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Showing posts from October, 2013

The Bone Flower Throne: Book One of the Bone Flower Trilogy by T. L. Morganfield: A Book Review

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The Bone Flower Throne: Book One of the Bone Flower Trilogy
Author: T. L. Morganfield
Genre: Historical fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Panverse Publishing LLC
Release Date: October, 19th 2013
Pages: 352
Source: NetGalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: "I slid to a stop and gasped when I saw the black-robed monster hunched over Father's bed mat. Its long, matted hair glistened in the moonlight, and it sang in a harsh voice that sounded like bones snapping. I screamed, my heart thudding as if trying to break out of my chest."

     Tenth century Mexico is a world in great upheaval. Incursions from the north bring constant warfare as clashing politics and faiths battle for supremacy. At the fore stands Smoking Mirror, a bloodthirsty god bent on subjugating humanity with his hunger for human hearts. His high priest, Ihuitimal, has conquered Culhuacan, one of the Toltecs' most powerful kingdoms.

     When Smoking Mirror's archenemy, the Feathered Serpent, ta…

Lady Macbeth: A Novel By Susan Fraser King: A Book Review

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Lady Macbeth: A Novel
Author: Susan Fraser King
Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher: Crown
Release Date: 2008
Pages: 352
Source: Personal Collection
Synopsis:I am granddaughter to a king and 
daughter to a prince, a wife twice over, a queen 
as well. I have fought with sword and bow, and 
struggled fierce to bear my babes into this world. 
I have loved deeply and hated deeply, too. 

     Lady Gruadh, called Rue, is the last female descendent of Scotland’s most royal line. Married to a powerful northern lord, she is widowed while still carrying his child and forced to marry her husband’s murderer: a rising war-lord named Macbeth. Encountering danger from Vikings, Saxons, and treacherous Scottish lords, Rue begins to respect the man she once despised–and then realizes that Macbeth’s complex ambitions extend beyond the borders of the vast northern region. Among the powerful warlords and their steel-games, only Macbeth can unite Scotland–and his wife’s royal blood is the key to his ultimate success.�…

Ophelia by Lisa Klein: A Book Review

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Ophelia
Author: Lisa Klein
Genre: YA, Historical fiction, Suspense,
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Release Date: 2006
Pages: 336
Source: Personal Collection
Synopsis: He is Hamlet, Prince of Denmark; she is simply Ophelia. If you think you know their story, think again.

In this reimagining of Shakespeare's famous tragedy, it is Ophelia who takes center stage and finally gets her due. Ambitious for knowledge and witty as well as beautiful, Ophelia catches the attention of the captivating, dark-haired Prince Hamlet, and their love blossoms in secret. But bloody deeds soon turn Denmark into a place of madness, and Ophelia will be forced to choose between her love for Hamlet and her own life. In desperation, Ophelia devises a treacherous plan to escape from Elsinore forever . . . with one very dangerous secret.

My Review: Shakespeare has always been one of my favorite playwrights. I like to read his plays during my spare time. One of his best known plays is Hamlet because what seems like a benevole…

Improbable Women: Five Who Explored the Middle East by William Woods Cotterman: A Book Review

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Improbable Women: Five Who Explored the Middle East
Author: William Woods Cotterman
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography, History
Publisher: Syracuse University Press
Release Date: October 16th, 2013
Pages: 312
Source: NetGalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Zenobia was the third-century Syrian queen who rebelled against Roman rule. Before Emperor Aurelian prevailed against her forces, she had seized almost one-third of the Roman Empire. Today, her legend attracts thousands of visitors to her capital, Palmyra, one of the great ruined cities of the ancient world. 

In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, during the time of Ottoman rule, travel to the Middle East was almost impossible for Westerners. That did not stop five daring women from abandoning their conventional lives and venturing into the heart of this inhospitable region. Improbable Women explores the lives of Hester Stanhope, Jane Digby, Isabel Burton, Gertrude Bell, and Freya Stark, narrating the story of ea…

Before I Met You: A Novel By Lisa Jewell: A Book Review

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Before I Met You: A Novel
Author: Lisa Jewell
Genre: Historical, Contemporary, Mystery 
Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: October 15th, 2013
Pages: 464
Source: NetGalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Jazz Age London, a passionate and forbidden interracial romance, and the unbreakable bond between a bright young woman and her eccentric grandmother come together brilliantly in this gem of a novel, perfect for fans of Downton Abbey, Twenties Girl, and The Chaperone.

