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review 2016-02-08 04:31
Catherine de Valois (The Legendary Women of World History) (Volume 2) - Laurel A. Rockefeller

I read this as part of Renaissance Queens by Laurel A Rockefeller while listening to the audiobook version. I enjoyed listening to the telling of Catherine's life. The song as sung by the narrator was very enchanting. I found this book very informative with the facts in between the story. This is a time period I really enjoy.

I was given the audiobook as a gift and without solicitation leave this review.

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text 2015-12-02 10:34
Kindle Novellas for December
Fields of the Fatherless - Elaine Marie Cooper
Knight of the Cross - Steven A. McKay
The Last Crusade - K T Tomb
Boudicca: Britain's Queen of the Iceni - Laurel A. Rockefeller
Caesar's Sword (I): The Red Death - David Pilling
Siege of Rome - David Pilling
1914 (The War Years Book 1) - James Farner
Season of the Raven - Denise Domning
Sons of York: Richard III and his Brothers (Tales of the White Boar Book 3) - J.P. Reedman
Sacred King: Richard III: Sinner, Sufferer, Scapegoat, Sacrifice - J. P. Reedman

Rather than feeling overwhelmed by my reading goal, I have found some quick Kindle reads to help me fit in my last nine books of the year. (Thanks to YouKneeK for reminding me of Goodreads' sorting by number of pages function!) If you are feeling the reading challenge pressure, check these out. They are mostly books that I have picked up for free at some point & are probably still free or inexpensive. I'm not sure if they meet everyone's definition of a novella, but they are all under 200 pages, and several are under 100 pages.

 

So, here it is, my second attempt at a December reading list. I also have Little Paris Bookshop and The Old Betrayal in progress. 2015 won't defeat me!

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review 2015-06-29 00:08
Catherine de Valois by Laurel A. Rockefeller
Catherine de Valois (The Legendary Women of World History) (Volume 2) - Laurel A. Rockefeller

Note: Even though this is Book 2 in the series, it works just fine as a stand alone.

Princess Catherine was daughter to France’s King Charles VI, who suffered from mental illness. During her lifetime, she knew the hardships of France’s civil war and England’s King Henry V’s repeated warring in France. Married off to King Henry, peace between the two countries lasted briefly. After King Henry V’s death, Catherine married a Welsh man, Owen Tudor.

Before giving this book a listen, I knew very little about Queen Catherine. This is a great way to get introduced to this historical figure. The author uses touches of drama here and there to bring this bit of history to life. Since this book is only 69 minutes long, only the highlights of Queen Catherine’s life are covered. However, it is apparent from the beginning that Catherine comes from a line of women known to speak their minds, whether they are speaking to a man or a woman, a peasant or royalty.

This book is classified as creative non-fiction by the author, a classification or genre that is new to me. With that said, the book reads like a historical fiction and is not dry like many straight histories are are. If folks are a bit intimidated by histories or historical fiction, this series of books is a great place to get started.

I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks!

The Narration: Once again, Richard Mann has a very nice voice to listen to. He even gives a little singing here and there as the book requires. He has distinct voices for all the characters, and a good range for the male  voices. His female voices could use a touch more femininity.

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review 2015-06-07 23:47
Boudicca by Laurel A. Rockefeller
Boudicca: Britain's Queen of the Iceni - Laurel A. Rockefeller

Set in the 1st century ancient Britannia, Rome is still attempting to expand their empire. This short, creative non-fiction historical account follows King Prasutagus of the Iceni and runaway Gaulish slave Boudicca.

The author does a good job of making these characters accessible to the reader by showing the story through their eyes. Events do move rather quickly as decades of their lives are covered in a mere 50 minutes. Luckily, I was able to connect with the characters quickly because of the first person point of view.

I found this an interesting, quick overview of Boudicca’s life during Roman conquest. The listener gets the clear idea of the culture clash between Romans and the various Britannic tribes. For instance, most, or perhaps all, of the Brittanic tribes held women as equal to men in most areas of life whereas the Romans felt a woman’s place was in the home or as a slave. The timeline had to move swiftly for most of Boudicca’s life to be covered in such a short amount of story time. I think this book would be of interest to those just getting into the historical fiction genre or for folks wanting a short recounting of Boudicca’s life and deeds. If you are looking for a history (not fiction) or a more in-depth historical fiction, this may not be for you. The author doesn’t steer clear of the harsher side of Boudicca’s life: slavery, battles, rape, etc. are included in this historical fiction, though the author does not go into graphic detail.

The book left me wanting more. Often drama was used, and perhaps over used, to get the poignant parts of Boudicca’s life across to the listener. I think this work would have been a little better if even 2 hours were given in which to tell Boudicca’s tale. For instance, the ending was pretty dramatic (if historically accurate) but I didn’t really understand Boudicca’s choice at the end as she fought her whole life to stay alive and free. Also, I wanted to know how her kinsman, loyal followers, etc. reacted on a personal level to her final choice.

The Narration: Richard Mann has a very nice voice. He put it to good use for the male characters. However, since much of the story is told through Boudicca’s eyes, I wonder why a female narrator wasn’t used. Mann had a distinct voice for Boudicca, though it could have used a touch more femininity to it.

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review 2015-03-29 15:11
Consider me a new fan of Laurel Rockefeller’s Legendary Women of Word History Series.
Catherine de Valois (The Legendary Women of World History) (Volume 2) - Laurel A. Rockefeller

This is the second book I’ve read written by the author. Having an idea of what to expect, I still found myself surprised at the historical content in the book.

 

Catherine de Valois is the daughter of King Charles VI of France and Queen Isabeau of Bavaria.

The novel takes us through Catherine’s forced marriage. Political motives seemed to dictate her life and I wondered if Catherine receive just one second of blissful happiness to make her tribulations and struggles seem worthwhile.

 

If you love history, interested in historical figures, or curious about this woman, I suggest picking up a copy. As a future World History teacher, I could see myself using her series in an educational setting.

 

 

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