Princess of Sky, Earth, Fire, and Water*
Head-Hopping and Odd Prose Hamper Enjoyment
I am not quite sure what to make of this book. I certainly enjoyed elements of the plot. So long as you suspend disbelief and fully buy in to the fantasy/magical aspect, the idea of such an Irish girl of those times being a commander of a fleet of merchant ships that go all over the world won’t rub you the wrong way—though perhaps it would have been better if the author had created a true fantasy world since this one is so different from reality. Aisling is a strong character, though I didn’t feel that her character arc was explored as much as it could have been. What I found more trying in this book included an at times dizzying head-hopping point of view and some rather dense sensory descriptions that I felt slowed down the pace of the action without adding really much to the story. For the latter, the way the author did it felt more like telling than showing, using lots of adjectives and adverbs describe a thing or an action (even rather minor ones, which made it feel like dense prose). For the former, the at-times rapid shifts of point of view were very distracting. Sometimes, the point-of-view character shifted within a paragraph, and I never like that. Interestingly, despite the dense description in the narrative portions, the dialogue was usually written almost in screenwriter format, meaning it was just dialogue line after dialogue line with no attribution or associated actions. Sometimes the lack of attribution made it hard to remember which character was talking. And I do like associated action with dialogue at times so I can visualize the conversation taking place; otherwise, it just feels like talking heads on a blank screen.