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review 2017-02-20 21:01
Daughter of a Thousand Years
Daughter of a Thousand Years - Amalia Carosella

Freydís is the daughter of Erik the Red in 1000 AD Greenland. Much like her father and brothers, she is fiery and passionate. However, Freydís is passionate about the old gods while Christianity is spreading throughout her people and her family. Freydís' devotion to Thor now marks her as different. She is still determined to make her own fate and practice in her own way, regardless of her brother's or husband's wishes. When the opportunity arises to sail away to Vinland with a man who shares her beliefs, Freydís takes the opportunity to follow her own path. A thousand years later, Emma Moretti has found her path within the Heathen religion of her Icelandic ancestors. Although she has kept her faith a secret since it will likely ruin her father's election chances. Congressman Moretti has run on the platform of Christian family values every election cycle and it hasn't failed him yet. Emma has moved back home this election cycle and has taken an adjunct professor job at the college. Through her class, her faith is revealed and threatens to destroy her and her family.

As a lover of dual time stories, I enjoyed reading about the parallels of Freydís' and Emma's lives one thousand years apart. Emma and Freydís are strong women that show immense courage, they are both true to themselves while trying to live up to their family's wishes. Both women are strong in their faith, even in times of turmoil. I did not know much about the time of Erik the Red and Leif Erikson's voyage other than that it happened, so I enjoyed reading about the journey from Freydís' point of view. I was surprised to learn about the switch in religion in Greenland and Iceland in 1000 AD to Christianity and away from the gods and goddesses. I was also curious about the rise of the worship of old Norse gods in present day. From both sides of history, religion and religious freedom are strong themes. Usually in dual time stories, I am pulled further into one story than the other. In this case, I was pulled further into Emma's plight at first and then Freydís' plight later. I felt more for Freydís's struggle with religion as everyone else turned towards the newer Christianity and she was losing her family. At the same time, Freydís had more freedom with her relationships and was even able to have a relationship outside of her marriage. I felt more for Emma's struggle when her hiding her religion was costing her a chance at romance. Emma's story picked up again for me near the end when she became free in her beliefs. Overall, a wonderful mix of historical fiction and contemporary fictions that compares women's struggles and religious persecution through time. While a lot has changed for the better, Emma and Freydís's stories of courage and standing up for their rights still emanate today.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

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review 2016-09-21 16:28
Tamer of Horses - Amalia Carosella

Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.


                Arranged marriages are tricky things.  People don’t know each other very well and back in the day, quite a bit was riding on an arranged marriage.  And then, well, what do you do if your intended comes from a totally different culture or tribe?


                Carosella’s new book is, in part, an answer to that question.  Pirithous is king of the Lapiths in ancient in Greece, before the Trojan war.  His marriage to Hippodamia is supposed to bring peace between the Lapiths and the centaurs, who are related to the Lapiths.  Hippodamia, a human girl raised by the centaurs, was raised seeing that marriage should be between two people who love each other and not simply a business arrangement.  Needless to say, Pirithous feels a bit differently.  He wants his cake and to eat it too.


                The book, in short, is like many romance novels in that the hero and heroine struggle though commutation all the while shagging each other until they discover true love.  This isn’t necessary a bad thing, and if a straight forward romance with a somewhat unconventional ending is what you want, then this book will deliver it.


                Additionally, Carosella’s knowledge of Bronze and Heroic age Greece is excellent.  She does not modernize terms or Hollywoodize the action.  This is hardly surprising considering her degree in Classics, though considering that some writers play a bit fast with history in fiction, it is nice to see Carosella not do that.  Her interpretation of the Hippodamia and Pirithous story is interesting, especially in regards to the use of a girl raised by centaurs.  It is true that some more of centaur culture would have made the book a bit stronger.  Carosella hews closely to the idea of the centaurs as ruled by passion and possessing a tendency to over-indulge in alcohol (and there are a few scenes where she plays with ignorance of wine quite nicely).  Yet outside of the centaurs mating for life, nothing else is really made clear, unless you count centaurs in a rut (sexual rut), though how this is entirely different than the lust that Pirithous and Hippodamia feel for each other is not entirely clear.


                The main problem is that neither Pirithous and Hippodamia is all that interesting in this book.  Hippodamia does grow a teeny bit towards the end of the novel, but the change is a little sudden and at that point, one is so tired of Hippodamia’s whining and somewhat spoiled behavior that you don’t entirely care.  And despite the title of the novel, she doesn’t really do much in the way of horse tamer.  Pirithous comes across as a little better, he is more aware of responsibility than Hippodamia, but his attraction to his wife seems to be only physical.  This is also true for Pirithous quasi-romantic rival.  The reader’s response is “why does anyone care”.  The answer seems to be because she is hot and talented but still a virgin.  Yet, he comes across as cruel at times.  It is hard to care about the couple, especially when at times page after page is constant hashing over of the relationship.  He loves me not, he loves me – get a damned flower please.


