A 5* review for ‘Plaint from Provence’ from writer/blogger Brian Wilkerson, author of the Trickster Eric books.
‘There is no Big Bad because Miss Gill skillfully creates a Grey-and-Grey-Morality setting, and what is more impressive is that she does this without making everyone into a morally ambiguous jerk.’
It’s fascinating to read what a fan of the series thinks about the characters. Of course they are real people to me, including Nici! I’m also interested in the way different fans have their different ‘favourite book’. Brian prefers ‘Plaint’ and ‘Song’ to ‘Bladesong’ (and says why) but for others, like writer/reviewer Paul Trembling ‘Bladesong’ was better than ‘Song’
‘Bladesong’ was the hardest to write (so far!) because it answered questions from ‘Song’ regarding Dragonetz and the 2nd Crusade, while moving the story forward. Also, as Brian so rightly points out, Estela is living apart from Dragonetz for most of the book. This gave me 3 plot threads to interweave (Dragonetz present and past, and Estela in the present) and then I added in the opium dreams as a 4th sub-plot. Nobody could say I like things simple but then, I like interconnections, puzzles and complexity. I like books to be rich in layers of meaning and for readers to follow different paths in their enjoyment and interpretation.
I love ‘Bladesong’ for going to unexpected places (literally, Damascus and Jerusalem, and figuratively in showing what happened in my – plausible – version of events in the 2nd Crusade); for its amazing real people (e.g. the Queen of Jerusalem, Nur ad-Din) and of course for the adventures of Dragonetz and Estela.
Great, thought-provoking review from Brian Wilkerson