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The Spider King: 12/11/06
At the start of this year I joined a BookCrossing challenge to read and release books I had gotten from other members. For them to count towards the challenge I would have to read the entire book. So far this year I've been really good about finishing books I've started. Regular readers of this site (or feed) will know that I've also taken to posting a review for every book I've read.
The Spider King is one of those exceptions to the rule. I gave up on it after only 45 pages of about 300. It's a "biographical novel" of Louis XI but I didn't manage to stick with the book long enough to actually learn anything new about Louis XI.
I knew I was in trouble when I reached chapter two. It was nothing more than an incredibly flowery list of Louis's ancestors, visiting as ghosts as the prince is being born. It was a ham fisted way of introducing a character and the concept of the "divine right of kings."
From there the book went on some sort of long winded tangent involving the war with England, various nobles and a child's birth keep secret from his own mother. It didn't help that the book kept throwing characters into the story without any sort of introduction; a dramatis personae or a family tree would have been useful. So after a week of having managed to read all sorts of other books rather than this "biographical novel" I decided to set it aside.