After the death of her husband, King Louis VIII of France, Blanche of Castille is distraught by grief over the loss of her love, but knows she must re...moreAfter the death of her husband, King Louis VIII of France, Blanche of Castille is distraught by grief over the loss of her love, but knows she must remain strong and prepare for the battle that’s to come to retain control of the crown for her young son. Against the odds and a multitude of enemies, both home and abroad, who have no intention of being ruled by a women or a young boy, Blanche prevails over her foes by relying on her courage, strength, passion and cunning. She truly exudes the traits of her grandmother, Eleanor of Aquitaine!
A concise 40 page ebook, White Heart effectively portrays a vital time in France’s history and Blanche’s life, as well as, sets the stage for the story of her son Louis IX and his wife Marguerite who are featured in Four Sisters, All Queens. I found it to be very well-written and thought that Jones did a fabulous job of bringing the character of Blanche to life, especially given the short length that she had to accomplish it. I can never get enough of reading about powerful women who triumph over the men who seek to control and dominate her and Blanche definitely is one of those. Her bravery and pluck is something to be inspired by!
White Heart is the perfect precursor to Sherry’s novel Four Sisters, All Queens and I highly recommend it!(less)
I became a fan of author Mary Sharratt when I read her novel, Daughters of the Witching Hill, so I've been anticipating the release of Illuminations w...moreI became a fan of author Mary Sharratt when I read her novel, Daughters of the Witching Hill, so I've been anticipating the release of Illuminations with great excitement and when I was offered the opportunity to review it I jumped at the chance!
Illuminations tells the story of Hildegard von Bingen, who as a young girl was offered to the church as a companion to an anchorite nun, Jutta Von Sponheim. At the tender age of eight Hildegard was sealed in a small cell with Jutta where she would remain for over two decades. Once Jutta dies Hildegard works tirelessly to free her fellow nuns from the isolation of the anchorage and moves them to their own monastery at St. Rupertsberg where she serves as Prioress. Throughout her life Hildegard experienced religious visions and she would eventually record them into three works. She also wrote plays, music and books on natural medicine. Hildegard was recently canonized as a saint by Pope Benedict XVI. She is only one of four women to be named a Doctor of the Church by the Roman Catholic Church.
Mary Sharratt's writing is pure excellence! She has a way of pulling the reader in and keeping them hooked. Even though a majority of the book takes place in a tiny room there were never any slow or boring parts. Hildegard was truly an amazing and inspiring woman and Sharratt does a fabulous job at bringing her to life! Highly recommended! (less)
Another magnificent release by C.W. Gortner! He excels at bringing the indomitable Queen Isabella of Castile to life in this gripping and unputdownabl...moreAnother magnificent release by C.W. Gortner! He excels at bringing the indomitable Queen Isabella of Castile to life in this gripping and unputdownable novel! Highly recommended!(less)
No one does Ancient Rome quite like author Kate Quinn and her third novel, Empress of the Seven Hills, is yet another shining example of historical fi...moreNo one does Ancient Rome quite like author Kate Quinn and her third novel, Empress of the Seven Hills, is yet another shining example of historical fiction done right!
Vix is the son of Thea from Quinn’s first novel, Mistress of Rome, and the feisty boy we met previously has grown into a headstrong, obstinate man with a loyal heart…I fell in love with him instantly! Sabina is equally headstrong. She’s a woman who knows what she wants out of life and goes after it, but not in a conniving, scheming manner like Empress Plotina, but rather as an impressive and inspiringly independent woman. Though their passion for each other ebbs and flows throughout the novel, their mutual love for Emperor Trajan unites them against others who threaten his rule and the Empire.
Kate’s talent at writing characters in such a way that the reader becomes totally invested in them is one of her greatest strengths, in my opinion. Combine that with her flawless writing, extensive research and an intriguing, action-packed plot and you’ve got one hell of a read...one that I can't recommend enough!
Quinn ends the book with a hint of a sequel and I can’t wait to see what more is in store for Vix and Sabina! (less)