Title: A Letter to the Queen of England
Author: Vicenc Pages Jorda
Joan Ferrer is blacksmith’s son and he creates a sword, which is so great that devil wants it. Devil offers Joan a deal – three wishes for a sword. Joan wishes for immortality and inexhaustible wealth.
Centuries go by and Joan notices that the world is changing rapidly and that immortality and wealth are not bringing only benefits.
Book A Letter to Queen of England has only 108 pages which mean it’s extremely short. It’s written in a form of a letter, addressed to Queen of England. Joan is in jail and needs her help and this letter is actually an explanation of his immortal life.
Because of book’s length, this was really quick read. I could not say, I was bored, but I did expect something more.
To me, writing was impersonal, almost passive and very dull. You can also imagine, how quickly the plot unfolds if the book has something more than 100 pages and it still covers the period from 11th-20th Century. Events are taking place quickly but described are just the ones which were “important” to Joan. I’m aware that this is not a historical book, yet I felt like some important events were just briefly mentioned.
There’s nothing much to say about Joan and his character. Because of his impersonal writing and lack of emotions, a reader can’t learn much about him.
He thought that fulfilled wishes would make him happy, but soon he finds, he was wrong. Wealth and immortality didn’t bring him joy and happiness, which is obvious – he must hide both from the world, can’t settle down anywhere and can’t have friends or family. It’s just not possible without revealing his secrets. He is bored, has experienced everything, but found nothing that would impress him. He’s miserable and nothing can please him.
Like I already mentioned, the story unfolds through ten centuries and it’s quick and effortless display of history. And I liked an idea about that. It was interesting and fun to read about the changes that have occurred over the centuries of time and space, through the perspective of a man who has seen it all and had to adjust to all the crazy changes. But I would love to read more about it and know more about how did they affect Joan.
There are many real characters, who actually lived, and quickly appear but also quickly disappear during the story. (Except Greta Garbo who has important role in the plot but I still can’t figure why…)
Mainly, I liked this book because of the questions it raises: about death and transience of life, immortality, about wealth and human happiness. When I finished this book, I was actually thinking about all these things for a while and about my wishes. What would I choose, if I would have the same option? Would I choose the same as Joan did? Would I make a better use of them?
Rating: 3/5 stars