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review 2016-08-21 00:15
Picked up by chance and ended up amused and intrigued
Kletva krvi : vampiri u Versaillesu - Gordana V. Popović,Ange

Paris, 21. century 


Louis XXIV. is the young king of France, the French Revolution never happened, monarchy rules to this day and age. Gossip spreads.... apparently you can find vampires in Versailles and some even go as far as to say that everyone in Versailles is a vampire. But we begin this story with a young beautiful teenager called Angélique, the daughter of a duchess who is struggling to keep her head and her station while just being introduced to court. She inadvertently reveals the struggle for power between two of the most known and prominent families in France, family Condé and family Orléans. One is said to be the legacy of angels and the other of demons.


(*note: This book is originally written and published in French - Sang Maudit, Des Vampires a Versailles - tome 1 -, this Croatian edition is only a translation of the original book)





My thoughts


I picked this book up in my local library simply because I had room for one more book and this one's cover called to me, yes, yes I admit it. The cover is beautiful, the title most appealing and short summary on the covers called out to me like nothing else... history and alternate future, France, politics, intrigue and... vampires. Imagine the combination. I almost melted while I carried this book home happy as a little child whose mommy just bought him/her some ice cream or in my case, chocolate. 


And I will admit that this book has everything I hoped for. It is very engrossing, characters have depth and layers and we see their progress, story has so many elements that some people might find it confusing and get lost in it because there are so many references to French history and notable people as well as known events that you can fully enjoy it only if you understand it. And I loved this aspect. There is also a couple of action scenes and holding your breath ones. There is also a wonderful imagination of the two authors who write under the pseudonym Ange (Anne and Gérard Guéro respectively) about the future, or the alternate future, we would have if the French Revolution never took place. Modern and old combined. 


This book was definitely amusing. It kept me glued to my seat and it told a wonderful story. But. But. If only this wasn't a young adult book I would be ecstatic right now. Generally, I have no problem with the young adult genre, everything has its merits. But politics, intrigue, court and conspiracies and all of it told from a perspective of a 17 year old girl who does things in this book that are quite unbelievable for someone that age and especially someone who was pushed into that world a couple of days before... that aspect I had difficulties reconciling with. Because I am able to think and I know how the world works and how teenagers work, been there, done that, seen that. 


One more thing was the fact that three teenagers who are friends are also people who carry this story and all the events happening in this book. And each one is very different and we learn about all of them because it is all a part of a bigger picture which comes together in the end. Sometimes it is difficult to remember all the details about the bunch of information thrown at us in a very short time frame and that is if I am including the fact that all the historical references about everything, from places, people, events, books, ideas etc are already well known to the reader. 


If this was meant for the younger readers, teenagers I suppose, I do not see how they can fully appreciate this story not making all the connections properly and if it was meant for the more adult readers, why oh why make it a teenage heroine one???


I will not put any spoilers here and most of the things I would like to say would be considered a spoiler because every detail will be in the end relevant and I don't want to give any of the pieces away before time to those of you who plan on reading it. And I do encourage everyone who loves history, especially French history, old court intrigues and plots in the modern age, teenage heroins and vampires to read this, I believe it will surprise you as it did me.

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review 2015-10-27 14:16
Intrigues - Mercedes Lackey

I am a huge Mercedes Lackey fan and the entire Valdemar series is one of my all-time favorites to binge on every few years. I love the story lines, the mystery, the intrigue, the characters. I pick up one of these books and I am transported to a totally different world and I love it!


Intrigues is the second in the Collegium Chronicles series and continues to focus on Mags, a former mine slave. I have loved this character from the beginning. He was neglected and abused, as well as woefully under educated, during his years at the mine. He saw things and went through things that would have broken most people, yet somehow his spirit stayed alive and stayed strong. Instead of using his lack of education and lack of knowledge about the world as an excuse to give up or to complain, he finds a way to use it to his advantage. There is an undeniably good message in that.


The mystery and intrigue is at high levels in this book, with Mags' past at the center of a lot of it. He is a person without a past. No one knows who he is or where he came from until a foreign operative seems to recognize him. And that moment of recognition puts Mags in the spotlight, and not in a good way.


My Recommendation


I love all of the Valdemar books and this one is an important part of the series. Not only does it give some information about the Collegium, it focuses on a character that is different from many of the others that have been the focus of other series within the saga.

Source: thecaffeinateddivareads.multifacetedmama.com/?p=11496
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2014-03-31 00:00
Intrigues - Mercedes Lackey The storyline moved much faster than the first one, but the angst got turned up to eleven. I have a high tolerance for angst, particularly in a Mercedes Lackey book, and I will admit to thinking that Mags' reaction to things was not that over-the-top given what happened to him. He is forgiven.

