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review 2019-09-16 03:29
Dragon Lady
Dragon Lady - Autumn Bardot
Xianggu is a teenager when she is sold into slavery by her father.  Xianggu is bought by Madame Xu, the Madame on a floating brothel.  Xianggu quickly learns the ways of the brothel and becomes indispensable to Madame Xu.  After years on the floating brothel, Xianggu is a prized flower girl and has trained to take over for Madame Xu.  However, the brothel is raided by pirates and Xianggu uses her skills to change her situation.  Soon, Xianggu is the wife of the Zheng Yi, the boss of the Red Flag pirate ship.  As Zheng Yi's wife, Xianggu does more than satisfy his needs, she learns everything about the ship, pirate hierarchy, how they conduct business and learns to battle.  Xianggu is determined to rise above the situation she was handed in life and piracy is the key to her success.
 
Dragon Lady is an amazing adventure about a real extraordinary woman who faced adversity, survived and made the best of every situation thrown her way.  The overwhelming theme of the story is "who is to say what is good or bad?" and using determination to change your own fate.  From the moment Xianggu is sold into slavery and uses the power of a story to calm the other girls with her, I knew Xianggu's character would prevail.  Xianggu used everyone as a stepping stone to her own growth, despite being in a position below them.  The writing carried me through Xianggu's life with wonder and amazement, showing both of Xianggu's sides of fierce determination and shrewd business sense as well as sincerity, compassion and fairness.  A great amount of research is evident when reading about Xianggu's time aboard the Red Flag, from the layout of the ship, to the food the pirate's ate and all of the crew to keep the ship running, the details are all precise and I could imagine the large ship clearly.  Xianggu's role and importance in history is also shown as she played a part in battle planning, money making schemes, doling out punishments and creating pirate code.  Overall, an absorbing story of Xianggu's rise to power and her ambition to lead on her own.  
 
This book was received for free in return for and honest review. 
 
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review 2019-09-14 00:50
Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear - My Thoughts
Maisie Dobbs - Jacqueline Winspear

I came across these books one day a couple of years ago and pointed them out to my good friend, Lainey, who loves anything to do with the Great War.  She picked the first one up and went on to read the others and raved about them!  *LOL*  Finally, a few weeks ago, there was a sale and I managed to pick up this book and books 3 & 4. 

I'm glad to say that I quite enjoyed it!

Now there are a lot of words in this book.  The author likes words.  But that's not a problem because it translates the setting and feel of the book perfectly, I thought. The book is set in 1929, ten years after the end of the First World War, but the Great War permeates every nook and cranny of the story.

Maisie is a great character.  VERY competent and quite brilliant, she does have her faults though.  Just not too many of them.  *LOL*   I enjoyed traveling with her as she sought to unravel the mystery of The Retreat and as well, her trips back into her youth and time during the war.  I'd say a good third if not more of the book is taken up with what one would term her 'backstory', but it worked. 

In conclusion, I quite enjoyed my read, despite thinking at the outset that it just might be a very pedantic read - it wasn't at all. I actually fell a little in love with the characters and I'm looking forward to my next read in Maisie's world!

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text 2019-09-12 20:52
Reading progress update: I've read 62%.
The Pride of the Peacock (Casablanca Classics) - Victoria Holt

Sorry for the updates. I got to reading and wanted to share some of the notes I made at certain percentage points. Also I never want to read the words "opal" "Green Flash" or "peacocks" again. 


This book is beyond tedious. 

 

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text 2019-09-12 20:42
Reading progress update: I've read 49%.
The Pride of the Peacock (Casablanca Classics) - Victoria Holt

Well now they are finally off to Australia. Opal Jessica (Jessica) is still not developed very well and neither is Joss. Maybe a MURDER will happen soon. 

 

Image result for australia gif

 

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text 2019-09-12 20:39
Reading progress update: I've read 47%.
The Pride of the Peacock (Casablanca Classics) - Victoria Holt

The old man (Ben) is creepy as anything and the son (Joss) is boring as dirt. I am bored reading this. Where's the mystery and creepy old house?

 

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