61 Following

C. P. Lesley

Bookworm, writer, radio host—I blog about history, fiction, and publishing in the Internet Age. You can find the full blog on my website. This space is for books.

Brutal Man in a Brutal Time

Rakóssy - Cecelia Holland

Not my favorite Holland, for sure. In her defense, she wrote the book at 21. Maybe that's why the characters have about as much complexity as the average Hollywood action blockbuster. And the format in this Kindle edition is amateurish enough to be distracting.


There's a story here, of Hungarian nobles holding the European line against the Turks. But the only characters worth caring about—the hero's brother and his wife—don't get enough screen time. Those who do, including the hero, leave me cold. Intellectually appreciative of their probable accuracy, but unmoved by their plight. Also, the Turks are more interesting than Rakossy. Maybe that was the author's intent. But if so, I should know. And if not....


For a masterful rendition of a similar story by the same author, I recommend instead Until the Sun Falls—my first Cecilia Holland novel, and still the best.