I don't like the blurb; it makes it sound pulpy when it's not.
I have no idea what to think of this series. It's complex and multi-faceted and not completely a pure epic in that there are parts that seem pulpier, but overall, it's still got that je ne sais quoi epicness about it. There's so much constant evolution that reading gets a bit exhausting. I read this over a course of days where I usually reads things in hours. Of course, this is also a great deal longer than the usual pulpy romance fare.
I wouldn't say it's a pure romance in that the romance is not the central focus. It is a focus and an important aspect, but there's a larger goal and such.
Below is a series of disjointed and possibly incoherent thoughts I had and typed out while reading:
"...this face could
have been avoided if gay marriage were legal."
Seriously, guys. All this clusterfuck of who needs to marry whom and in what time/manner and for what reason...if Gaston and Will were officially, in the eyes of official people, married, all of this could have been avoided.
I don't know if this is purely historical or not because there are things that are just so amazingly (in my mind) modern, like Gaston's views on medicine, and also the artificial insemination thing, and etc. I dunno. Maybe my impression of history as perpetual dark ages is perhaps a tad incorrect. (It's not even to that extent. It just feels like it's weird that they have these things, like syringes, even if it's Pascal's syringe and not a hypodermic one, and dildos, with literally that term [although what was the thing about a turnip. was that a butt plug?])
It's weird because medically speaking, they have moments of surprising modernity, and then they have moments where they're horrified at having to pull a decaying infant corpse out of a wound in pieces, how it's evil (religiously, I'm assuming? The priest was the one who said it, I believe?), and they go around dosing people with laudanum all over the place, too.
Maybe I'm looking at this too impersonally. I'm seeing it as he'd described, as a putrefying wound that needs to be cleaned. They, however, see it as a baby (albeit dead, but a baby nonetheless) and that dismantling it to remove is rending apart a baby.
I find it interesting what they say about faith, though, and all that, and in some ways, perhaps my beliefs mirror theirs. Greek, though; never did like the Roman versions, although I'm not so averse to them now.
I like this series a lot. It's got very interesting explorations into human nature, the nature of sanity and/or lack thereof, religion, sexuality, etc.
I still hate Christine.
I dislike Sarah. Vivian I didn't hate, but then tragedy happened.
Fuck's sake, the book descends into madness by about the halfway point. The world has gone mad around me and I don't even really know when it happened, but now I'm surrounded by madmen and even those I thought to be sane can no longer be relied upon for reason.
Also, I've been reading too much Williams and the story started disappearing and at a point, all I saw were words on a page. Damn you, postmodern poetry.
It was amazingly epic at one point and incredibly thought-provoking and stuff, but then it again went somewhere completely weird and I had absolutely no idea what was going on and how we got there. I mean, seriously, what the fuck. It's almost like it descended into farce, but unlike with the Dark Servant series, it wasn't slapstick (thank the Gods).
I mean, we're somewhere completely gone, and I'm flabbergasted and poleaxed and mourning times gone by. When hope was high, and life worth livi- no.
Seriously, though, this is a great example of why gay marriage should be legal. There was so much damn shuffling around of who was with whom in name so that the world at large would be appeased and oh ma fucking gawd what the fuck is going on.
Although they seem to have settled into a pattern that works for them.
How, exactly, though, did Gaston dispense of his marriage to Christine? It's nice she's no longer a vindictive bitch about things. What are they going to do about all the confusing stuff with the children? Will they grow up resenting the inheritances they do have instead of what technically they should have? Thank fuck for a lot of stuff happening in the New World and the lack of reliable communication, apparently. Hopefully that'll tangle the mire even more so no can make heads or tails of the legality of whatnot, really, so they just take their words for it.
Oh, shit, though. Gaston's kids. There's Apollo by Agnes, who is considered to be Will's kid and his heir. Then there's Athena by Christine, who is considered to be his. Which means it is possible the two of them might fall in love and not have a thing and oh, god. Raise them all as siblings. Tell 'em the truth about who is whose kid. Oh, god, don't let history repeat itself. D: I know it was supposed to be cautiously optimistic, but the ending is depressing me now.