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The Merchant's Daughter (Hagenheim Series #2) by Melanie Dickerson: A Book Review

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The Merchant’s Daughter (Hagenheim Series #2)
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Christian
Publisher: Zondervan
Release Date: 2011
Pages: 284
Source: Personal Collection
Synopsis: An unthinkable danger. An unexpected choice. Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. Her circumstances are made even worse by the proximity of Lord Ranulf s bailiff a revolting man who has made unwelcome advances on Annabel in the past. Believing that life in a nunnery is the best way to escape the escalation of the bailiff's vile behavior and to preserve the faith that sustains her, Annabel is surprised to discover a sense of security and joy in her encounters with Lord Ranulf. As Annabel struggles to confront her feelings, she is involved in a situation that could place Ranulf in grave danger. Ranulf's future, and possibly his heart, may rest in her hands, and Anna…

Tower of Thorns (Book #2 of The Blackthorn and Grim Series) by Juliet Marillier: A Book Review

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Tower of Thorns (Book #2 of The Blackthorn and Grim Series)
Author: Juliet Marillier
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Roc
Release Date: November 3, 2015
Pages: 439
Source: Publisher/Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Award-winning author Juliet Marillier’s “lavishly detailed” Blackthorn & Grim series continues as a mysterious creature holds an enchanted and imperiled ancient Ireland in thrall.

     Disillusioned healer Blackthorn and her companion, Grim, have settled in Dalriada to wait out the seven years of Blackthorn’s bond to her fey mentor, hoping to avoid any dire challenges. But trouble has a way of seeking out Blackthorn and Grim.

     Lady Geiléis, a noblewoman from the northern border, has asked for the prince of Dalriada’s help in expelling a howling creature from an old tower on her land—one surrounded by an impenetrable hedge of thorns. Casting a blight over the entire district, and impossible to drive out by ordinary means, it threatens both th…

Dreamer's Pool (Book #1 of The Blackthorn and Grim Series) by Juliet Marillier: A Book Review

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Dreamer’s Pool (Book #1 of The Blackthorn and Grim Series)
Author:  Juliet Marillier
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Roc
Release Date: 2014
Pages: 464
Source: Personal Collection
Synopsis: Award-winning author Juliet Marillier “weaves magic, mythology, and folklore into every sentence on the page” (The Book Smugglers). Now she begins an all-new and enchanting series that will transport readers to a magical vision of ancient Ireland....

     In exchange for help escaping her long and wrongful imprisonment, embittered magical healer Blackthorn has vowed to set aside her bid for vengeance against the man who destroyed all that she once held dear. Followed by a former prison mate, a silent hulk of a man named Grim, she travels north to Dalriada. There she’ll live on the fringe of a mysterious forest, duty bound for seven years to assist anyone who asks for her help.

     Oran, crown prince of Dalriada, has waited anxiously for the arrival of his future bride, Lady Flidais. He knows h…

Silver Eve (Guardians of Tarnec #2) by Sandra Waugh: A Book Review

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Silver Eve (Guardians of Tarnec #2)
Author:  Sandra Waugh
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2015
Pages: 381
Source: This book was given to me by Rockstars Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: The Healer Evie saves two herbs for herself—yew, a quick and painful poison, and heliotrope, for the deep, deep sleep that never ends.

     After the death of her beloved, seventeen-year-old Evie Carew wants nothing more than to lose herself forever in the wilds of Rood Marsh. But when the old seer Harker tells her she’s meant for a greater task, Evie’s curiosity keeps her going. What is this shell that Harker insists she must find? And why can’t she stop thinking about the handsome Rider Laurent, the young man who saved her on the worst day of her life? 

     Soon Evie discovers that she is the Guardian of Death, the second of four Guardians who must awaken to their powers to recover four stolen amulets. Together, the amulets—Life, Death, Dark, and Light—keep the …

Blog Tour: Return Once More (The Historians #1) by Trisha Leigh: A Book Review

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Return Once More by Trisha Leigh 
(The Historians #1)
Published by: Bloomsbury Spark
Publication date: September 29th 2015
Genres: Science Fiction, Time-Travel, Young Adult
Source: This book was given to me by Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:

     If you could learn the identity of your one true love—even though you will never meet— would you?

