Classics Club: Ivanhoe


Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott was my book for the Classics Club Spin #8.  I chose to do a read-along, and all the recaps can be found below.  Though the read-along is over, feel free to bookmark the recaps and/or leave comments as you read the book.  Each recap contains some trivia and the spoilers are marked.

First of all, I have to say that I really enjoyed reading this book about 95% of the time.  It’s full of action, adventure, romance, knights, King Richard and Prince John, and Robin Hood and his Merry Men.  It has a wide variety of characters including some I loved to hate and one or two that I was a little ashamed to love, and a couple that provided the comedy relief.  What’s not to love, especially if you’re a Fantasy genre addict like me?!

Then there’s that 5% that I didn’t enjoy so much.  There are parts that get ridiculously slow and the characters get long-winded.  Some of the conflicts get resolved a bit too easily, making the last few chapters a bit anti-climactic.  There’s also the racism that was prevalent during not only the times in which the story is placed but during the times in which the author wrote as well.  Now, I don’t believe in removing those uncomfortable parts from media in order to comply with a much more modern view of the world, but that doesn’t mean I like or agree with them.  I believe it’s important to keep the horrible stuff because 1) taking it out doesn’t mean it never existed, 2) we need to be able to know and understand our history, no matter how ugly, and 3) we need to be able to see how far we’ve come since those times.

While Ivanhoe didn’t make my Through the Magic Door list, because of that 5% I didn’t like, overall, it’s a great read.  I recommend it to anyone who enjoys Romance era fiction, classic Fantasy, or classic literature in general.