My rating is really a 2.5 as the style of writing is not my cup of tea but didn't negate that this was an intriguing novel though a bit on the fatalistic Bruegel's Fall of Icarus feel to it.
This novel is written from the first person perspective of several characters simultaneously with very different lives and circumstances but their fates are intertwined by lace. I liked the concept. Parallel lives that may intersect briefly or more entrenched yet each person affected another person's life in some way. You have the lacemaker and her sister, the blackmailing Count, the pawn and her cousin, the soldier charged with finding contraband, and even the dog smuggling lace. It is a very interesting array of characters to depict. However, it was jarring.
It also made it difficult to get a feel for the characters. Each narrative had to tell what was going on as well as convey the person's thoughts and emotions. For a few of the characters, it was handled well enough but the others, not so well and made the narrative more jarring while you were trying to figure out where the story fit on the timeline that had already progressed from another character's point of view. Also, it seemed like the most of the characters get kitchen sinked (i.e. that is everything bad that can happen, does.)
With that said, it is still a very compelling story and a quick read.