As I began reading Mazarine Dreamer by Francessca Bella I immediately imagined it being recited by a great bard. I was informed before agreeing to read the book that it was “a rare novel written in rhyme”, a poetic format. While I began to read, I could easily imagine myself in a common room of a tavern or a great hall listening to this powerful oration. In some ways I think this would be an amazing audiobook to listen to the rise and fall of the voice in the cadence of the writing. However, I personally have trouble focusing on listening to long descriptions and my mind would wander, for the detailed description. Mood highly subjects the ease of reading, and preference for text or audio.
Some days I could glide through this prose easily, other days I stumbled and tripped and needed to reread. It is certainly advanced reading because of the language style, and in some sections the vocabulary is quite imposing. I have an extensive vocabulary, but there were a few words that I looked up. For example, “human nescience” I understood, but I looked up the rhyme “puissance.” This book is excellent for stretching the mind of the reader, and is not a fluff novel or “beach read.” On the other hand, the simple ink sketches break up the somewhat awkward text, giving a moment’s respite and the ability then to carry on reading at length.
The character development is good. The main character, the speaker describes the events in the first person POV which brings to life the immediate scene to the reader plus easily gives background knowledge. I had an excellent character image of both the doctor (main character) and the monks. Their divergent personalities and abashedness are easy to imagine.
Overall, this writing style is not for me. I didn’t think I would mind the prose, but just isn’t as fluid as I prefer to enjoy. The author did an incredible job of interweaving description, life experience and humor together in this tale. While I would not recommend this book for young adults, it is for lack of stamina not material. I think this book could safely be displayed in any library with the subject matter appealing to a wide audience.