Friday, July 24, 2015

XBR4OF #5 Sovay

Xyra's Book Review for Older Followers


by Celia Rees


  • I love all sorts of music (not a huge fan of rap, hip hop, gangsta, or death metal, but there may be an odd song that appeals to me even in those groups). One of my favorite world music CDs is Women of the World Celtic II. My favorite song on the CD is Sovay. It's about a woman who dressed as a highwayman to see if her intended was strong or a coward. I had hoped the story would build to the action of the song; it did not.  x-p
  • I still love the song.
  • One of the settings is an alternate type of brothel. There are no details, but it could still upset some. I'll give it a PG-13 for that alone. Otherwise, it is essentially a young adult book.

The Review

SovaySovay by Celia Rees
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This was horrible!

Yes, I started out with a negative point of view because the story opened with the happenings in the folk song/story. However, I put that aside and read on. It never got better. Too many characters, no character development, too many story lines, very little connecting the lines with the exception of every male character falling for Sovay and being described as handsome and worthy with doe-eyed innocence.

Sovay, herself, is no heroine.  She is a spoiled girl of privilege who is petulant and impetuous. She feels she is better than polite society and yet knows nothing of how to act in polite society. She makes poor decisions and thinks of no one but herself...well, and her father.

The whole Dysart fortress and escaping in a...well, that would be a spoiler and I don't give spoilers. Let's just say the whole scene was ridiculous.

Getting from opening to denouement...moving from point A to B, etc. did not work well at all. Mostly because the characters has very little development with regards to self or relationships with others. This skimming from scene to scene with little depth beyond what is happening in the moment kept the story from flowing nicely.

The other part contributing to the unsatisfactory plot flow was the verbiage. The author told the story one way then tried to mimic the style of the topic's historical time frame resulting in poor and stilted dialogue. Then she would throw in ten cent words causing "what the heck" moments for the reader. Then she started using French spellings for things! Not staying with a certain tone and structure made the story awkward as if a much younger person were writing and trying to impress a teacher. [Note: The author is a creative writing teacher - I hope she is not teaching this writing style?]

There is no true climax and an extremely weak denouement. Everything just skated across the top in a manner as frivolous as the main character and her many suitors and never sent out roots.

I very rarely feel I have wasted my time while reading.  However, this crossed that line with 325 pages of drivel. If it had been a real book and not on my Nook, I would have thrown it on the ground when I finished. I highly suggest you not waste your time with this.

To hear the song, click the link in the "notes" section. I will also share it on our Facebook and google+ feeds.

Happy reading!


  1. I'm amazed you stuck with it, I would have been tempted to hit the delete button!

    1. It was archived quickly and I made sure this review was submitted to Barnes and Noble too.