I have never considered my comments on books to count as “reviews”. They’re just my thoughts and feelings on the book I’ve recently finished. In the case of The Ring of Allaire this is even more true than usual as I barely talk about the contents of the book (a lovely and charming tale, it might perhaps be considered a little “old-fashioned” these days), and instead reflect on how reading it made me feel.
I had been looking forward to rereading this ever since I discovered Susan Dexter had updated it and released it as an ebook. It took me long enough to get to it that I now have all three in the trilogy waiting on my Kindle (or technically up on Amazon ready for me to download to my Kindle whenever I’m ready). I have fond memories of reading the series back when it came out in the 1980s and while it was more a case of feelings than specific memories, that was enough to make me want to read them again.
I was surprised by how slowly I read this – it took me two weeks, with other books read at the same time – which is unusual for me. And I wasn’t reading slowly because I was bored or not enjoying myself, but more because that just became the pace that seemed appropriate. It turned into a leisurely read, and perhaps that’s just what I needed over the summer holidays. (I’m also very tired right now, so again, maybe leisurely was best.)
For all that I read it slowly, I really did enjoy it. The story built and felt very familiar, for all that it must be 25 years or something since I read it. Here I mean familiar is a good way, just as I mean leisurely in a good way. It was a warm and relaxing read over a most un-summery two weeks of summer and that turned out to be perfect.
I remembered most of the characters pretty well (but I forgot Minstrel – how could I possibly forget darling little Minstrel, the canary) and I knew what the twist at the end was going to be, but that didn’t hurt the story at all. Instead, it was interesting to watch the progress of plot and characters already knowing it, as I hadn’t on my first reading. I don’t think it changed my reading of the book (it certainly didn’t change my feelings for the book), but it did leave me feeling justified about which characters I preferred, which I guess means the author did her job well.
I had no idea, while reading, what Ms Dexter might have changed and what she left the same. I have my paperbacks down stairs (and their covers are so much prettier than these self-published new editions, but I can’t blame the author for that as I assume she doesn’t have the rights to use the paper editions’ covers) and I could have gone and checked it out, but I didn’t feel any need to do that. I just followed the story and enjoyed it.
I’m looking forward to moving on to book two, but as with the reading of this one, I’m not feeling desperate to rush into it (which is good, since I started the 900-odd page Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb today). Instead, I’m feeling decidedly leisurely about it. In this harried day and age, there often isn’t much time for leisurely any more. Many thanks to Susan Dexter for allowing me to rediscover it with her charming trilogy.