Title: The King’s General
Author: Daphne du Maurier
Page Count/Review Word Count: 376
Daphne du Maurier is one of those authors who I find to be hit and miss, and this one, for me, was a miss. But there’s a reason for that, which is that it’s historical fiction. I very rarely find historical fiction to be enjoyable to read, mostly because I think writers tend to over-focus on the history and to forget about the fiction part.
But that’s not really true here. Du Maurier tells a decent story with some pretty strong characterisation, and I also found it interesting that one of her characters is struggling with a disability. You don’t see that too often in historical fiction, and du Maurier does it well.
Still, it wasn’t a particularly gripping read, and the most interesting parts for me were the bits where du Maurier talked about the places, because there was some crossover there with some of her other books.
I also think that I enjoyed this book a little more than I otherwise might have done because I listened to it as an audio book. For whatever reason, I find that du Maurier is more enjoyable via audio. Perhaps it has something to do with her writing style.
Other than that, I don’t have much more to say about this one. It’s a decent enough read if that’s your sort of thing, but it really isn’t the kind of thing that I like. I’m glad that I picked it up because I’m slowly working my way through du Maurier’s back catalogue, but I wouldn’t have read this one if it had been written by anyone else.
Du Maurier just has a little something magical about her, and there’s plenty of that magic on offer here. That’s why I’m still giving it a 3.5/5, albeit a weak one. That’s my default rating for a professional quality book, and du Maurier was the consummate professional, even when she was writing in a genre like this one.
Oh, and you should bear in mind while you’re reading it that Menabilly is the prototype for Manderley. That makes it worth reading to die-hard fans, if nothing else.