     Years have passed since refugees from a ruined earth took to space, eventually settling a new system of planets. Science has not only made the leaps necessary to allow time travel, but the process engineered a strange side effect—predicting your one true love.

     If you could save your one true love from an untimely death, would you be able to resist?

     Sixteen-year-old Kaia Vespasian is an apprentice to the Historians—a group charged with using time travel to document the triumphs and failures of the past—and she can’t resist a peek at her long-dead soul mate in Ancient Egypt. Before she knows it, she’s broken ever…

The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women Across The Ancient World by Adrienne Mayor: A Book Review

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The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women Across The Ancient World
Author:  Adrienne Mayor
Genre: Nonfiction, History
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2014
Pages: 530
Source: My State Public Library
Synopsis: Amazons—fierce warrior women dwelling on the fringes of the known world—were the mythic archenemies of the ancient Greeks. Heracles and Achilles displayed their valor in duels with Amazon queens, and the Athenians reveled in their victory over a powerful Amazon army. In historical times, Cyrus of Persia, Alexander the Great, and the Roman general Pompey tangled with Amazons.

     But just who were these bold barbarian archers on horseback who gloried in fighting, hunting, and sexual freedom? Were Amazons real? In this deeply researched, wide-ranging, and lavishly illustrated book, National Book Award finalist Adrienne Mayor presents the Amazons as they have never been seen before. This is the first comprehensive account of warrior women in myth and history across…

Blog Tour: The Oracle (The Sarah Weston Chronicles, Book Three) by D.J. Niko

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The Oracle (The Sarah Weston Chronicles, Book Three) by D. J. Niko Publication Date: November 10, 2015 Medallion Press Paperback; 456p ISBN-13: 978-1605426273 Genre: Historical/Archaeological Adventure



     In Delphi, the mountain city deemed by the Greek gods to be the center of the Earth, a cult of neo-pagans re-create with painstaking authenticity ancient rituals to glorify the god Apollo and deliver oracles to seekers from around the world.

     When antiquities are stolen from a museum in nearby Thebes, British archaeologist Sarah Weston and her American partner, Daniel Madigan, are drawn into a plot that goes beyond harmless role-playing: someone’s using the Delphian oracle as a smoke screen for an information exchange, with devastating consequences for the Western world.

     Pitted against each other by the cult’s mastermind, Sarah and Daniel race against time and their own personal demons to uncover clues left behind by the ancients. Their mission: to find the origina…

Blog Tour: Lumiere by Jacqueline E. Garlick: A Book Review

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Lumière by Jacqueline E. Garlick 
(The Illumination Paradox #1)
Publication date: December 12th 2013
Genres: Steampunk, Young Adult
Source: This book was given to me by Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: Even in a land of eternal twilight, secrets can’t stay hidden forever.

     Seventeen-year-old Eyelet Elsworth is no stranger to living in the dark. She’s hidden her secret affliction all of her life—a life that would be in danger if superstitious townspeople ever guessed the truth. After her mother is accused and executed for a crime that she didn’t commit, the now-orphaned Eyelet has no choice but to track down the machine—her last hope for a cure. But Eyelet’s late father’s most prized invention, the Illuminator, has been missing since the day of the mysterious flash—a day that saw the sun wiped out over Brethren forever.

     Alone and on the run, she finds the Illuminator—only to witness a young man hauling it away. Determined to follow the thief and recover …

A Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnston: A Book Review

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A Thousand Nights
Author: E. K. Johnston
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: October 6, 2015
Pages: 336
Source: Publisher/Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

     And so she is taken in her sister's place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin's court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time. But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that …

Esther by Rebecca Kanner: A Book Review

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Esther
Author: Rebecca Kanner
Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian, Biblical Fiction
Publisher: Howard Books
Release Date: November 3rd, 2015
Pages: 400
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review
Synopsis: From the award-winning author of Sinners and the Sea comes a breathtaking new look into the timeless tale of Queen Esther.

     A glittering Persian king has a vast empire that reaches farther than where the sun meets the horizon. He is bathed in riches and commands a frightening military force. He possesses power beyond any other mortal man and rules his kingdom as a god. Anything he desires, he has. Any woman he wants, he possesses. Thousands of them. Young virgins from all across his many lands.

