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The Aviary Gate by Katie Hickman

Posted: Fri September 9th, 2011, 3:48 pm
by parthianbow
I heard about this novel about 3 years ago on Radio Four. Neglecting to note down the title because I was driving, I discovered it again by posting a query this very forum! I can't remember who replied with the answer, but I bought the book and it ended up on Mt. TBR. Funnily enough, I ended up reading it this summer, just after I'd read a similar tale of piracy and women carried off into captivity, The Tenth Gift by Jane Johnson. Sadly, this book wasn't in the same league as Johnson's novel.

That's not to say that I didn't enjoy it, because I did. Hickman has clearly done her research because the tale is well-written and richly described, and unlike other reviewers, I thought it portrayed the claustrophobia & creepiness of the Sultan's harem very well. I thought that the story of Celia Lamprey (the heroine set in the 16th century) worked very well.

What I felt the story lacked was a plausible modern day heroine. For me, she was quite two dimensional, lacking depth and indeed likeability. The manner in which her romantic feelings were described did not seem real to me. If her part had been more engaging, I would have rated this book as a four star read.

As it is, I rate it 3.5 star out of 5. Still well worth reading, however.

Posted: Fri September 9th, 2011, 4:08 pm
by Misfit
I won The Pindar Diamond from Librarything, and didn't realize at the time it was a sequel of sorts. Fairly underwhelmed and never finished it.

Posted: Fri September 9th, 2011, 4:10 pm
by parthianbow
Hmmm. A sequel? I am interested. The trouble is that Mt. TBR has many many books in it that I want to read more.

Thanks for mentioning it, Misfit!

Posted: Sat September 10th, 2011, 1:31 pm
by EC2
I was on booktour with Katie Hickman so as you do, felt obliged to read The Aviary Gate. Actually I enjoyed it a great deal and wound up very glad I'd read it. I've also read and enjoyed the Jane Johnson novel, but for me the Hickman wins out, although not by a far distance. I certainly didn't think the authors were in different leagues at all.

Posted: Fri September 30th, 2011, 5:36 am
by Veronica
I couldn't finish The aviary gate - thought it was really bad. :(

Posted: Fri September 30th, 2011, 8:58 pm
by EC2
[quote=""Veronica""]I couldn't finish The aviary gate - thought it was really bad. :( [/quote]

In what way Veronica? Can you be more specific?

Posted: Sat October 1st, 2011, 11:08 pm
by Veronica
I'm not very good at explaining why I like or dislike certain books. :o Maybe I picked it up at the wrong time but I found the book confusing and didn't really enjoy the story. Having said that, I still have the book so maybe one day I'll give it a go again.