One of the things I'm enjoying very much about the 2012 Orange Prize long list is the sheer variety of historical novels that have been selected. I'm a huge fan of the genre & it's great to see it producing so many beautifully written books. I was really looking forward to Stella Tillyard's " Tides of War" as it's set in a historical period that interests me greatly, Regency England at the time of the Napoleonic wars.
Stella Tillyard is best known as a historian & this is her first novel. I really wanted to like the book but, in the end, I was left disappointed. My feeling is that the sheer weight of historical detail ultimately overwhelmed the characters & left them feeling rather two dimensional. You do get a really clear view of life at this period but at the expense of being caught up in the story & really caring about the people living it. I'm afraid that is a basic requirement for me, sadly, the book just didn't deliver.