themes from her previous novel; part of this book takes place in a convent, an enclosed place run by women (much like the harem in The Aviary Gate). Instead of capitalizing on this coincidence, however, I thought that the author more or less threw it away. The plot with the diamond was also a bit disappointing; the outcome was a bit of a letdown. I loved the bits with the acrobatic troupe, though their story was a bit predictable. I wish that the author had a little more character development with Paul, John, and Annetta, and made the city of Vence more of an integral part of the story. Still, I thought this was a well-written book, although the ending left a bit to be desired.

Comments

You know, I felt much the same way about the MJ Rose books..."recycled" is a very, very good word for it. It was as if the author couldn't come up with anything new so they just changed a couple of details and rewrote the first book.

Disappointing. arghhh.

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