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text 2015-08-31 20:22
September Reading List
Owen - Book One of the Tudor Trilogy - Tony Riches
The Half-Hanged Man - David Pilling
The Secret World of Christoval Alvarez - Ann Swinfen
Phoenix Rising: A novel of Anne Boleyn - Hunter S. Jones
Feud (Rebels & Brothers 1) - Derek Birks
The Game of Kings - Dorothy Dunnett
March - Geraldine Brooks
The Summer Queen - Elizabeth Chadwick
The Winter Crown - Elizabeth Chadwick
The Little Paris Bookshop: A Novel - Nina George,Simon Pare

Here I am, setting myself another impossible goal. These two Elizabeth Chadwick novels have been included in at least three monthly goals so far. Hopefully, I will get at least one of them read this time!


Here's the breakdown:


More Historical than Fiction Book Club:

Game of Kings



Winter Crown

Little Paris Bookshop


Audio Book:



Indie Reads:


The Half-Hanged Man

The Secret World of Christovel Alvarez

Phoenix Rising



Other books on my shelves that may tempt me into going astray:

The Greatest Knight: The Remarkable Life of William Marshall



Also from NetGalley:

Killers of the King

Marbeck and the Gunpowder Plot

Edith Cavell

Medicis Daughter

Jesus, Pope Francis, and a Protestant Walk into a Bar

The Queen's Caprice


Want to buy:

Invention of Fire

Kingmaker: Broken Faith

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text 2015-08-31 19:38
August Reading Roundup...or Reading Plans Fall Apart
The Serpent Sword - Matthew Harffy
Watch the Lady: A Novel - Elizabeth Fremantle
A Place of Greater Safety - Hilary Mantel
The House of Silk: A Sherlock Holmes Novel - Anthony Horowitz
Wolf's Head - Steven A. McKay
Little Women [LITTLE WOMEN -OS N/D] - Louisa May(Author) ; Cauti, Camille(Introduction by) Alcott
A Perilous Alliance: A Tudor mystery featuring Ursula Blanchard (An Ursula Blanchard Elizabethan Mystery) - Fiona Buckley
The Fall of Satan - Bodie Hodge

I like to think that I have good excuses for my reading plan going completely awry, but, excuses or no, it fell apart quite thoroughly. The only reason my reading accomplishments for the month don't look entirely pathetic is because the above includes two audio books and two DNFs. That's right, I actually completed reading four books this month.


*Samantha hangs her head in shame.*


That hasn't stopped me from accepting more books to review and assaulting NetGalley with requests, so I have a larger TBR than ever that I hope to attack with greater effectiveness in September.


August Summary:


Audio Books:

Little Women

Watch the Lady



A Perilous Alliance

The Fall of Satan


More Historical than Fiction Book Club:

A Place of Greater Safety


Indie Reads:

The Serpent Sword

Wolf's Head


Best Book of August:

The Serpent Sword by Matthew Harffy - no competition whatsoever, loved this book!

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review 2015-08-06 20:59
The Serpent Sword by Matthew Harffy
The Serpent Sword - Matthew Harffy

I'm typically somewhat tough to impress, but I loved everything about this book. The time period, the battles, the twists and turns...everything.

Beobrand is a complex character who struggles to define himself in a turbulent world. Escaping an abusive father only to learn that his brother has been murdered, Beobrand is tempted by the glory of violence himself. This comes as no surprise as the kings of the land that would one day become England use cutthroat methods to grasp at supremacy. I loved watching Beobrand evolve into an honorable, thoughtful young warrior after fighting ghosts of his past and very real physical enemies.

Harffy has expertly recreated the 7th century in this novel, especially the mingling of pagan and Christian beliefs. Though Beobrand becomes close friends with several people in a Christian community, he remains staunchly loyal to the old gods, trusting even more in his own strength.

Though most of this novel is gritty, gory, and not for the weak of heart, there is a touch of romance for young Beobrand. This part of the story was just enough to show Beobrand soften a little, put someone else ahead of himself, and fully push him into maturity.

If you like Bernard Cornwell's Uhtred, you will love Beobrand. Still not convinced? Matthew Harffy has a recording of the prologue on his blog. (Now I even like this guy's voice!) You will be powerless to not read more.

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