I read Something Red by Douglas Nicholas with a sense of déjà vu. At first, I thought that it reminded me of some historical movie I had seen. Then, I thought it might remind me of Game of Thrones. It was only when I had read 2/3 of the book that I realized that I have read this book before! I am not sure forgetting the plot the second time around is a good sign. But I will say that after a really slow start, the book did pick up and I ended up enjoying the richness of the language—even if I did not enjoy the plot so much.
First thing to know is that Something Red was written by a poet. Why is this relevant? It is important because Nicholas does a commendable job describing things with an attention to detail. The problem is just that there was too much description. I felt like I was slogging through pages and pages of sentences with clause after clause. While lovely and evocative, these descriptions did nothing for me in terms of the plot. I felt like I was slogging through the mud.
The plot centers on a group of travelers during the Middle Ages. Maeve, the leader, is an Irish healer who some believe to be a witch. She travels with Jack, a strong but damaged man, her granddaughter, Nemain, and a boy named Hob. As the travelers go from monastery, to inn to castle, they meet many other people who are dwelling in the forest. Unfortunately, a malevolent force is traveling with them too. The battle at the end of Something Red is a battle between the forces of good and evil.
While my main problem was with the long, descriptive passages, I also had some issues with the dialect some of the characters used. It was difficult for me to decipher at times. There is a good plot in Something Red, but you have to slog through many pages to get to the next move forward in the story. I am hoping that the next book in the series is longer on plot and shorter on description.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Regina