Ivanhoe: Week 6 Recap & Final Review

January 04, 2015

Source: Wikipedia
We've made it to the close of the great Ivanhoe read-along, hosted by the lovely Rachelle of The Reading Wench! Though it's all over now, check out her sign-up post if you're curious about what we've been up to.

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!

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  1. Thanks for joining me on the read-along! Honestly, if it weren't for the read-along, this book would've taken me a bit longer to read. At the beginning I was all "I can't wait till next week", but when it got slow I was so tempted to pick up one of the other books I was reading. Knowing that I had to be able to write about the book in the weekly recaps and that at least you would be looking for them every Sunday kept me going.

    1. Of course! I completely agree that the read-along helped me push through it. I'm glad I could help provide you with a little extra encouragement—you definitely did the same for me!

      Let's do this again sometime :)