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Search tags: Edoardo-Albert
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text 2018-08-07 10:21
@Lora, did you see these?


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text 2018-07-31 13:19
July Wrap-up
Conrad Monk and the Great Heathen Army - Edoardo Albert
Kitchen Witchcraft - Rachel Patterson
Haunted Castles of England - J.G. Montgomery
Ghost Boy - Stafford Betty
Llewellyn's Little Book of Life Between Lives - The Newton Institute
Woven in Wire - Sarah Thompson
Unnatural Creatures - Maria Dahvana Headley,Neil Gaiman
Herbal Formularies for Health Professionals, Volume 2 - Jill Stansbury
Knitting Ganseys, Revised and Updated: Techniques and Patterns for Traditional Sweaters - Beth Brown-Reinsel

9 books this month, which is good for me. 6 of them were non-fiction which don't take as long (usually) and 8 of the 9 were from Netgalley.

 

I do have another 7 partial reads on the go which I hope to at least mostly finish by end of August and one more book from Netgalley that definitely won't fit into Halloween Bingo, so I'll start it next.

 

I have 5 books from Netgalley that I haven't started yet that just might fit a Halloween Bingo category, so I'll wait to see what they are before I start any of those! Unless I actually finish all of my current reads, in which case there is one less likely than the others.

 

I'm still working my way through the massive pile of samples. Hopefully choosing books for Bingo will lead to eliminating a few of those! There are a couple in my Horror folder that I hope to include in Bingo, not least of all the third book of the Jason Crane series. It's becoming a tradition to read one of these each year! Though I think this is the last of the series.

 

Of this month's books, the stand out was Conrad Monk and the Great Heathen Army, which I reviewed on my last post before this one. It earned a rare 5 star rating from me.

 

Two of the non-fiction books I read will remain among my reference books; Haunted Castles in England and Herbal Formularies for Health Professionals. The Jewellery and knitting books will also get some future mileage and hopefully I'll find time to try a few projects.

 

So not a bad month, but I definitely need some more good fiction reads in the upcoming months.

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review 2018-07-31 11:00
Conrad Monk and the Great Heathen Army
Conrad Monk and the Great Heathen Army - Edoardo Albert

by Eduardo Albert

 

Historical fiction with humour, what's not to love? This drew me in right away with all the tension of a Viking raid on a monastery and a protagonist who never wanted to be a monk. Conrad is funny in his totally mercenary reaction to the situation and consistently along his further adventures. I do love an intelligent character with a good sense of survival.

 

It's set against a fairly accurate backdrop of history of the Viking invasions of England. Exactly what's based on fact is explained well in a note after the story and holds some real surprises as some details that seemed unlikely turned out to be based on archaeological finds! I may have a couple of locations to visit on my travels.

 

The story keeps a good pace and despite his perpetual self-interest, Conrad is actually a likeable character. How he came to be a monk gets explained in the curse of the story and it's easy to sympathise with him on that particular downturn of his constantly changing fortunes.

 

Best of all, the story puts believable faces to groups of people from history. Personalities among the Danes as well as historical figures bring the setting alive and I did laugh out loud at a few all too human foibles along the way.

 

I highly recommend this story for anyone who likes a Pratchett-like laugh, even if they don't normally read Historical Fiction. My only complaint is the overt way in which the author lets us know there will be a series. I will be interested in the next book despite my usual disinterest series that use this tactic.

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text 2018-07-27 18:46
Reading progress update: I've read 11%.
Conrad Monk and the Great Heathen Army - Edoardo Albert

This is brilliant! Just the right balance of comedy and tension. It might still be on Netgalley if anyone's interested.

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review 2015-08-09 09:16
Oswald: Return of the King
Oswald: Return of the King - Edoardo Albert

by Edoardo Albert

 

The book begins with lists of difficult names I'll never remember, but clarifies pronunciation and historic context. It also explains the importance of names to Anglo-Saxons and why no two will have exactly the same name, although descendants might get an adaptation of an ancestor's name.

 

After the cast of characters, we get an overview of what happened in the previous book, Edwin. This is very useful for people like myself who haven't read the first one, and also starts to give us the feel for the historic period.

 

Then we get to the story for this book. I want to describe it as good, but it doesn't have the flow of really great writing. Too many sentences starting with ing verbs can put me off easily. It works in moderation but the beginning overdid it somewhat.

 

Once I got past that, I was able to get into the story more and appreciate the historic period and events as well as getting to know the characters. Oswald is a reasonably likeable character who would actually like to be a monk, but duty requires that he take up kingship. The pace was a little slow, but ultimately it did take me to the Historical period and the characters were well defined. I felt sympathy for Oswald's changing fortunes and the expectations put upon him just for being born in a line of kings.

 

One of the strong themes in the story is the changing face of religion, as Christianity begins to take hold in a country with Pagan roots. Different factions even within the same families might worship the old gods or embrace the new faith. The latter tend to be very forceful with their opinions, rather like some modern factions.

 

I would recommend this story for anyone who wants to get a strong feel for Anglo-Saxon history. It is atmospheric and realistic about some of the nasty things that happen in battles without becoming overwhelmingly gory.

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