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review 2017-07-24 23:28
The Half-Drowned King: A Novel - Linnea Hartsuyker

When I read the description for this book my first thought was “Gimme!”, for a couple of reasons. I’ve done a lot of family genealogical research & was intrigued to find that some of my dodgy ancestors began life in Norway before taking a wrong turn & landing on the shores of Scotland in the 15th century. Men…just will not ask for directions. But suddenly I understood why I’ve always wanted a helmet with horns. It’s genetic.

 

The other thing that caught my eye were comparisons made to “Game of Thrones”, “Vikings” & “Outlander”, 3 epic tales that sweep you off your feet & drop you firmly in the muck & mayhem of the past. More on this later.

 

In this first of a trilogy, we’re introduced to Ragnvald Eysteinsson & his sister Svanhild. The story begins with Ragnvald aboard a ship that is returning home from a raid. Instead of a warm welcome, someone tries to kill him on orders from his stepfather Olaf. Ragnvald stands to inherit a sizeable inheritance from his deceased father but Olaf has other plans. It’s a pivotal moment that sets in motion everything that follows as Ragnvald seeks to regain his birthright & give Svanhild a better life.

 

The story is based on sagas of King Harald that were written in the 13th century & it’s obvious the author has done extensive research. Settings are atmospheric & rich in cultural detail. You gain a great sense of how these people lived & what they believed. This is the book’s strong point & what I enjoyed most. Unfortunately, the main characters fared less well. There is something missing that I have trouble putting my finger on…depth or passion…that prevents them from becoming fully fleshed out. My other issue was with pacing. You’d expect a bit of a roller coaster, ranging from the mundane of everyday life to epic battles but oddly enough there’s not much difference between how these are portrayed. Maybe that’s the point. Whether you’re having dinner or engaged in swordplay, it’s all in a day’s work if you’re a viking.

 

Hence the problem with comparing it to the 3 series above. Because of the bold & colourful characters in those stories, you become deeply invested in their fates & feel a range of emotion that places you firmly in the grip of the narrative. Here, due to the author’s impressive knowledge of period detail, the setting often outshines the characters. I was also hoping for the inclusion of more Norse mythology as it was a significant influence on their belief system but that’s a minor personal quibble.

 

As always, it comes down to what you look for in a story & there are plenty of readers (and fans of the series mentioned above) who have given this high marks. So if you’re in the mood for some old fashioned raiding, give it a go. The good news is there are 2 more in the works. Oh, and the helmets? Turns out there’s next to no evidence any self respecting viking would’ve been caught dead in one. Great….anyone want to buy a set of horns? Best offer.

 

 

         

 

 

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review 2017-06-25 17:49
Not fine wine
Fit For A King (Mira) - Diana Palmer

Before reading this I had no idea a whole book could be about a "sheltered, naive, innocent" woman holding on to her virginity into mid-twenties because the proper thing to do is get married first but suddenly lose control of her body around the almost forty tall, dark, and handsome oil man after being "friends" with him for two years. 

 

 

The bonus part of this story? The storyline to get these two wacky kids together is that our "hero" wants Virgin (referring not to disparage but it was quite honestly the only identity the author gave this character ) to pretend to be his girlfriend to not only help dissuade his sister-in-law from hitting on him but to help HIM keep away from SIL, too. 

Y'all, he wants to bang his SIL. 

 

 

The whole book is "hero" and Virgin getting hot and bothered but breaking apart because they're not married. I know, I know, there are modern people with same sentiment. God love you! I, however, am not into reading 250ish pages of people giving themselves blue balls because of a guy in the sky.

"Hero" also smokes.

 

 

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text 2017-06-21 11:26
21st June 2017
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court - Mark Twain

You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.

 

Mark Twain

 

June 21, 528: In Mark Twain's time-travel novel, Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, the protagonist saves himself from death by threatening to plunge the world into darkness. Luckily for him, his execution was scheduled at the same time as the only eclipse in the 6th century.

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url 2017-06-05 19:45
Kindle Firsts for June 2017 (free ARC from Amazon Imprints)
The Man of Legends - Kenneth Johnson
Soho Dead (The Soho Series Book 1) - Greg Keen
Stillhouse Lake - Rachel Caine
Wives of War - Soraya M. Lane
The Man Who Could Be King: A Novel - John Ripin Miller
Lost in Arcadia: A Novel - Sean Gandert

Amazon prime members get to choose one of these free and ahead of their publication date.  As has been true all of this year and last year, every choice has been published under an Amazon imprint.

 

For myself, nothing appeals (not even the dystopian that I can easily see happening -- ugh -- the description on product page is just quoted praises if you don't click to see more).

 

 So for June, I've downloaded "none of the above."

 

Source: www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/kindlefirst
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review 2017-05-28 21:33
Daughter of a Pirate King

Daughter of a Pirate King Review by Tricia Levenseller

Published by Feiwel & Friends on February 28, 2017

Genres: YA Novel, Fantasy                                                                                                     Pages: 320                                                                                                                                      Format:   Hard Back                                                                                                                Source: Personally Bought  

                                                                                                                                                I would give this book 4 for a review.

 

There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I've gotten what I came for. 

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

In Daughter of the Pirate King, debut author Tricia Levenseller blends action, adventure, romance, and a little bit of magic into a thrilling YA pirate tale.

 

5 Reasons to read The daughter of the pirate King!

 

  1. I loved the female character so much and was excited to see how she changed throughout the novel.
  2. The story was fast paced thrill ride and I can’t wait for the second book in the series.
  3. This book had a such a cool romance and I am totally in love with them as a couple!
  4. The story has a classic adventure story with a unique twist!
  5. This is female heavy story and I really enjoyed it!

 

Check out my video review 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9puVV88mFWk&t=256s

 

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