     A Jewish girl is ripped from her hut by the king’s brutish warriors and forced to march across blistering, scorched earth to the capitol city. Trapped for months in the splendid cage of the king’s palace, she must avoid the ire of the king’s concubines and eunuchs all while …

Bathsheba: Reluctant Beauty (A Dangerous Beauty Novel, Book Two) by Angela Hunt: A Book Review

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Bathsheba: Reluctant Beauty (A Dangerous Beauty Novel, Book Two)
Author: Angela Hunt
Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian, Biblical Fiction
Publisher: Bethany House
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Pages: 384
Source: Publisher/Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: One of Ancient Israel's Most Famous Women-- As You've Never Looked at Her Before

     One of the Bible's most misunderstood and misjudged women, Bathsheba comes to life in this new biblical reimagining from Angela Hunt. Combining historical facts with detailed fiction, this is an eye-opening portrait that will have you reconsidering everything you thought you knew about her. 

     After receiving God's promise of a lifelong reign and an eternal dynasty, King David forces himself on Bathsheba, a loyal soldier's wife. When her resulting pregnancy forces the king to murder her husband and add her to his harem, Bathsheba struggles to protect her son while dealing with the effects of a dark prophecy and de…

A Curious Beginning: A Veronica Speedwell Mystery by Deanna Raybourn: A Book Review

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A Curious Beginning: A Veronica Speedwell Mystery
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Pages: 352
Source: Publisher/Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: In her thrilling new series, the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey mysteries, returns once more to Victorian England…and introduces intrepid adventuress Veronica Speedwell.

     London, 1887. As the city prepares to celebrate Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee, Veronica Speedwell is marking a milestone of her own. After burying her spinster aunt, the orphaned Veronica is free to resume her world travels in pursuit of scientific inquiry—and the occasional romantic dalliance. As familiar with hunting butterflies as she is fending off admirers, Veronica wields her butterfly net and a sharpened hatpin with equal aplomb, and with her last connection to England now gone, she intends to embark upon the journey of a lifetime.

     But fate has…

Theodora: Actress, Empress, Saint (Women in Antiquity) by David Potter: A Book Review

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Theodora: Actress, Empress, Saint (Women in Antiquity)
Author: David Potter
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography, History
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: November 4, 2015
Pages: 288
Source: Publisher/Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Two of the most famous mosaics from the ancient world, in the church of San Vitale in Ravenna, depict the sixth-century emperor Justinian and, on the wall facing him, his wife, Theodora (497-548). This majestic portrait gives no inkling of Theodora's very humble beginnings or her improbable rise to fame and power. Raised in a family of circus performers near Constantinople's Hippodrome, she abandoned a successful acting career in her late teens to follow a lover whom she was legally forbidden to marry. When he left her, she was a single mother who built a new life for herself as a secret agent, in which role she met the heir to the throne. To the shock of the ruling elite, the two were married, and when Justinian assumed powe…

Blog Tour: Lost Princess (Kingdom of Cymmera Trilogy Book 2) by Dani-Lyn Alexander: A Book Review

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Lost Princess (Kingdom of Cymmera Trilogy Book 2)
by Dani-Lyn Alexander
Release Date: 10/13/15 Lyrical Press 
Synopsis: Ryleigh Donnovan’s life changed forever the day she met Jackson Maynard, a Death Dealer, and followed him home to the kingdom of Cymmera. Now she is trying to care for her sister while saving a realm she knows nothing about...

     Jackson has reluctantly accepted the throne of Cymmera, in place of his father. But his world is in turmoil, the kingdom under constant threat of attack. Worse still, Jackson suspects there is a traitor among his court. A powerful prophet has suggested a way to protect the realm, but that solution may drive Jackson and Ryleigh apart forever... 

     When a magic relic goes missing, Ryleigh has no choice but to journey in search of it. When Jackson discovers Ryleigh is missing, he must make a choice that will either claim their destiny, or bring an end to the only home he’s ever known.

     My Review:Lost Princess is the sequel to Reluctant Princ…