It's hard to just pick out 10 top books, so I wanted to also add the following:
All in all, I've read 273 books, (although I will probably get another 1 or 2 in before midnight on the 31st). That's approximately 67,628 pages!
Final count as of today:
67 of the books were 5 stars
79 of the books were 4 stars
84 of the books were 3 stars
24 of the books were 2 stars
13 of the books were 1 stars
and 5 of them I DNF'd.
Not a bad year! Here's looking at 2016!!
A neglected slave girl seizes her own courage as Boudica calls for war.
An idealistic tribune finds manhood in a brutal baptism of blood and slaughter.
A death-haunted Druid challenges the gods themselves to ensure victory for his people.
A conflicted young warrior finds himself torn between loyalties to tribe and to Rome.
An old champion struggles for everlasting glory in the final battle against the legions.
A pair of fiery princesses fight to salvage the pieces of their mother’s dream as the ravens circle."
This novel tells the story of the Boudica rebellion in 60 A.D. against the power of Rome. Told by seven authors and from the point of view of different characters, this story was a hard, raw look at war in all it's glory.
Even though the book was penned by seven of my favorite historical fiction authors, it was amazingly cohesive and well thought out. Each character brought a unique perspective of the rebellion, either form a Briton or Roman point of view. I loved all of the characters, except for Helva- he was a real pig, which made it hard to empathize with one side more so than the other.
A most emotional and compelling read which I give 5 stars and easily a favorite of the year.
Definitely recommended for HF fans!
First line: We were both queens.
Review: If you've ever harbored the suspicion or opinion that historical fiction is a genre just of corsets, heaving bodies, and royal bedhopping, this book will change your opinion. If you know how rich, violent, and disturbing historical fiction can be, this book will make you cackle with delight.
Set in 60 AD, this episodic novel follows the rebellion of Boudica and the native peoples of the UK against the Romans. Despite the fact that this book is penned by seven authors -- each chapter follows a different point of view -- this book has a cohesive feel, and the absolutely gutting story of Boudica, her daughters, and the Romans fighting against her are presented in raw, hard, and unapologetic prose.
I loved this book for all the reasons I adore historical fiction: it illuminated a foreign era for me and each author created a vibrant human I couldn't help but relate to (even if I didn't want to!). The arc of the story is chronological, but the story is pushed along by each new character. Previous characters aren't forgotten, but each -- whether Briton or Roman -- are articulated so well, I actually found my loyalties waffling! (And I say this as an unabashed Boudica fangirl!)
The participating authors are fabulous, and the writing here is top notch. There's enormous emotion, cinematic battles, and darkly hilarious moments to punctuate the gut-punching sorrow. The characters are deliciously wide ranging -- from queens to servant girl, Druid priest to lowly Roman soldier -- and I loved that I found myself viewing this conflict from 360 degrees.
The brutality of this campaign is presented unapologetic detail, which meant I was gasping, wincing, and squinting my eyes closed more than once. It very nearly verged on too gruesome for me but I appreciated that -- there's nothing whitewashed about war in this era. As I said, the characters are so fully realized that each time I thought -- oh, I'm for the Britons -- I'd find myself melting in sympathy toward the Romans. (Well, maybe not sympathy, but you know...)
This is a fav read for 2015, and another knockout for the H Team (the loose collection of historical fiction authors who are penning collaborative novels together). I never thought I'd be so devoted to the collaborative novel, but I'm already impatiently awaiting their next endeavor!