30 in 30: Day 11 (where I talk about the Duke’s flat soda)


A book that disappointed you

The Duke’s Ballad, by Andre Norton.

It was just fucking crap is what it was. I started reading it and it seemed to be starting a bit slow, but I persevered. I was on vacation after all, and it was one of the three books I had. I wasn’t going to NOT read it on account of it starting slow.

Worst. decision. ever.

There was the point in the book, this magical point, where I realized how crap the book was and how much better off I’d be if I just lit it on fire and threw it in Lago Atitlan. This magical point was also just past the point where I couldn’t stop reading it because it would drive me crazy if I didn’t finish it.

I finished it. It was flat like old soda. The characters were flat, the story was flat, the romance was flat, the tension was flat. I felt nothing for the main character, aside a wish she would die at some point. I sort of wished for them all to die. The protagonists were vaguely good as the antagonists were vaguely bad. Wasn’t much reason for either. I think there was some magic in it at some point, but I can’t be sure because it was 5 years ago and it was fucking terrible and there’s only so much therapy can block out.


Just saying.


Oh, and by the way? The duke? WAS THE BAD GUY. The book is about how he’s not really that bad, just misunderstood, or something, and the protagonist writes him a ballad when he dies. It made no sense because there was no clear motivation for anyone’s actions. It was a giant pile of WTF.