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review 2020-04-20 15:54
Fool's Assassin
Fool's Assassin - Robin Hobb

by Robin Hobb

 

Having read Assassin's Apprentice and enjoyed what I've read of the Farseer series, I could not resist when I saw that reviews were wanted for Fool's Assassin, the first book of a related trilogy with Fitz as an adult, now called FitzChivalry Farseer. There are plenty of references to people and events from the first book of the first series to make a connection and to explain significant elements to readers new to the series.

 

The story begins with a letter written by Queen Desire, second queen to King Shrewd and enemy to Fitz, or anyone else she may perceive as standing between her son and the throne. Fitz thinks the queen was behind his father's murder, though much time has passed and he is now in middle age and has a grown daughter.

 

There are several new characters to add to the familiar ones and the sense of intrigue begins pretty much immediately with the arrival of a group of suspicious minstrels with no instruments to a mid-winter celebration, as well as a strange messenger who Fitz doesn't go to see right away because he is needed as host to his party.

 

Hobb's naming conventions are consistent in that characters are given obvious names according to their positions in the court. The story does a good job of explaining salient points from the previous series well so that new readers will be able to follow what's going on and references to things like the Forged, even if they have not read all of the books. I became aware that I have missed much about the Foil and a pet wolf in the intervening books, but the references brought me up to speed.

 

The book also clearly explains the difference between the Wit, which is a psychic connection on an animal level, and the Skill, which is human to human mind communication. These abilities play a significant role in both series.

 

One thing that bothered me about this one is that Fitz, who was trained to be an assassin at a young age, is not paranoid enough when the dodgy entertainers are observed. For someone with his history, he doesn't seem to have much of a sense of preservation.

 

When blood is spilled during his holiday celebration, he realizes that he enjoys the hunt on an animal level because of an affinity he had formed with his wolf in an earlier story. The Skill is convenient for communication with family from different parts of the manor as he seeks for clues and his animal senses from the Wit show their true value when a crisis requires getting past a lock against the Skill to save the life of an important character. It becomes apparent that writing his chronicles has played an important role in the earlier books and that a legendary entity known as the White prophet plays a key role in this story.

 

The story is well told, yet I found it rather depressing. Middle age, failing health of his wife and painful memories of much of his past life conspire to make the story all too reminiscent, though there is action if you can get past the first few chapters. The story is left with an obvious intent towards continuation, but I felt the series had already reached a point where it feels tired. I'm hoping to see the author move on to something new as she has shown that she can weave a decent fantasy tale and it would be of interest to see how her writing matures.

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review 2020-03-18 08:10
Blog Tour w/Review - Fool Me Twice

   

FOOL ME TWICE

by Carrie Aarons

Release Date: March 12th

 

         

 

AVAILABLE NOW!!
 
FREE in Kindle Unlimited! 
 

 

 

     

 

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51029776-fool-me-twice

 

 

 

 

 

Blurb:

 

When my best friend died of cancer just before her eighteenth birthday, she left her coveted bucket list to me.

 

The things she already crossed off? Skinny dipping, going to Paris, completing the local hot wing challenge, road tripping to the ocean, and sending out a message in a bottle.

 

So, it falls on me to finish it for her, to honor her memory. In the next year, it’s my mission to:

 

1. Dye my hair

2. Have sex

3. Camp out in a tent

4. Go bungee jumping

5. Get revenge on Lincoln Kolb

 

Most are doable, some terrify me, and then there is the last item on the list. When the raven-haired football god dumped my best friend during senior year of high school, she was devastated. The jerk with charm for days found out she was sick, and betrayed her in the worst way possible.

 

But he doesn’t know me, I went to school a town over. Now, to fulfill my promise, I’m the newest freshman on the campus where he is the big man. If there is one thing, aside from cheap beer, that a jock can’t pass up, it’s a shiny new girl.

 

So when I catch his eye, play hard to get, and then fall into his bed, I know my scheme is working to perfection. But what Lincoln can’t see coming is the beatdown I have planned for his ice-cold heart.

