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review 2017-04-30 23:45
Feast of Sorrow by Crystal King
Feast of Sorrow: A Novel of Ancient Rome - Crystal King

Synopsis:

Set amongst the scandal, wealth, and upstairs-downstairs politics of a Roman family, Crystal King’s seminal debut features the man who inspired the world’s oldest cookbook and the ambition that led to his destruction.

On a blistering day in the twenty-sixth year of Augustus Caesar’s reign, a young chef, Thrasius, is acquired for the exorbitant price of twenty thousand denarii. His purchaser is the infamous gourmet Marcus Gavius Apicius, wealthy beyond measure, obsessed with a taste for fine meals from exotic places, and a singular ambition: to serve as culinary advisor to Caesar, an honor that will cement his legacy as Rome's leading epicure.

Apicius rightfully believes that Thrasius is the key to his culinary success, and with Thrasius’s help he soon becomes known for his lavish parties and fantastic meals. Thrasius finds a family in Apicius’s household, his daughter Apicata, his wife Aelia, and her handmaiden, Passia whom Thrasius quickly falls in love with. But as Apicius draws closer to his ultimate goal, his reckless disregard for any who might get in his way takes a dangerous turn that threatens his young family and places his entire household at the mercy of the most powerful forces in Rome.

 

Wow! This book was quite impressive for a debut author! At first I thought most of the book would center mostly on the cooking and foods from the era, and as I don't like to cook, I thought it would get boring. Boy, was I wrong.

 

This book mainly centers on the life of Marcus Gavius Apicius whose recipes were written down, but according to the author's notes, no cookbook survived, but some of his recipes did survive in the writings of other historical figures. Apicius was a very wealthy Roman citizen whose passion for cooking and good food sees him spend a great deal of money to buy a slave named Thrasius to be his cook. His dream is to be the gastronomic advisor to Caesar himself.

 

He throws huge, very extravagant parties hoping to get noticed. But the thing he doesn't realize is that to draw ever closer to Caesar's circle is to also potentially put yourself and family at greater risk. Set at the time of Caesar Augustus and going to the reign of Tiberius and his evil praetorian prefect, Sejanus, Apicius does not seem to realize the dangers that he risks in his quest for greatness.

 

I loved this book and all of the characters, even the vile ones, because it made this period in history really come alive for me. It has all the court intrigues, manipulations and dangers, but also the very human stories of a man who just wanted to be famous and the consequences in the life of his family and slaves. It also did have recipes from that time, and I could do with not eating a lot of it. Flamingo tongues?, cow udders?...no thanks.

 

Kudos to Crystal King for an amazing read and for a debut book! I read this one in less than a day. Keeping her on my list for future reads.

 

5 stars and a favorite.

Highly recommended!

 

 

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review 2017-04-26 02:44
HOUSE OF IVY AND SORROW
House of Ivy & Sorrow - Natalie Whipple

HOUSE OF IVY AND SORROW

Natalie Whipple

Paperback, 360 pages
Published April 15th 2014 by HarperTeen
ISBN: 0062120182 (ISBN13: 9780062120182)
also on Kindle and AudioCD

 

Natalie Whipple is an author that I would definitely read again. House of Ivy and Sorrow's characters are well developed, even the minor characters. I was in a slump when I starting reading this YA novel; but once I sat down with the book, I couldn't put it down. Friendship and family are integral to the plot; coming of age, trusting, which friends are more like family, and family secrets keep the plotline moving at a good pace.

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review 2017-04-02 21:40
Feast of Sorrow, by Crystal King
Feast of Sorrow: A Novel of Ancient Rome - Crystal King

In Feast of Sorrow, Crystal King takes the few known historical details about the life of patrician Marcus Gavius Apicius and the cookbook named after him to create a captivating look into high Roman society in the first century CE. Through the eyes of Thrasius, Apicius’ enslaved cook, we see decades of political wrangling and lots and lots of cooking. Feast of Sorrow is deliciously rich in period detail—though I think I’ll hold off on making some of the provided recipes as I’m not all that fond of dormouse...

 

Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this book from Edeweiss for review consideration.

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text 2017-03-31 02:18
The Kingdom of Eternal Sorrow (The Golden Mage Book 1) C.G. Garcia Free!
The Kingdom of Eternal Sorrow (The Golden Mage Book 1) - C.G. Garcia

fter waking to find her teenaged sister at her apartment in California begging to be allowed to stay after running away from home, Allison McNeal thought her biggest problem that day would be to keep her former stepfather from finding out before she could talk sense into her sister, not the series of strange, unnerving incidents throughout the morning that suddenly have her second-guessing her sanity, and especially not the huge, brilliant light that abruptly flashes in front of them when the two sisters are walking in a nearby park as a hole is seemingly ripped into the very fabric of reality, sucking a terrified and screaming Allison within and ultimately into another world altogether.

Found within the kingdom of Lamia and suddenly manifesting frightening abilities she hasn’t the slightest clue how to control, Allison learns that the locals believe that she’s the Golden Mage, a figure of legend with the ability to perform powerful and terrible spells that haven’t been seen for centuries and destined to fulfill an ancient prophecy where a single decision will ultimately decide the fate of not only two warring kingdoms—one her new home and the other ruled by a cruel mage-king obsessed with Lamia’s conquest—but also a world moving closer to a prophesied time of possible annihilation.

In a world where many see her arrival as a curse and others as a powerful means towards a dark end, Allison’s only guides are a young Mage-general struggling with his own dark past of secrets and betrayals and the Brothers in Divinity, a secretive order of priests and mages whose only loyalties lie with their god and whose divine laws must be followed above all others.

War is swiftly approaching, and if the prophecy is to be believed, only she has the power to determine which kingdom will fall.

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review 2017-03-27 14:40
Sorrow's Turn (Marker Chronicles, #3) by Danielle DeVor
Sorrow's Turn (The Marker Chronicles Book 3) - Danielle DeVor

I have read the first 3 books in this series so far. Book 1 was really good, book 2 I wasn't all that crazy about book 3 (this one) was pretty good. I do like the pretense of the series just not crazy about the lead character Jimmy. Boy needs to man up and get serious instead of being a whiny baby.

 

Jimmy Holiday is a reluctant exorcist. He is all a defrocked Priest and is living with Tabby a witch, 2 spirits Lucy and Doc, and a cat. I have to say my favorite part of the book was when Tabby told him to quit whining. Jimmy is a real whiner he goes on about everything all the time to the point it really distracts from the story. I guess it a personality trait Danielle Devor has given him but it gets on my nerves. I think if he didn't whine quite to much I would love these books more.

In this book at first Jimmy is getting ready to go to Italy to begin his exorcism classes. he will be taking Lucy with him since her soul is attached to him. Doc will be going to wherever he goes to recharge and Tabby will be staying home. Right before he is to head to Italy they find out that Lucy's body has passed away. Jimmy wonders what will happen to her soul now.

 

I really don't want to go into much more detail of the book as there are twists and turn in this one and If I go into to detail it will take away from someone who reads my review and then the book. I do lie that in a way this book is more centered on the rest of the main characters we get to know them a little better.

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