It's not often these days I have to put down a book unfinished and I don't like to, usually preferring to push on to the end to see if it can be redeemed. But this time it just seemed pointless, I really couldn't engage with the story and follow the intricacies of the plot.
I'm not quite sure what exactly about his writing style that makes it so hard for me to take it in. And you need
to take it in because it's a complex story with constantly unfolding twists and turns to keep the reader on their toes. I think perhaps it was the way major plot developments or important facts were revealed as throw away lines at the end of descriptive paragraphs that I often found myself having to go back and re-read passages to make sure I had grasped all salient points in order to maintain my tenuous grasp of story.
It didn't help that the first hundred pages were like a prolonged, three-part prologue designed to introduce to the reader three of the main protagonists that were subsequently brought together. Themselves they were complex narratives with large casts of incidental characters that also introduced the reader to the complex political reality of Europe at the time (which is an altered version of Europe in the late twelfth century).
I just felt that I wasn't getting anything from the experience and was just wasting my time. It wasn't that the story was bad or boring, it was just that I couldn't follow it and life's too short.