 

Unfortunately, what I never saw coming was the one he had planned for mine.        

 

 

 

 

 

Fool Me TwiceFool Me Twice by Carrie Aarons
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Henley has just gone through the worst thing any teenager should have to right before college. She has lost her very best friend to cancer. Now she is trying to stay loyal by finishing her besties bucket list.

Lincoln is intrigued by the new blonde who give him so much crap. He loves that nothing gets past her. This is a woman he could fall for. He has to focus on football, but maybe there is room for more?

This was a very sweet story. I found that I enjoyed the author's twists and turns for this couple. They were truly meant to be. So many surprises in this book too. The pace was pretty steady, and the story rich and solid.

View all my reviews

 

 

 

 

About the Author:

 

Author of romance novels such as The Tenth Girl and Privileged, Carrie Aarons writes books that are just as swoon-worthy as they are sarcastic. A former journalist, she prefers the love stories of her imagination, and the athleisure dress code, much better. When she isn't writing, Carrie is busy binging reality TV, having a love/hate relationship with cardio, and trying not to burn dinner. She’s a Jersey girl living in Texas

with her husband, daughter and furry son.      

 

Connect w/Carrie:

 

Website: https://www.authorcarrieaarons.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/carrieaarons

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/carriescharmers

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/authorcarriea

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/authorcarriea

Goodrreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14160972.Carrie_Aarons Bookbub: http://bit.ly/2qMibwO

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Carrie-Aarons/e/B011J4HWW4

Newsletter Signup: https://www.authorcarrieaarons.com/subscribe  

 

 

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review 2020-03-18 07:00
Growth
Fool Me Twice - Carrie Aarons

Henley has just gone through the worst thing any teenager should have to right before college.  She has lost her very best friend to cancer.  Now she is trying to stay loyal by finishing her besties bucket list.  

 

Lincoln is intrigued by the new blonde who give him so much crap.  He loves that nothing gets past her.  This is a woman he could fall for.  He has to focus on football, but maybe there is room for more?

 

This was a very sweet story.  I found that I enjoyed the author's twists and turns for this couple.  They were truly meant to be.  So many surprises in this book too.  The pace was pretty steady, and the story rich and solid.  I give this read 4/5 Kitty's Book Spot!  

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text 2019-12-15 20:44
24 Festive Tasks, Door 18: Hanukkah
Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary - Anita Anand
Eloquent Rage - Brittney Cooper
Living and Dying in Brick City - Sampson Davis
This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America - Morgan Jerkins
Fool for Love - Merry Farmer

Hanukkah

 

Book: Skip

 

Task #1: Dreidel

I went with having all biographies or memoirs. My choices were:

Nun - Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revoluntionary by Anita Anand

Shin - Eloquent Rage by Brittney Cooper

Hei - Living and Dying in Brick City by Dr. Sampson Davis

Gimel - This Will Be My Undoing by Morgan Jenkins

 

On December 15, you spun the Dreidel and got a....

Gimel!

I will be reading This Will Be My Undoing come January 1st!

 

Task #2: Recipe for Latkes - uh we just fry up a Rosti latke packet, with applesauce on the side. 

 

Task #3: Skip

 

Task #4: As a family, we have donated 10 cans to the school food drive in November and four more cans and four toys to the local food bank via the town's Tree Lighting ceremony on December 12th.

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text 2019-12-11 22:20
24 Festive Tasks: Door 14 - St. Nicholas' Day / Sinterklaas: Task 3
And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Gryffindor Edition - ROWLING J.K.
Death of a Fool (St. Martin's Dead Letter Mysteries) - Ngaio Marsh
Anna, Where Are You? - Patricia Wentworth
Envious Casca - Georgette Heyer
Murder in the Snow: A Cotswold Christmas Mystery - Gladys Mitchell
Supernavigators: Exploring the Wonders of How Animals Find Their Way - David Barrie
La Reine Margot - Alexandre Dumas
The Dykemaster - Theodor Storm
Raquel, the Jewess of Toledo: A Spanish Ballad - Lion Feuchtwanger

Aaah -- the "different title" trap, how I hate it.  There is precisely one example of a title change that resonates with me (Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, which was originally published as Ten Little Niggers and, alternatively, Ten Little Indians), but with this one exception, I can't think of a single title change that actually serves my interests as a reader.

