Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Book Review: The Black Arrow, by Robert Louis Stevenson (1888) First Thoughts

I stopped reading this book.  Well into the third chapter I had no idea what was going on because of that crazy vernacular.  It was written in the late 1800's, but it took place in the 1400's so Stevenson wrote it in that God-awful style straight out of Canterbury Tales.  It's hard to understand, and it makes it difficult to follow.

However, I could tell the storyline was worth reading,
so I started over.  Maybe because I already had a vague idea of a few key elements in the story it made that early section easier to read.  By the time I passed my original quitting point and reached the 5th and 6th chapters, it was much better.

That doesn't mean it's perfect.  Sure, it's still a good story.  But if you're not careful you can easily lose your way.  If you don't understand what someone is saying, it could ruin an entire scene.  From there you could become lost as to who is a good guy and who is a bad guy.

Stevenson doesn't make it easy for you with that vernacular.  But the story so far is entertaining.  It takes place during the War of the Roses, and you've got some knights and knaves and such, and an old vengeance to be settled.  Four black arrows have been reserved for specific people who are treacherous and evil.  Someone is settling old scores by killing off these people, each with a black arrow to the heart.

But be careful when reading the names.  It's easy to lose track of who is who.  So far, good story but bad vernacular.  Plenty of action and adventure and guy-type fighting.  Hopefully the story will hold up as well.

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