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Three Stars

the executionThe Execution was a frustrating read. On the one hand, I could have given it five stars for its fantastic plot and characters. Both were interesting, original and ultimately very satisfying. Unfortunately, the book was marred by endless typos, grammatical errors and misused words.

It’s a testament to how gripping the plot was that I didn’t give up in the first pages. Set in 14th-century France, the book centers on two brothers, separated at birth, who finally meet under interesting, but not entirely improbable circumstances. At this first and only meeting, the life-stories of the two- one a priest, the other a mercenary-gradually unfold.

It looks like this was a self-published edition, and it seems that Ms. Cramer is aware of many of the mistakes because she promises a second improved edition out at the first of the year. It’s probably a bit late to suggest it now, but I really hope she’s hired a professional editor, or at least someone with similar skills. (Like me, for instance. I could totally fix this!)

There are a lot of misspellings, and words used incorrectly. There are too many adjectives, many of those used incorrectly as well. One one page, the word “consummate” was used no less than three times, and never correctly. This is just one example of many similar errors. “Lie” and “lay” were exchanged incorrectly EVERY SINGLE TIME. Often, the prose and dialogue were extremely stilted. I didn’t know if it was because Cramer was trying to approximate language of the period, or if English was her second language. Apparently, she is American.

So, very mixed feelings here. On the one hand, I appreciated the interesting plot, the well-drawn characters and the excellent research. On the other, I almost didn’t make it. If the problems I mentioned above are corrected, Cramer may very well have a best-seller on her hands someday.