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Search tags: Historical-Fantasy
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text 2018-08-09 20:45
Bright We Burn / Kiersten White
Bright We Burn (And I Darken) - Kiersten White

Haunted by the sacrifices he made in Constantinople, Radu is called back to the new capital. Mehmed is building an empire, becoming the sultan his people need. But Mehmed has a secret: as emperor, he is more powerful than ever . . . and desperately lonely. Does this mean Radu can finally have more with Mehmed . . . and would he even want it?

Lada's rule of absolute justice has created a Wallachia free of crime. But Lada won't rest until everyone knows that her country's borders are inviolable. Determined to send a message of defiance, she has the bodies of Mehmed's peace envoy delivered to him, leaving Radu and Mehmed with no choice. If Lada is allowed to continue, only death will prosper. They must go to war against the girl prince.

But Mehmed knows that he loves her. He understands her. She must lose to him so he can keep her safe. Radu alone fears that they are underestimating his sister's indomitable will. Only by destroying everything that came before--including her relationships--can Lada truly build the country she wants.

 

For some reason, I had a hard time convincing myself to pick this book up—it had been sitting & staring at me for just over 2 weeks. Look at that gorgeous cover! All of the covers for this trilogy have been absolutely lovely, but this one is the best in my opinion. I love that exploded pomegranate!

Once I got past the first two pages, I had no more problems. I was right back in Wallachia with Lada and in Constantinople with Radu and Mehmed. I knew enough about the actual historical events that I was aware of how things would have to end—but Ms. White gave me the best possible ending given the circumstances. [I think she jiggered with the facts just a bit to improve Lada’s death, but why not, when you’ve already made Vlad Tepes into a woman?]

I have read that the people of Romania still honour Vlad as a harsh, but fair ruler. White definitely stays true to this notion. A great story, told well in a new & interesting way, and the best possible ending. Certainly a trilogy that I’ll be recommending to others.

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review 2018-08-09 17:04
A Fatal Waltz / Tasha Alexander
A Fatal Waltz - Tasha Alexander

At her friend Ivy's behest, Emily reluctantly agrees to attend a party at the sprawling English country estate of Lord Fortescue, a man she finds as odious as he is powerful. But if Emily is expecting Lord Fortescue to be the greatest of her problems, she is wrong. Her host has also invited Kristiana von Lange, an Austrian countess who was once linked romantically with Emily's fiancé, the debonair Colin Hargreaves. What Emily believes will be a tedious evening turns deadly when Fortescue is found murdered, and his protégé, Robert Brandon—Ivy's husband—is arrested for the crime.

Determined to right this terrible wrong and clear Robert's name, Emily begins to dig for answers, a quest that will lead her from London's glittering ballrooms to Vienna's sordid backstreets. Not until she engages a notorious anarchist in a game of wits does the shocking truth begin to emerge: the price of exonerating Robert can be paid only by placing Colin in deadly peril. To save her fiancé, Emily must do the unthinkable: bargain with her nemesis, the Countess von Lange.

 

Lady Emily and Colin Hargreaves are attending a party together, now that they are affianced. And of course, since this is an historical mystery series, there is a murder. It reminds me of Agatha Christie in that way—wherever Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot happen to go, there will be a murder. Christie tended to set her mysteries in a small town, to ensure that everyone knew one another. In this series, Alexander had chosen a certain stratum of society, who all socialize with and gossip about one another.

It seems that this series will also be a bit like Christie’s Tommy & Tuppence series too. This couple will team up to solve murders and diplomatic incidents together, like Tommy & Tuppence and their espionage endeavours. I have no idea whether Tasha Alexander set out to model her characters after Christie spy duo, but I will soon have the chance to hear her talk about her writing experience—the conference that I’ve been waiting all summer for starts tomorrow!

This is an engaging series and I will look for an excuse to read the next book as soon as I can.

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text 2018-08-08 14:54
Reading progress update: I've read 272 out of 480 pages.
Bright We Burn (And I Darken) - Kiersten White

 

Just as good as the first two books in the series!  I'm not sure why I had such a struggle to get myself to read this--I knew I was going to enjoy it.

 

I should easily finish it this evening.  The next person in the queue will get their chance on time (or even a little early).

 

 

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review 2018-08-07 17:00
Her Royal Spyness / Rhys Bowen
Her Royal Spyness - Rhys Bowen

Georgie, aka Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, cousin of King George V of England, is penniless and trying to survive on her own as an ordinary person in London in 1932.

So far she has managed to light a fire and boil an egg... She's gate-crashed a wedding... She's making money by secretly cleaning houses... And she's been asked to spy for Her Majesty the Queen.

Everything seems to be going swimmingly until she finds a body in her bathtub... and someone is definitely trying to kill her.

 

 

***2018 Summer of Spies***

What an absolutely charming beginning to a series! Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie is a poverty-stricken gentlewoman, 34th in the line of succession to the throne, trying to keep up appearances with little to no income. This author makes the most of the fascination with the Royal family and the deportment of Queen Victoria and her successors. For example:

”The sight of one female person slinking across the forecourt on foot would definitely have my esteemed relative-by-marriage, Her Royal Majesty and Empress of India, Queen Mary, raise an eyebrow. Well, probably not actually raise the eyebrow because personages of royal blood are trained not to react, even to the greatest of improprieties. Were a native in some dark corner of the colonies to strip off his loincloth and dance, waggling his you-know-what with gay abandon, not so much as an eyebrow twitch would be permitted. The only appropriate reaction would be polite clapping when the dance was over.”



A great deal of fun is had with the whole “we are not amused” stereotype, the contrast between Britons and Americans, and the differences between the classes. Don’t be looking for hard-hitting class commentary here, however. Most of the fun derives from the fact that Georgie and her brother are so clueless with regard to the actual running of a household and are so dependent on their servants that they can barely start a fire or boil water for tea.

There is a romantic aspect to the tale as well—Georgie is expected to either find suitable employment for a woman of her rank or find a husband with enough money to keep them in the style that they are accustomed to, money being more important than love in the equation. Georgie, however, has her own ideas on the suitability of husbands and she may have to dodge some of Queen Mary’s ideas on the subject.

Light & fluffy, perfect for summertime reading!

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text 2018-08-07 15:13
Reading progress update: I've read 4 out of 480 pages.
Bright We Burn (And I Darken) - Kiersten White

 

 

Okay, I have 4 days to read this before it's due at the library.  Six people on the waiting list.  I've delayed as long as I can.

 

Now, go!

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