Many melodramas rely for their action on our sympathy with obstinate stupidity: Keep the Aspidistra Flying, for instance. Tragedies relieve this burden of sympathy by making it unimaginable for their hero to behave differently. The Fool's Tale imposes that degree of limitation; it's obvious early on that retribution will occur, but it would be inhuman for the characters who rush to meet it to act any other way.
Better yet, the form of the retribution is obvious only in hindsight, and all the gritty medieval details are given as plain realism, so the retribution is all the more shocking when it finally looms up.
If I think about some of the dialogue as translated medieval Welsh, it gets less convincing. I don't remember anachronisms of matter, only vocabulary. Of course, all that really means is that it's not like the Oxford or Penguin translations of Welsh and medieval poetry I've read, and I don't actually complain that a modern writer isn't imitating Jowett. There probably isn't a plausible prose for popular historical fiction.
I was reminded of's The King Hereafter, the one novel in which she isn't debilitatingly worshipful of her hero.
ISBN: 0060721502So wrote clew in Fiction (21st c.). | TrackBack