                In fact, the one interesting couple is Theseus and Antiope who not only really seem to be in love – unlike Pirithous and Hippodamia – but don’t talk about it over and over.  It isn’t fully just a question of maturity and wisdom, but Theseus and his wife work in a way that the other couple doesn’t.  The reader can believe in them, unlike the central romantic pairing.


                When the book veers away from the constant whining about the relationship between the romantic couple, it actually gets pretty good.  The action sequences as well done and the description of battles work.  It is almost gripping in those points.  It just takes so long to get there.  Instead of chapter after chapter of going over the same issue (over and over) some more action would not been out of place.

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review 2016-06-22 15:49
Helen of Sparta
By Helen's Hand - Amalia Carosella
Helen of Sparta, also known as Helen of Troy, was the daughter of Zeus and Leda, and was a sister of Castor, Pollux, and Clytemnestra. 
In Greek myths, she is said to be the most beautiful woman in the world. 
Helen was captured by Theseus. a son of a god. They married and Helen was happy, even though she had betrayed her family to be with Theseus.
She was captured back by her brother's and brought home where there were many suitors for her hand in marriage, including, Ajax, Menelaus whom she despised and Odysseus to name only a few . She did marry Menelaus and was  Queen of Laconia, a province within Homeric Greece. She was abducted yet again by Paris, Prince of Troy, which brought about the Trojan War. Imagine being so beautiful that you are the cause of a war!
This story has so many characters that it was hard to keep track of them. I did study ancient history in high school and did read the Iliad and the Odyssey and have always loved Greek Mythology so I was kind of familiar yet with the more well known gods and goddesses. Thank goodness for the listing of who's who in the back of the book. That helped tremendously. 
I did not read the first book in the series so I may have missed some main parts to the story but I did enjoy reading this version of mythology. If you love historical fiction and the Bronze Age, you will love this story. 
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review 2016-05-19 23:15
By Helen's Hand (Helen of Sparta #2)
By Helen's Hand - Amalia Carosella

In this second installment of Helen of Sparta, Helen has been found by her family and returned to Sparta.  As a daughter of Zeus, she was given the gifts of beauty and foresight.  With her knowledge of the future, she tried to avoid war by escaping to Athens with her beloved King Theseus.  However, with Theseus caught in the Underworld, Helen was left vulnerable.  Back in Sparta, the King wastes no time marrying off Helen so an heir for Sparta is set.  The games are underway and many eligible men are seeking Helen’s hand, but can Helen defy her fate and stop a marriage to Menalaus?  And What of Theseus lost in the Underworld?  What of Paris, the shepherd boy that Helen met long ago?  What of the gods and their path for each player?


I could not wait to get my hands on this book!  After reading the first, Helen of Sparta , I  wanted to continue to see how Helen forged her own path in a world that seemed determined to let her do anything but that.  Helen continues to be determined and cunning, not passively bending to the will of the gods, but actively trying to forge her own future. Even though I knew what would eventually become of her, I kept my hopes up for Helen to have things go her way.   I became completely absorbed in each character’s story as the point of view changed between Helen, Paris, Theseus, Polypoetes, Odysseus and Menelaus.  Everyone’s purpose and motivation came through strongly, shining light on all of the different personalities and reasons for their actions.  Descriptive writing brought the time period to life and I could easily imagine the different palaces, Paris’ hill and even the Underworld.  Again, I loved the blend of historical fiction and mythology making for an exciting and fascinating sequel.


This book was received for free in exchange for an honest review.   

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text 2016-01-01 19:24
Der Stern des Seth: ein Steampunk Abenteuer Roman - Amalia Zeichnerin

Wir schreiben das Jahr 1885. Der technische Fortschritt und die Industrialisierung sind kaum aufzuhalten.
Automobile, das Dampfnetz, die Verbreitung der Elektrizität und die Luftschifffahrt sind nur einige Beispiele für die technischen Errungenschaften der letzten Jahrzehnte.

Das Britische Empire verfügt auf der ganzen Welt über zahlreiche Kolonien und Protektorate. Im Sudan schwelt seit vier Jahren ein Konflikt zwischen der anglo-ägyptischen Herrschaft und den zahlreichen Anhängern des politischen Anführers Muhammad Ahmad, genannt Mahdi.

Doch auch das Mystische fasziniert die Menschen dieser Zeit – Okkultismus, Seáncen und andere esoterische Praktiken erfreuen sich großer Beliebtheit – denn wie es bereits bei Shakespeare heißt: „Es gibt mehr Dinge zwischen Himmel und Erde, als Eure Schulweisheit sich träumen lässt.“ Vor diesem Hintergrund machen sich ein Erfinder, ein Wissenschaftler, eine Journalistin, ein kriegsversehrter Sergeant und ein Archäologe auf zu einer Expedition in den Sudan, um dort ein sagenumwobenes altägyptisches Artefakt zu finden. Doch was für Pläne hat ihr adliger Auftraggeber damit?

Source: amalia-zeichnerin.net/steampunk-literatur
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