     Fresh out of university, Betty is ready to begin a new chapter of her life in London—one she hopes brings new friends, a big career break, and perhaps even true love. Following her dreams in bustling, grungy nineties Soho, she’s ready for whatever life has to throw at her. Or so she thinks…

     In 1920s bohemian London, Arlette—Betty’s grandmother—is starting her new life in a time of post-war change. Beautiful and charismatic, Arlette is soon drawn into the hedonistic world of the Bright Young People.…

Hadassah: One Night With the King: A Novel By Tommy Tenney and Mark Andrew Olsen

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Hadassah: One Night With the King: A Novel
Author: Tommy Tenney and Mark Andrew Olsen
Genre: Historical, Biblical Fiction
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: 2004
Pages: 368
Source: Personal Collection
Synopsis:  A POWERFUL FICTION DEBUT!

     A gripping action-adventure story,
full of political intrigue and suspense,
with a brand-new perspective on a historical figure you may think you already know!

     BOTH A PALACE THRILLER AND A JEWISH WOMAN’S MEMOIR, Hadassah brings the age-old story of Esther to life. This historically accurate novel layered with fresh insights provides a fascinating twist on a pivotal time in religious history, and readers will find it bursting with page-turning drama.

My Review: Queen Esther has always been one of my favorite old testament heroes in the Bible. She is a Jewish girl who married a Babylonian king, and ends up saving her Jewish people. The story of Esther was written after the dispersion of the Jews from Israel, and was written as an instructi…

Tausret: Forgotten Queen and Pharaoh of Egypt Edited by Richard H. Wilkinson: A Book Review

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Tausret: Forgotten Queen and Pharaoh of Egypt
Author: edited by Richard H. Wilkinson
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography, History
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2012
Pages: 168
Source: My State Public Library
Synopsis: ONE OF ONLY A FEW WOMEN who ruled ancient Egypt as a king during its thousands of years of history, Tausret was the last pharaoh of the 19th dynasty (c. 1200 BCE), the last ruling descendent of Ramesses the Great, and one of only two female monarchs buried in Egypt's renowned Valley of the Kings. Though mentioned in Homer as the pharaoh of Egypt who interacted with Helen at the time of the Trojan War, she has long remained a figure shrouded in mystery, hardly even known to many Egyptologists. Nevertheless, recent archaeological discoveries have illuminated Tausret's importance, her accomplishments, and the extent of her influence. Tausret: Forgotten Queen and Pharaoh of Egypt  brings together new work by distinguished scholars whose research and excavations …

Confessions of Marie Antoinette: A Novel by Juliet Grey: A Book Review

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Confessions of Marie Antoinette: A Novel
Author: Juliet Grey
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: September 24th, 2013
Pages: 464
Source: NetGalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: A novel for fans of Philippa Gregory and Michelle Moran, Confessions of Marie Antoinette blends rich historical detail with searing drama, bringing to life the first years of the French Revolution and the final days of the legendary French queen.

     Versailles, 1789. As the burgeoning rebellion reaches the palace gates, Marie Antoinette finds her privileged and peaceful life swiftly upended by violence. Once her loyal subjects, the people of France now seek to overthrow the crown, placing the heirs of the Bourbon dynasty in mortal peril.

     Displaced to the Tuileries Palace in Paris, the royal family is propelled into the heart of the Revolution. There, despite a few staunch allies, they are surrounded by cunning spies and vicious enemies. Yet despite the polit…

Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow: A Novel of Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey: A Book Review

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Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow: A Novel of Marie Antoinette
Author: Juliet Grey
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: 2012
Pages: 448
Source: Personal Collection
Synopsis: A captivating novel of rich spectacle and royal scandal, Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow spans fifteen years in the fateful reign of Marie Antoinette, France’s most legendary and notorious queen.

Paris 1774. At the tender age of eighteen, Marie Antoinette ascends to the French throne alongside her husband, Louis XVI. But behind the extravagance of the young queen’s elaborate silk gowns and dizzyingly high coiffures, she harbors deep fears for her future and that of the Bourbon dynasty.

     From her early growing pains of marriage to the joy of conceiving a child, from her passion for Swedish military attache Axel von Fersen to the devastating Affair of the Diamond Necklace, Marie Antoinette tries to rise above the gossip and rivalries that encircle her. But as revolution blossoms in America,…

Becoming Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey: A Book Review

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Becoming Marie Antoinette
Author: Juliet Grey
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: 2011
Pages: 466
Source: Personal Collection
Synopsis: This enthralling confection of a novel, the first in a new trilogy follows the transformation of a coddled Austrian archduchess into the reckless, powerful, beautiful queen Marie Antoinette.

     “Why must it be me?” I wondered. 
    When I am so clearly inadequate to my destiny?”

     Raised alongside her numerous brothers and sisters by the formidable empress of Austria, ten year-old Maria Antonia knew that her idyllic existence would one day be sacrificed to her mother’s political ambitions. What she never anticipated was that the day in question would come so soon.

     Before she can journey from sunlit picnics with her sisters in Vienna to the glitter, glamour, and gossip of Versailles, Antonia must change everything about herself in order to be accepted as dauphine of France and the wife of the awkward teenage boy who will …