After the blurb and the prologue I expected something very different from what I eventually got but I still wasn't disappointed. Rather the opposite in fact. I somehow expected a quite conventional novel: set-up, climax, resolution (and I expected Ross' cousin and uncle to be the antagonists) but Poldark is more a family-saga in which...things are happening. Which sounds boring but really isn't. It contains a lot of stories that could have been made a whole novel in their own right but they are only touched upon quickly, sometimes the plotline is suddenly dropped and then gets picked up again when you least expect it.
This might make the book sound horrible and I am aware that I have often complained about books that did similar things and gave them bad ratings but here it simply works. While in other cases I had the feeling that the author didn't quite know what they wanted to write and ended up writing about ALL THE THING, Graham knows what he is doing. He is writing a family-saga and families usually don't have just one thing going on in their life that has a clear cut beginning, middle and end. Additionally his prose is quite beautiful. I had to think of Master and Commander a couple of times, O'Brian also has beautiful prose but is sometimes very realistic when it comes to depictions of 'and at times there is not much happening on a ship'. Ross Poldark was for me less extreme in that matter (though I did learn more about copper mining than I ever wanted to know) but there are definitely some similarities in that matter.
Also at the end several of the plotlines are still left hanging without a resolution/are only partly resolved and while that did annoy me somehow it's hard to avoid with the format. Just like it's not realistic for a family to have only one problem it's not realistic for them to have several that are all conveniently solved at the same time. And there are no cliffhangers that will leave you sleepless till you can get your hands on the next book but if you enjoyed this one (which I did) you are going to want to read the second book as well.