Mr Ceridwen and I have been listening to audiobooks on our (somewhat long) drive up to the cabin, which has been generally enjoyable. We got through the entire "Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire" series, which was absolutely a great time. Good narrators, very interesting alt-history, a semi-twist ending I didn't see coming, very astute observations about gender, and on. Well recommended all around. So then we cased around for the next steampunkery to fill the hours.
I downloaded A Conspiracy of Alchemists first, but holy God was the narrator bad. We just couldn't stop laughing at her hiccoughing reading style. Then we moved on to Phoenix Rising, which opens with a relatively fun rescue sequence, and then settles into ... a whole lot of not so very clever bickering. The main characters, named Books & Braun (gag), are a fussy librarian and a stabby brute, but, get this, the DUDE is the fussy pepperpot and the LADY loves explosives. Oh ho, I bet you thought the lady was the librarian, but you would be wrong! See our fascinating gender reversal!
I actually fell asleep while listening.
Which, look, I generally think whether I like this sort of pulp mid-list disposable reading is more dependent on the angle of the sun or the barometric pressure than, say, actual merit. Because this stuff is all more or less the same -- somewhat formulaic, dependent on action, sometimes quippy, little bit of romance for the ladies, etc -- so I wonder sometimes why I bother reading (or writing) reviews. Something called Conspiracy of Alchemists is going to be a three-star outing, shitty narrators notwithstanding, and that I thought Phoenix Rising boring and trite might because I ate something like all the doughnuts when I stopped in Hinckley and hit Toby's bakery. Noms.
The last hour of Anne Boleyn's life...
Court intrigue, revenge and all the secrets of the last hour are revealed as one queen falls and another rises to take her place on destiny's stage.
A young Anne Boleyn arrives at the court of King Henry VIII. She is to be presented at the Shrovetide pageant, le Château Vert. The young and ambitious Anne has no idea that a chance encounter before the pageant will lead to her capturing the heart of the king. What begins as a distraction becomes his obsession and leads to her destruction.
Love, hate, loyalty and betrayal come together in a single dramatic moment... the execution of a queen. The history of England will be changed for ever.
This is an intriguing look into the last hours of Anne Boleyn's life. A friend of mine recommended this book to me. I am not really a huge reader of historical fiction, but who hasn't heard about these royals and the tragic circumstances leading up to Anne Boleyn's beheading? So, being curious, I decided to give this book a try.
First off, I would like to say that the cover is very striking. It definitely catches the eye and has many elements in it that are relevant to the story within the cover.
This book is told in first person by various characters, from Anne Boleyn herself to King Henry VIII and the executioner amongst others. The author has taken real facts but added her own fictional twist to the tale. Unfortunately, I found this story, although a page turner, to be a little too dry for my taste. I felt that there could have been more meat added to the fictional sections to make it more scandalous. I don't know if Henry really loved Anne or not, or whether the accusations he levied against her were true or not either. Henry must have found himself under extreme pressure to father a male heir for him to annul his marriage and order Anne's death, then set his sights on Lady Jane Seymour. Or he was an utter womanizer and it was his infidelity he was hiding by accusing his wife of it instead when she failed to give him the son he desired. We can only guess at his thoughts, though his actions on the day of the execution was rather telling in my opinion.
What I did discover about Anne Boleyn from this book was that she was strong willed and had many enemies that wished her ill. I am not sure if she would have gone to her death without a fight. Whether she was drugged/sedated up until her beheading to keep her quiet one will never know. However, what I do know is that she was a formidable woman who faced death with grace.
Hunter S. Jones has written an intriguing fictional tale of real events. Her descriptive writing brought the past to life and her fast paced writing style kept me turning the pages. However, by having each chapter told through the various characters, I found the flow a little choppy and slightly disconnected from each other. But, having said that, I would consider reading more of this author's books in the future.
Although there are no scenes of a sensuous nature, there is mention of execution and beheading. Therefore, I do not recommend this book to younger readers (under 12) or those with a nervous disposition. However, if you love historical fiction and you're interested in the Tudor's, this is the book for you. - Lynn Worton
A teeth clenching, edge of your seat journey for a woman that finds love when she least expects it. You won't be able to put this story down and will have you eager for book 2.
Daughtry has had a pretty hard year and she wants nothing more than to end the torment any way she can. She lived in constant fear of having someone touch her and seeing what she couldn't change. When her old friend John showed up Daughtry's world did a complete turnaround when trouble comes filling her with questions that no one seemed inclined to answer. Getting help from John's friend, Cody, they began a journey for their safety that ended in a place that holds the secrets of Daughtry's past. Things start to heat up between Daughtry and Cody all the while Daughtry battles those meaning to do her and all that she loves harm.