Ivanhoe: Week 6 Recap & Final ReviewJanuary 04, 2015
As usual, Rachelle's synopsis puts the one I've started writing and deleted three times to shame.
Over the past six weeks, she and I (and any lurkers who've kept themselves quiet) have gone on quite the adventure through the Middle Ages. We've met haughty Normans and hotheaded Saxons; we've followed valiant jesters and chivalrous bandits through battle and deceit; we've been swept up in forbidden and unrequited romance; we've watched both selfishness and selflessness, in turns, rule the day; and we've laughed quite a bit along the way. Never again will I underestimate someone's ability to fixate on his dinner above all else (Athelstane, I'm looking at you. And, if we're being honest, I feel you, man.) Much like Rachelle, I was surprised at how infrequently we saw our title character, though he (of course) arrived in the end to tie our pretty bows for us.
Still, this book only just hit a 3.5 star rating for me (rounded down on GR). I look back on the story as a whole with a smile, but the reading itself tried me at times. I blame my attention span more than Scott's writing, which (as I've mentioned) is surprisingly accessible for being centuries-old. A few plot points (SPOILERS HERE: Rebecca falling head over heels for Ivanhoe, Ivanhoe's wounds healing in such a timely fashion, Bois-Guilbert pitching over dead during the trial by combat) were too neat for me.
Perhaps I would have enjoyed this better had I not broken it down into weekly readings, but, at the same time, I just might have abandoned it altogether when the going got especially tough. The read-along kept me honest, and I appreciated the built-in excuse to pace my reading when things got slow.
Overall, I truly am glad to have this classic under my belt, even if it won't end up being one of my favorites.
Thanks, Rachelle, for a wonderful read-along!