I found Bryce Courtenay's Sylvia fascinating. It explores medieval topics surrounding the commonly held beliefs and superstitions of the time by linking them with the myths and legends of historical events. The Pied Piper of Hamelin and the ill-fated Children's Crusade of 1212 are integral parts of the story..topical with the current uprisings in the Middle east. The religious issues are still the same today and no closer to resolution.
Amateur writer? no, but this book is not at the usual level of the author. This is a simple written story where everything that happens you can guess and where the main role is not credible even for a moment.
Argh, where to begin?! I love Bryce Courtney, but this book was off. Not sure if he just tried too hard. The characters were not relateable and surely repetitive in the writing, which I found was making the reading stale. Admittedly, I like how he was trying to take a bit of history and bring life to it. Even though there is little evidence that it occured during the Dark Ages. Sylvia grows up with a drunk father who rapes her, becomes introverted and hangs out with birds and children of her village. Whereby the busy-bodies notice something holy of her (singing and her sign of the fish). Whereby she starts her adventure abroad and meets characters along the way. All is not what it seems, though will she be able to make her way to final destination and earn God's favour? Guess you will have to read and find out, otherwise just skip it.
Well, this one surprised me, just didn't do a thing for me. I felt disappointed at the end. Did I miss something?
Bryce Courtney's characters are either really really good or really really bad - there's not much in-between.
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