This is not the kind of book you read in one sitting or forty for that matter. I did read the section that intrigued me and brought me to the novel in the first place and that was the Spectacle of the Scaffold. It was brilliant. The transition from monarchy imposed punishment to the state is outlined beautifully. For my particular interest in comparing the spectacle, human sacrifice, devotion and distance it was an excellent resource. Thus my rating is based on this portion of the book. I intend on completing it, but alas, that will take some time.