 

I think the one change that still most infuriates me for the sheer ignorance and bigotry of its motivation is the change of the title of J.K. Rowling's first Harry Potter novel from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone to Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

 

But I'd come to detest the practice long before that, as Golden Age mystery novelists such as Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh and Patricia Wentworth, whose books account for a particularly large share of my reading material, frequently had to suffer the indignity of the publisher missing with the titles that they themselves had given to their books, based on the notion that the original title would presumably be incomprehensible to readers outside Great Britain.  The list of their title changes includes:

 

Agatha Christie:

(Note: Christie had a hand in some of these title changes (mostly with short stories; in many cases, especially with the "spoilery" or plain nonsensical new titles of her novels, however, she didn't.)

* Lord Edgeware Dies -- A/K/A: Thirteen for Dinner

* Three-Act Tragedy -- A/K/A: Murder in Three Acts

* Murder on the Orient Express -- A/K/A: Murder on the Calais Coach

* Death in the Clouds -- A/K/A: Death in the Air

* The ABC Murders -- A/K/A: The Alphabet Murders

* Dumb Witness -- A/K/A: Poirot Loses a Client; Murder at Littlegreen House; The Mystery at Littlegreen House

* Hercule Poirot’s Christmas -- A/K/A: Murder for Christmas; A Holiday for Murder

* One, Two, Buckle My Shoe -- A/K/A: The Patriotic Murders; An Overdose of Death

* Five Little Pigs -- A/K/A: Murder in Retrospect

* The Hollow -- A/K/A: Murder After Hours

* Taken at the Flood -- A/K/A: There is a Tide

* Mrs. McGinty’s Dead -- A/K/A: Blood Will Tell

* After the Funeral -- A/K/A: Funerals Are Fatal

* Hickory, Dickory, Dock -- A/K/A: Hickory, Dickory, Death

* Murder in the Mews (collection) -- A/K/A: Dead Man’s Mirror

* Murder in the Mews (short story) -- A/K/A: Good Night for a Murder

* Dead Man’s Mirror (short story) -- A/K/A: Hercule Poirot and the Broken Mirror; expansion of the nonseries short story The Second Gong

* Four and Twenty Blackbirds (short story) -- A/K/A: Poirot and the Regular Customer

* The Triangle at Rhodes (short story) -- A/K/A: Before It’s Too Late and Double Alibi

* The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (short story) -- expansion of the story The Theft of the Royal Ruby, A/K/A: The Christmas Adventure

* The Adventure of Johnny Waverly (short story) -- A/K/A: At the Stroke of Twelve

* Double Sin (short story) -- A/K/A: By Road or Rail

* Problem at Sea (short story) -- A/K/A: Poirot and the Crime in Cabin 66; The Quickness of the Hand

* The Dream (short story) -- A/K/A: The Three Strange Points

* The Mystery of the Baghdad Chest (short story) -- expanded into The Mystery of the Spanish Chest

* They Do It with Mirrors -- A/K/A: Murder with Mirrors

* 4:50 from Paddington -- A/K/A: What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw! and Murder, She Said

* The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side -- A/K/A: The Mirror Crack’d

* The Thirteen Problems (collection) -- A/K/A: The Tuesday Club Murders

* Sanctuary (short story) -- A/K/A: The Man on the Chancel Steps

* Murder Is Easy -- A/K/A: Easy to Kill

* Towards Zero -- A/K/A: Come and Be Hanged

* Sparkling Cyanide -- A/K/A: Remembered Death

* Yellow Iris (short story) -- A/K/A: Hercule Poirot and the Sixth Chair

* Mr. Parker Pyne, Detective (collection) -- A/K/A: Parker Pyne Investigates

* The Love Detectives (short story) -- A/K/A: At the Crossroads

* Why Didn’t They Ask Evans -- A/K/A: The Boomerang Clue

* And Then There Were None -- A/K/A: Ten Little Niggers; Ten Little Indians

* Destination Unknown -- A/K/A: So Many Steps to Death

* The Mousetrap (play) -- originally written as a radio play called Three Blind Mice; based on the short story / novella also called Three Blind Mice

