Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Musician's Daughter by Susanne Dunlap

Amid the glamour of Prince Nicholas Esterhazy’s court in 18th-century Vienna, murder is afoot. Or so fifteen-year-old Theresa Maria is convinced when her musician father turns up dead on Christmas Eve, his valuable violin missing, and the only clue to his death a strange gold pendant around his neck. Then her father’s mentor, the acclaimed composer Franz Joseph Haydn, helps her through a difficult time by making her his copyist and giving her insight in to her father’s secret life. It’s there that Theresa begins to uncover a trail of blackmail and extortion, even as she discovers honor—and the possibility of a first, tentative love. Thrumming with the weeping strains of violins, as well as danger and deception, this is an engrossing tale of murder, romance, and music that readers will find hard to forget.

Character Development: 7/10pts
Originality: 7/10pts
Overall Enjoyment: 6/10pts
Ending: 5/10pts
Voice: 5/10pts
Recommendation: 6/10pts
Total Score: 36/60
Grade: B

Cussing: Not at all
Drugs, alcohol, etc.: Occasional drinking, but not with main character
Sexual Content: Suggestive in Conversation
Aimed at 12 and up

The plot was good and interesting, but I think that the writing style took a lot away from it. Even at the most heightened moments of the novel, I was sometimes not pulled into the story because of how the events were described. The writing didn't have the intensity that warps me into the climax and keeps me flipping the pages as fast as possible. Another thing that was extremely lacking was the romance. The story SO had the potential, but it didn't happen. The book did have a lot of good qualities too, though. The setting was always very vivid, and I really loved some of the characters, like Danior, Toby, and Mirela. Oh! And there was some amazing name choices! I just felt like the novel could have been better than it really was.

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