I watch a lot of BookTube (I’m not cool enough for BookTok), and every so often I get to see the the complain of readers about author’s writing style that doesn’t quite well resonate with them. While, I’ve read plenty of terrible books in my life, not until now have I encountered this specific situation. I love Hispanic medieval history, and it’s a subject that it’s quite dear to my heart, thus my endless hunger for more knowledge about, and passion for it. So, to not really fully enjoy a massive book about this subject is very telling.
La Reconquista contada para escépticos (The Reconquest told for skeptics), is a book about the entire Reconquista Era. This is a massive book. After all, it’s trying to explain almost a 1,000 years of history into a single volume. Not liking the author’s style of writing (or story telling approach; I know its a history book) felt like a chore at the end. I did not like that the author had to throw in his personal opinions, as well bringing up contemporary issues to mix (even though I agree with some of his points). I would’ve prefer this the was a solely history book! In addition, the author attempts to throw in jokes to the mix, which I feel at times makes it even worse! Another thing that I didn’t fully understand was that the author used quite of lot of the original medieval Spanish texts. I obviously know Spanish (its my native tongue!), but including large texts of medieval Spanish with no proper translation (its quite different with modern Spanish!), was a bit confusing to me at times.
Not all was bad, as I did learn new things. But overall I’m fairly disappointed, because I was thinking of reading more books written by Juan Eslava Galán, since he has a very impressive library under his name.
I’m very optimist by nature, so I’ll probably will give the author another chance and read another book by him. I can only hope that it’s better.