Actually, I didn’t like this one at all.
This book mainly focuses around Annunciata, the main focus of the previous book, The Black Pearl. The time-frame is approximately 1670 – 1687. And I hated this book, in truth, because it taught me little but how much of a bitch and a hypocrite Annunciata was. She is the focus of EVERY SINGLE plot-thread. All the other women were lopped off in childbirth or exiled never to be seen again.
I don’t think that this story had the same form and linear nature as the other books. Annunciata always seems to be the centre of every social circle, the armour of every man’s heart, and bullies her children relentlessly. And she oh so casually sleeps with her step-son. Or was it her son-in-law? She could have slept with both of them, for all I care.
And one more thing – the gene pool of the family is absolutely minute. They end up marrying first cousins or nieces or nephews – AND NOBODY BATS AN EYELID! I hope the next story injects some new blood into the family tree because the novelty of so-and-so marrying their cousin or their half-brother is just getting boring. Most of the books make me sad or mournful, and this one didn’t. It just made me feel incredibly disinterested. There was another plot-point introduced in another book where some people settled in Philadelphia. The narrative should spend time on that instead of just singing Annunciata’s praises on EVERY SINGLE PAGE!
That being said, the sudden bombshell about the poisoning near the end was a welcome distraction and it was what propelled me to finish reading the book.
MY RATING: * / *****