Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Review: Scimitar by Robin Raybould

Source: I received a copy in exchange for a fair & honest review
Release Date: April 1st 2011 on Amazon & Available in Kindle Format

Review: Scimitar is Robin Raybould’s first work of Fiction. Raybould specializes in Renaissance Literature and through his knowledge he was able to bring to life the story of the hero Eduardo Ferrucci and his expedition through a world filled with books, 15th century politics, religion, and romance.

In the beginning of the story, we find the young Italian Eduardo Ferrucci working in a bookshop in Florence, Italy as a scribe. His entire family was wiped out due to the infamous plague. Before he knows it, Eduardo finds himself in the middle of a conspiracy with the Florentine police and doesn’t understand how he got in this predicament. He soon learns that he was betrayed by Philip Shamash and now Eduardo is given two crucial choices. Either execution or become a Florentine spy where he would be banned from Florence for ten years and be sent to Constantinople in order to spy on Philip Shamash.

Eduardo was dumbfounded by his future prospects and his role as a spy. He was just a simple scribe who had no knowledge of the Greeks nor did he have the necessary skills of a spy, but he realized he had no other choice and so he was forced to leave Florence and travel to a foreign city.

This book follows Eduardo on his life’s journey to many important cities and his many love affairs along the way. It also tells the story of the last days of the Eastern Roman Empire at the hands of the Turks.

Opinion: In reading the synopsis I set high expectations for this book and I found I was let down. I did like many aspects of Raybould’s story, such as the many heroic adventures and Eduardo’s many love affairs, but I feel there was just too much research information crammed into one book. Knowing that this was the author’s first Fiction novel I can see there being difficulty in deciding how much information is too much information for a Fiction novel and I think maybe Raybould struggled with this. At certain points I felt I was reading a nonfiction book and at other times it seemed like a fiction novel. Also, there were some very boring and unnecessary speeches that probably should have been thrown out. They didn’t aid the story line in any way.

Overall, I think Raybould gets an A for effort but there is a lot of room for improvement here. This was definitely not a light read because I struggled at times with it so I suggest not reading this before bed. I don’t really think I would recommend this book to anyone either, which I really hate to say. Hopefully, Raybould will be able to work out the kinks and maybe his next novel will be better.

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