Welcome to the Historical Fiction Online forums: a friendly place to discuss, review and discover historical fiction.
If this is your first visit, please be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above.
You will have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.
To start viewing posts, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

The Cathedral Of The Sea - Ildefonso Falcones

Want to read a certain historical novel with other members and discuss it as you go along? Start a thread here!
User avatar
Avid Reader
Location: I live in Bristol, England with my wife Nicki & our kittens Boomer & Magic

Postby stu1883 » Sun March 13th, 2011, 5:00 pm

Ok - I'm half way through......our hero has become a rich man and is becoming a very important man.

I don't want to spoil things for other thread readers but the ups and downs are rather theatrical. I am enjoying it, even if it is slightly unbelievable in parts.

How are the rest of you getting on?

User avatar
Avid Reader
Location: I live in Bristol, England with my wife Nicki & our kittens Boomer & Magic

Postby stu1883 » Thu March 17th, 2011, 9:49 am

Well I have finished this book and I have to say I was really disappointed!

The characters were 2 dimensional and despite the writers subject matter and the obviously beautiful Cathedral around which the story was built, the main thing he put any effort into describing was the violent abuse of the female characters.

At over 3inches thick I was expecting a saga, but it was not to be. All I got was an overlong story with inconsistent plotlines. I would love to see the Cathedral, however. It sounds beautiful - I wanted more description though, I wanted to feel more connection with the main characters whereas I only really empathized with the baistax.

The storyline regarding Francesca, in my opinion, should have been a lot more prevalent and important to the story. It would have been better if Arnau had found out about her and a reconciliation had taken place. Given the understanding nature of the character, I cannot see him being anything other than welcoming and benevolent to his mother.

The path taken by Joan may be a realistic description of how good men were corrupted during the Inquisition. I do not know enough about the period to make a proper judgement, however I refuse to believe he would have agreed to the scheme proposed by Elenore which resulted in Mar's abduction and violation. I firmly believe it should have been impossible for him to have agreed to it and the story would have been better if Joan was not involved in this scheme but it was purely Elenore & de Felps.

Joan did not need to follow the path written for him, he could - and should - have remained a good person. The internal conflict could have easily been created using other elements in the story, the Mar subplot was definitely one step too far.

All in all, I was underwhelmed by the story which is surprising as it was recommended to me by my Dad who is normally spot on with his suggestions.

Sorry I dragged a couple of you into becoming a reading buddy - feel free to get your own back at some point in the future!

User avatar
Currently reading: Christmas Lights by Karen Swan & The Christmas Card Crime and other stories
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime
Location: Essex/London

Postby Madeleine » Thu March 17th, 2011, 9:53 am

I have this on mount tbr somewhere. Is it about the Gothic Cathedral? It's beautiful and well worth a visit, lovely cloisters and the Sacred Geese have a nice little house too!
Currently reading "Christmas Lights" by Karen Swan & "The Christmas Card Crime and Other Stories"

Return to “Book Buddies”