Saturday, August 21, 2010

Review - Why We Don't Kill Spiders by Bo Macreery

TITLE:    Why We Don't Kill Spiders
AUTHOR/EDITOR:    Bo Macreery
INFO:    Paperback, Historical Fiction, 376 pages
PUBLISHED:   Outskirts Press, 2009
ISBN#:   978-1-4327-3984-3
HOW'D I GET IT:   Received from author for review

Two countrymen separated by hundreds of years.  One a medieval king, stripped of everything.  One a hobbled knight, armed only with a pen.  Each destined to save his nation's heritage from oblivion.  Driven by a promise to a grandfather.  Bound the by the single, silky webbing strand of a wee spider.  This is their story.

MY TAKE:   I was immediately drawn to this book when I learned that it was about Robert the Bruce.  Scottish history has always been a favorite of mine and this sounded like it would be a great story as Sir Walter Scott, another favorite, would also be in the mix.  I was definitely not disappointed.

The author takes us with Robert as he fights for his life, his family and for independence.  The descriptions and details are exceptionally accurate and thorough. History lovers will enjoy this re-telling because of the attention to facts.  The book is broken down into small, manageable chapters that are descriptively titled. 

A very helpful and extensive Cast of Characters is included in the beginning of the book.  It is a resource that is very useful in the reading of this book as the names and connections can get a little confused at times.  Mr. Macreery builds deep characters that the reader can really get a feel for and come to care about.  The many references to other important historical figures of the time adds to the authenticity in this story.  The amazing amounts of research and study that the author underwent for this book is very apparent. 

The only issue I had with this book was the fact that the tale was being told to Wattie (the future Sir Walter Scott) by his Aunt Jenny, but in his grandfather's voice.  I found this to be very distracting at times as the grandmother would interrupt and there would be a switch back and forth in the voices.  I probably would have preferred it if it had just stayed with one or the other.  It's a small thing that still didn't detract from this wonderful story.

Mr. Macreery has taken a subject that can still get the blood boiling in those of Scottish descent and created a riveting and memorable tale that will keep the memories alive.  I highly recommend this book to any who love a good saga, especially to those who love the colorful and tumultuous history of Scotland and one of its most beloved and beleaguered heroes. 
MY RATING:    4/5
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