kate_nepveu: raven flying across white background (raven-in-flight)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
Stephen made no bargain! [*] The way it's emphasizing Arabella's refusal is so annoying. Also I still don't like that change, Norrell had no authority to bargain for Emma and I don't want complicity in his victims. Also how is he going to get around that and take Arabella anyway?

[*] I checked. The gentleman says, "As your reward, Stephen" (for getting him ready), "as my gift, I invite you to join us at our ball tonight. Do you accept?" Stephen: "Thank you, sir." Gentleman: "The bargain is done." As my GIFT! That's not a bargain!

I liked that Lady Pole tried a different way to get around it, and also the drawing in of embroidery from the stories in the collection, and that Stephen was shown trying to keep Arabella out of things, but his shushing Lady Pole predated any hint of the gentleman being interested in her I am almost positive--another thing to check for.

Why on earth did Norrell tell Lady Pole 75 more years?!? I guess for timing/pacing purposes they needed that to be the motive instead of Arabella's "death", but I could not fathom that in the least. I don't think he's needlessly cruel. Was he hoping to drive her into madness or suicide to preserve his place in English magic? That's the only thing I can think of. (Glad they dropped the supernatural strength though, that was just needlessly confusing in the book.)

Stephen's vision of the slave ship: happened. Was wrenching. I'm sad that we're not getting the shopkeeper who loves him, though--or Segundus' rich widow patron, apparently. Give me a rich tapestry of non-white-male characters!

The Portugal bits were very good (three dead Neapolitans were just enough, thank you, and convincingly harrowing), though the exploding books were a bit on-the-nose and also JEREMY! Waah! You survived the book!

Overall: highly compelling and I am on edge for the characters but I have Issues.
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