* While the Lights Last and Other Stories (collection) -- The Harlequin Tea Set and Other Stories

* The Actress (short story) -- A/K/A: A Trap for the Unwary

* Wireless (short story) -- A/K/A: Where There’s a Will

* The Listerdale Mystery (short story) -- A/K/A: The Benevolent Butler

* The Manhood of Edward Robinson (short story) -- A/K/A: The Day of His Dreams

* Mr. Eastwood’s Adventure (short story) -- A/K/A: The Mystery of the Spanish Shawl; The Mystery of the Second Cucumber

 

 

Ngaio Marsh:

* Surfeit of Lampreys -- A/K/A: Death of a Peer

* Swing Brother Swing -- A/K/A: A Wreath for Rivera

* Opening Night -- A/K/A: Night at the Vulcan

* Spinsters in Jeopardy -- abridged in the U.S. as The Bride of Death

* Off With His Head -- A/K/A: Death of a Fool

* Death at the Dolphin -- A/K/A: Killer Dolphin

 

Patricia Wentworth:

* Danger Point -- A/K/A: In the Balance

* Miss Silver Intervenes -- A/K/A: Miss Silver Deals with Death

* The Traveller Returns -- A/K/A: She Came Back

* Pilgrim's Rest -- A/K/A: Dark Threat

* Spotlight -- A/K/A: Wicked Uncle

* The Brading Collection -- A/K/A: Mr Brading's Collection

* Anna, Where Are You? -- A/K/A: Death At Deep End

* The Gazebo -- A/K/A: The Summerhouse

* Who Pays the Piper? -- A/K/A: Account Rendered

* Little More Than Kin -- A/K/A: More Than Kin

* Seven Green Stones -- A/K/A: Outrageous Fortune

* Devil-in-the-Dark -- A/K/A: Touch And Go

* Unlawful Occasions -- A/K/A: Weekend with Death

 

More recently, Golden Age mysteries have been republished with altered titles in an obvious bid to fit them into the holiday sales bracket:

 

* George Heyer's Envious Casca has been rechristened A Christmas Party; and

* Gladys Mitchell's Dead Men's Morris and The Groaning Spinney are being republished as Death Comes at Christmas and Murder in the Snow, respectively.

 

Other recent examples -- where the altered title, moreover, doesn't even make sense based on the contents of the book -- are, courtesy of the reminder in Mike Finn's post for this task, Philip Pullman's first His Dark Materials novel, Northern Lights (published as The Golden Compass outside the UK), and C.J. Tudor's The Taking of Annie Thorne (published as The Hiding Place otuside the UK).

 

It's not just fiction, either, though.  Just looking at the Flat Book Society's selections for this present year, the last two selections have both been published under different titles:

 

* David Barrie's Supernavigators: Exploring the Wonders of How Animals Find Their Way was originally called Incredible Journeys: Exploring the Wonders of Animal Navigation; and

* Bob Berman's Earth-Shattering: Violent Supernovas, Galactic Explosions, Biological Mayhem, Nuclear Meltdowns, and Other Hazards to Life in Our Universe can also be found under the title Boom!: The Violent Supernovas, Galactic Explosions, and Earthly Mayhem that Shook our Universe.

