...when a book has a tragic ending.
I used to LOVE meloncholy stories, where the hero/heroine falls in love, and then life gets in the way and reality kills off one of the main characters or separates, indefinately, the romance. (strange, I know) For instance, a few of my favorite books in College were
Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy (pretty much anything by Hardy),
and The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
But, the older I've become, the more of life I've seen, the less I can tolerate the tragic endings in stories, and I'm prone to want only idealistic ones (though I like it still when tragedy enters the story somewhere...I just want good to triumph over evil). I guess I get too wrapped up in the characters, and don't like nursing a broken heart over them. I tend to like anything from the likes of Jane Austen or Juliet Marillier these days.
Well, I recently picked up a Historical-Fiction at the library, set in Medieval Wales, during the reign of King Richard. It's called "The Fools Tale" by Nicole Galland.
I typically love Historical Fictions, but I must be desperate to find a good book these days, because I should have seen the ending coming from the description of the story. Here it is...
Wales, 1198. A time of treachery, passion, and uncertainty. King Maelgwyn ap Cadwallon, known as Noble, struggles to protect his small kingdom from foes outside and inside his borders. Pressured into a marriage of political convenience, he takes as his bride the young, headstrong Isabel Mortimer, niece of his powerful English nemesis.
Through strength of character, Isabel wins her husband's grudging respect, but finds the Welsh court backward and barbaric, and is soon engaged in a battle of wills against Gwirion, the king's oldest, oddest, and most trusted friend. Before long, however, Gwirion and Isabel's mutual animosity is abruptly transformed, and the king finds himself as threatened by loved ones as by the enemies who menace his crown.
A masterful novel by a gifted storyteller, The Fool's Tale combines vivid historical fiction, compelling political intrigue, and passionate romance to create an intimate drama of three individuals bound -- and undone -- by love and loyalty.
The characters were very well written, the setting was fabulous, plot good (a lot of Camelot undercurrents) ......but, for the love of all that is good, please, someone warn me when the ending is going to be more like Braveheart than Robin Hood!