My rating: 2 of 5 stars
A Thousand Glass Flowers tells the fantastical tale of Lalita, a female scribe whose talents draw the unwanted attention of a Sultan, and Finnian, an Other with the power to mesmer, seeking revenge on his brutal grandmother, Isolde. Both characters are drawn into the search for the missing Cantrips of Unlife, although with different intentions: Lalita wants to save her family from the end of the world, whilst Finnian seeks them in order to destroy his. It is inevitable that their paths will cross, forcing them to reconsider their belief in fate, love and redemption.
Although this story has great potential, I found I struggled with it. Perhaps it is due to it being a completely different genre to what I would normally read, yet no matter how much I read and re-read I simply could not connect with the characters or come to grips with the mythical/magical context of the story ~ it constantly felt unfamiliar.
I also struggled with the excessive use of dialogue to explain away and fill holes in the storyline: Pages and pages of conversation that I found tiring. I always struggle when dialogue is used in this manner: It is one of my major dislikes when it comes to reading fiction. In this instance I was unable to move past it and find enjoyment in the story.
Finally, I didn't find Lalita and Finnian to be particularly likeable. Their personalities were, at times, inconsistent, and combined with the use of "absent characters" (those whose existence is integral to the plot but whom the reader either never meets or only meets briefly), I found myself frequently frustrated with the story as a whole.
There is a certain allure to this kind of fantasy fiction: Magic, adventure, love, loss and redemption. I can appreciate that, for some readers, this would be quite a satisfying read. For me, however, it just didn't fit.
Many thanks to the author for inviting me to read and review this novel.
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THE RED QUEEN GIVEAWAY:
I am currently holding a giveaway for The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory.
All you have to do to enter the draw is to leave a comment on the original post. Entries will be taken until midnight (Australian Central Standard Time) on Sunday, 23 October 2011, with the winner being announced the morning of Monday, 24 October 2011.
Giveaway is open to everyone, on the condition that the Book Depository ships free to your country.
The winner will receive this paperback copy of The Red Queen.
Best of luck!