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Fiddler's Rose


Not for me 😔

Perhaps an art form I'm not ready for yet. This book has sophistication, but no pace

I'm not sure what I expected from Fiddler's Rose. The blurb was intriguing and well written, and promised a sophistication that many fantasy novels lack. The title caught my eye - what is a Fiddler's Rose? I've heard it before. But unfortunately, I just couldn't get into it.

The novel is about a young sorceress, Rose, who meets a unicorn and conducts a long conversational courtship with him. Various things happen (although I had trouble noticing that they had, mainly because of the sheer weight of dialogue). In fact, the whole novel consists entirely of dialogue, a challenging idea and one which might work, with enough skill on the part of the author. I like dialogue, personally - for me it's an engaging way to set out two different points of view or to illustrate character. But this dialogue is endless whimsy, which is tiring. It doesn't really advance your knowledge of the characters, who seem to be fairly similar. It doesn't set out different perspectives, or philosophical views on life. It, like people having a really long conversation about the weather at the breakfast table.

So due to this, if the action of the novel does progress, it's entirely lost in the chat. You just don't notice. It's a pity, because the premise is interesting, the characters not stereotypical (for instance, I liked the protagonists' frank enjoyment of easy sex), and the idea of writing a novel entirely in dialogue is a new one, at least to me. It's not the writing that lets this book down - that's quite good - but the structure, or rather, lack of structure. I feel the writer needs to be more disciplined, to choose what's important and necessary and discard the trivial, to some extent - and then think about how to give the novel at least some sense of direction and pace. But as I understand it, it's a first novel, and these things develop with practice. So I hope the author keeps going, and I have faith that his style will hone over time.

Reviewed by

I'm an author but I also read a lot. I do especially like to read books by high quality indie authors, because you often get original and unconventional work which wouldn't have been picked up by the major publishers.


About the author

P.D. Haynie is usually known as "Paul" in person. He has been studying the craft of telling fantasy and science fiction stories, and all related topics (which is to say, everything) for more than forty years. He lives with his wife in Waukegan, IL. view profile

Published on January 10, 2019

Published by

110000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Reviewed by