 

And don't even get me started on translations ... I guess it's a good thing that Alexandre Dumas's best-known novels, The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo are only known under a single title in English, because enough of his other books (which arguably could use that sort of consistency even more) aren't.  Just consider:

 

* Marie Stuart: Mary Stuart; Mary Queen of Scots

* Le chevalier d'Harmental: The Chevalier d'Harmental; The Chateau d'Harmental; The Conspirators

* Ascanio: Francis I; The Sculptor's Apprentice

* Sylvandire: Beau Tancrède; The Marriage Verdict

* Fernande: Fernande, The Story of a Courtesan; The Fallen Angel

* La Reine Margot: Margaret de Navarre; Marguerite de Valois

* La guerre des femmes: The War of Women; Woman's War; Nanon

* Le chevalier de Maison-Rouge: The Knight of Redcastle; The Chevalier de Maison-Rouge

* La dame de Monsoreau: Diana of Meridor; Chicot the Jester; La Dame de Monsoreau; Diane

* Le bâtard de Mauléon: Agenor de Mauléon; The Half Brothers; The Head and the Hand; The Iron Hand

Les deux Diane: The Two Dianas; The Taking of Calais; The Chatelet; The Comte de Montgomery

* Mémoires d'un médecin, Joseph Balsamo: Memoirs of a Physician; Andrée de Tavarney; The Chevalier; Joseph Balsamo; Madame du Barry; The Countess Dubarry; The Elixir of Life; Cagliostro

* Ange Pitou: Taking the Bastille; Six Years Later; The Royal Life-Guard; Ange Pitou

* Le page du duc de Savoie: The Page of the Duke of Savoy; The Duke's Page; Leone-Leona; Saint Quentin; The Tourney of the Rue Saint Antoine

* Les mohicans de Paris I: The Monsieur Jackal; The Carbonari; The Horrors of Paris, or, the Flower of the Faubourg; The Mohicans of Paris; The Suicides; Monsieur Sarranti; Princess Regina

* Les mohicans de Paris II, Salvator le commissionnaire:Salvator; Conrad de Valgeneuse; Rose-de-Noël; The Chief of Police; Madame de Rozan

* Les compagnons de Jéhu: The Company of Jéhu; The Aide-de-Camp of Napoleon

* Le capitaine Richard: The Twin Captains; The Twin Lieutenants

* Les louves de Machecoul: She-Wolves of Machecoul; The Last Vendée

* La maison de glace: The Russian Gipsy; The Palace of Ice

* La San-Felice et Emma Lyonna: The Lovely Lady Hamilton; The Beauty and the Glory; Love and Liberty; The Neapolitan Lovers

* Les blancs et les bleus: The Whites and the Blues; The First Republic; The Polish Spy; The Prussians on the Rhine; The 13th Vendémaire; The 18th Fructidor

 

 

Two of my favorite German classics are suffering a similar fate:

 

* The title of Theodor Storm's Der Schimmelreiter is translated as anything from The Rider on the White Horse to The Dykemaster (neither of which captures the spooky subtext of the German title: The Rider on the White Horse is a literal translation of the words but not their meaning in this particular context; The Dykemaster is a rendition of the main character's job -- which I actually prefer, as the sinister connotations giving rise to the German title's subtext arise from that job); and

* Lion Feuchtwanger's Die Jüdin von Toledo can be found in English (to the extent it can be found at all) as either Raquel, The Jewess of Toledo, A Spanish Ballad ... or a combination of all of the above.

 

I guess by comparison we can be glad that Miss Smilla only lost her form of address and the instinctive "feeling" was transmogrified into the more physical "sense" when Peter Høeg's Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow (the UK title of Frøken Smillas fornemmelse for sne) became Smilla's Sense of Snow in the American publisher's bid to match the alliteration contained in the original Danish title -- again at the expense of forsaking the original title's subtext, which is all about instinctive and subconscious, not about sensory and possibly even conscious responses.

 

(Task: St. Nicholas is a man of many names in English alone – Santa Claus, Saint Nick, Father Christmas … although in the English speaking world he only comes once (at Christmas, not also on December 6 – whereas in Germany and the Netherlands he makes his visits under different names on both occasions). 

Which of your favorite books were published under different titles in the same language, e.g., in North America vs. Britain?  Have you ever bought a book under a title unfamiliar to you, only to discover belatedly that it was one you already own / had already read under a different title?)

 

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