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Narrative: First Person, Past Tense.
Out of the Abbey and onto the road, Janna meets up with a group of pilgrims heading toward the next clue in the quest to find her father!
Which sounds really exciting, except Pilgrim Of Death is actually a bit of a weak link in The Janna Chronicles. Which makes me pout slightly!
I have been such a great fan of previous books in the series, but this instalment just fell on the flat side. I think there are two main reasons it wasn't as engaging as the previous three novels; the first was casting Janna adrift from all of the established characters. Although her journey has always moved Janna into new situations, and has her meeting new people, there has always been a connection back to the original cast. It's kept her thoughts and feelings in context, whilst the new characters have always been really nicely considered and helped add depth to Janna's development. Pilgrim of Death has her wander about with a whole tribe of new, but really under developed surface characters. It lost the the emotional connection it's taken three books to establish, with every step she takes.
The second is that the mystery was really badly played. It's given away right at the beginning, and the only thing I could think the whole way through was that Janna was being a dolt. The fiery and proud Janna became blind and silly in her most obvious mystery yet, because of a pretty face. It was a fairly disappointing way to achieve a plot point. I had a fairly grim look on my face throughout most of the book, which is the complete opposite to my usual facial expression whilst reading Janna's tales.
On a positive note, Pulman's writing is still superb! Fluid and in control the whole way through!
I wonder if this instalment was really needed in the grand context of things, because apart from a few clues garnered in fleetingly quick scenes, it didn't add much to Janna or her journey.
I was disappointed, but I really hope the next book (which I will still definitely read!), picks back up and gives Janna back her dignity!
Harcopy Worthy? Well, the series has been up to this point at any rate!