Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Book Review: The King's General by Daphne du Maurier

Pages: 384
Received: Own
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

This is my third du Maurier read (Rebecca, The Frenchman's Creek), not counting short stories, and I think it's just a tiny fraction of a star behind Rebecca, which is high praise.

This is a gigantic book and, really, it's unbalanced. It drags on and on then has fits and starts of action, and it skips around from maybe Gothic to maybe historical fiction to maybe romance and never really decides what it wants to be. By all rights, I should have hated this book.

Except, I loved it. I was enthralled by du Maurier's writing and her characters. Even though most of the characters weren't particularly likable, I couldn't help getting invested in their stories.

Dick is disgustingly weak. Gartred is evil. Richard is probably the worst romantic hero in the world, mostly because he's absolutely detestable as a person even though he is kind to Honor. Honor, at least, is likable, even if I did disagree with a lot of her decisions. I felt at the edge of my seat and the tense character interactions served as the main source of action.

The skips from one style to another also helped keep my interest. The gothic-esque parts were typically du Maurier-chilling, the historical fiction parts (particularly the occupation) were perfectly infuriating in all the right ways, and the simmering hatred between Honor and Gartred was top notch.

Bottom line

It's a strange book, but definitely one that held my attention and lingers with me still. I'm also solidly convinced that Daphne du Maurier is one of my favorite writers.


  1. I also read a Du Maurier book this year, My Cousin Rachel, and though it was no way near Rebecca I still enjoyed it. I'm glad you enjoyed this one too. The switching of genres would have driven me batty but I'm also curious by it.

    1. oooh I have My Cousin Rachel on my shelf! I haven't read it yet, but I'm hoping I enjoy it. The genre switching...I'm not sure how to describe it, but it worked for some reason.


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