But dear Lord, I will never ever forgive Lena and Bear. Ever. And I have this horrible feeling that I am supposed to, somehow. Their behavior towards someone they considered a friend was appallingly self-centered and nasty and hypocritical and genuinely reprehensible. I have never like Lena--she was tolerable, but pathetic. At best I felt faintly sorry for her. But Bear, Bear I expected better from. He is not generally that stupid.

On top of those two, the idea that everyone in the whole Collegium would suddenly forget everything that Mags had done and also the fact that he was *chosen* and proceed to act like a group of middle schoolers just felt...wrong. They brought up Tylendel, which was a completely different thing, and then proceeded to act in a way that was *likely* to alienate Mags and potentially cause problems instead of even considering talking to him or possibly helping him if he needed it or doing anything at all that, you know, might have been useful.

Then Mags, after his suicidal episode, proceeds to spend a bunch of time thinking about how he needs to apologize and being all understanding about how the King's Own feels the need to "test" him by leaving him alone in the city with a bunch of terrorists on the lose, terrorists who know him by sight and are likely to hold a grudge against him. No, Mags, just no. Maybe you don't realize, given your upbringing, that these people are all way out of line, but I certainly do. Lackey has successfully given me a reason to root for Mags, though, which was possibly the point.

Dallen is a joy to behold, as always, and a genuine friend.

Kirball got old fast.

I'm glad this wasn't my first Valdemar series, because I'm not sure I would have realized how much I liked them. I'll finish the series, though, mostly because I feel like Mags will end up a hero in the end and maybe people will remember it for more than a month.
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review 2013-11-28 00:00
The Passionate Love of a Rake (Marlow Intrigues, #2)
The Passionate Love of a Rake (Marlow In... The Passionate Love of a Rake (Marlow Intrigues, #2) - Jane Lark

Jane Hunt Writer First Steps

Jane Hunt Writer Book Reviews Google +

'The Passionate Love of a Rake' overflows with sensuous Regency romance.The second in the Marlowe Intrigues this is definitely my favourite so far.

Robert the elder brother of Edward who we met in The Illicit Love of a Courtesan (Marlow Intrigues, #1) is the passionate rake. A dark, brooding man full of mystery is gradually unraveled by Jane the Dowager Duchess of Sutton, his first love.

This story oozes romance and heartbreak.

Jane's story reveals the exploitation of women in Regency society. Finally free of her cruel, aged husband she finds his son determined to extract the fortune his father left her by whatever means he can.

The depth of the depravity Jane experienced combined with what she sees as Robert's abandonment of her when she needed him most ensures the story is rife with emotional conflict.

Robert's perceptions change as the story develops and he realises why Jane rejects him even if her body cannot.

The story is effortless to read, pure escapism with plenty of excellent supporting characters to hold your interest aside from the passionate romance between Jane and Robert.

The political nature of the society during this time is well described as is the indiscriminate censure it dealt out to those out of favour.

If you are looking for something to warm the winter evenings 'The Passionate Love of a Rake' is perfect.

I received a copy this book from Harper Collins HarperImpulse via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Source: jolliffe01.com/2013/12/03/5-review-the-passionate-love-of-a-rake-jane-lark
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review 2013-11-16 00:00
The Illicit Love of a Courtesan
The Illicit Love of a Courtesan - Jane Lark

Jane Hunt Writer First Steps

Jane Hunt Writer Book Reviews Google +

'The Illicit Love of a Courtesan' is Ellen's poignant battle to overcome the abuse she suffered after husband's death at Waterloo. Her emotional rebirth necessitates self-forgiveness and trust of others before she accepts the love which will restore her humanity and self-worth. Numerous obstacles plague her life in the form of cruel men and society's unforgiving strictures. To find her happy ever after she must harness her fears and conquer these.

Edward a second son has lost his life motivation after the return of his elder brother to reclaim his legacy which has prospered under Edward's stewardship. Wiling his time away in a notorious gaming hell he notices and ultimately has an intimate liaison with Ellen a courtesan who he wins for a couple of hours when he calls her protector Gainsborough out for cheating.

The passion ignites between them and even though she belongs to another Edward cannot forget her. He seeks her out and they enjoy and illicit week of passion whilst her protector is away. On Gainsborough's return he threatens Ellen with her worst nightmare and she runs to Edward the only one who can save her.

Full of angst this story draws you in as soon as the gravity of Ellen's situation is evident. Edward is a true hero willing to protect his lady against all evils and able to forgive her even when she lies.

The supporting cast of characters are interesting and I look forward to the next in the series. 'The Passionate Love of a Rake'

'The Illicit Love of a Courtesan' is an emotional romantic story which gives an excellent insight into the vulnerability of young women in Regency society.

Source: jolliffe01.com/2013/11/18/5-review-the-illicit-love-of-a-courtesan-jane-lark
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