Do you know that feeling when you see or learn something so amazingly beautiful and perfect, that you can only stare and stay speechless, because ther...moreDo you know that feeling when you see or learn something so amazingly beautiful and perfect, that you can only stare and stay speechless, because there are no words to explain all that awesomeness? That is how I get when I have to give my opinion about this book. It is MY ALL TIME FAVORITE IN THE WORLD, IN THE UNIVERSE, AND BEYOND. I just...there are no words, honestly. I can only say 'thank you' over and over to the author for writing it, so thank you kind and lovely lady, I am, and will always be, one of your most faithful minions. (less)
Nem sei muito bem por onde “pegar” esta review, é que se passa tanta tanta coisa que, consequentemente, tenho muito muito que dizer. Mas suponho que p...moreNem sei muito bem por onde “pegar” esta review, é que se passa tanta tanta coisa que, consequentemente, tenho muito muito que dizer. Mas suponho que posso começar com um: adorei e quero mais.
O Jardim dos Segredos foi então a minha estreia na obra da australiana Kate Morton, uma compra absolutamente aleatória (quer dizer… a capa bonita ajudou) num solarengo dia de Inverno quando fui às compras por outro motivo qualquer que não livros, e fiquei fã.
Este The Forgotten Garden, no título original, é a bem dizer um cold case deixado como herança familiar a Cassandra, uma das protagonistas, aquando da morte da sua enigmática avó, Nell. Estas 548 páginas têm então como objectivo final descobrir as origens de Nell, e tendo esta personagem vivido atormentada toda a vida com uma crise de identidade, é premiada, após a morte do seu pai adoptivo, com a única pista material do seu passado: uma mala contendo um livro de contos infantis pela autoria de outra personagem muito especial, absolutamente encantadora e impossível de ficar imune a. Eliza Makepeace.
A acção é narrada por várias vozes, havendo claro destaque para algumas, nomeadamente para as 3 senhoras que mencionei antes, sendo repartida também por 3 épocas: uma passada num intervalo entre 1900 e 1913 (mais coisa, menos coisa), período que acompanha em grande parte o percurso de Eliza, e que admito terem sido das minhas passagens preferidas; outra em 1975, altura em que Nell já na posse do livro ruma a Inglaterra (vinda da Austrália) na perseguição do seu passado; e finalmente, em 2005, a época representativa da actualidade, onde Cassandra mais do que continuar a busca começada pela avó, vai, com uma ajudinha extra, juntar todas as peças do puzzle e gritar eureka! Mas mais do que uma demanda pela resposta a um mistério ao longo de gerações, este livro é um retrato (chocante) de episódios que se encostam à realidade. Desde a lista de tragédias que acompanham (todos) os personagens, aos seus percursos de vida, às condições em que cresceram, viveram, morreram, etc., tendo havido sem sombra de dúvida, grande pesquisa da época vitoriana por parte da autora, coisa que me alegra, já que tenho a certeza de que os euros que dei pelo livro foram bem gastos. Como se não estivesse só a financiar o meu vício, mas também a comprar úteis lições de História.
Temo que não estar a exagerar quando referi as personagens e os seus percursos trágicos, pois há algo naquela família que tende para o sinistro, pior, para o macabro. A comprová-lo está o rol de personagens “oliver-twistianas”. Sim, porque as crianças são as que mais sofrem nesta história, elas são abandonadas, negligenciadas, exploradas, e isto quando são órfãs e/ou doentes, vítimas de pobreza, de violência, deixadas à mercê de terceiros, até mortas; há jovens assediadas, quase vítimas de molestação por parte de familiares, a indiferença parental também é tópico presente, assim como os acidentes fatais… e pronto, acho que vou parar por aqui, isto deve chegar como justificação.
E passando das tragédias para os contos de fadas!!! São 3 (obviamente) e como certa vez alguém lembra durante a narrativa, funcionam como alegorias da acção principal. “Os Olhos da Velha” belo, e algo aterrador (o meu preferido), eleva Eliza a estatuto de vidente, contando claramente o percurso de Cassandra, de Nell e até do enho (mais uma palavra para o meu vocabulário), Christian; “A Troca” infelizmente é uma ode a essa criatura exasperante, Rose; enquanto “O Ovo Dourado” ajuda à choradeira e à nostalgia, finais. Sim, porque o final tanto têm de doce como de amargo. Fica um nó de desespero e de não é justo! preso na garganta pelo desfecho de Eliza que só é atenuado pelo de Cassandra.
Bom, despeço-me, com dois alertas. Um, para quem não suporta mistérios, segredos e coisas do género: certamente já adivinhou que este será um livro a evitar (não façam isso), porque a autora nunca facilita o caminho para descortinar o mistério inicial, pelo contrário, arranja mistérios, segredos e coisas do género, secundários, de vital conhecimento para o desenlace dos primeiros. E dois, para quem acha que ler não queima calorias, desengane-se porque cada momento passado neste Jardim dos Segredos vai parecer como uma ida a um ginásio mental.
As an avid reader of this author, I can say that Marillier is a master in character development---and the male lead of this book, Faolan, is the perfe...moreAs an avid reader of this author, I can say that Marillier is a master in character development---and the male lead of this book, Faolan, is the perfect example of this. Since his first brief and yet totally memorable appearance in The Dark Mirror, Faolan intrigued me, and while I'm pretty sure that happened mostly because he was so mysterious, and clearly a wounded character with a dark past (my favorite type), along the series he became more and more fascinating because there are just so many layers to him and I wanted to know them all, sob with joy, and thank the Gods for Juliet Marillier.
There are so many things I could say about this book, I could talk about the nerve-wracking action scenes, the political drama, Bridei and Tuala, Ana and Drustan, or praise Juliet's beautiful, engaging, totally addictive writing, but ultimately I'll always recommend The Well of Shades because it tells a glorious tale of two brilliant central characters who have so many personal demons to fight, so many wounds to heal, who believe they are unworthy of love and of all things good in this world, and who totally prove each other wrong in the end.(less)
A legend, the forest, swans -lots of swans-, a girl who does not speak (she has her days), a guy who is in charge of her, a forced marriage, the despe...moreA legend, the forest, swans -lots of swans-, a girl who does not speak (she has her days), a guy who is in charge of her, a forced marriage, the desperation of wanting to go home, malicious arrows, things on fire ... I'm pretty sure I've read something like this before *wink* So, in The Swan Maiden, King, takes the reader back to the Scottish epic scenarios, where the most rebellious and courageous girl, and the most noble and remarkable knight are almost predestined to meet and fall hopelessly in love with each other, but the old torture technique is forced upon them: they have what it seems like impossible choices to make. Throughout most of the book, both Juliana and Gawain have to constantly face the dilemma of choosing between the reason and the heart, because the combination of the two seems inconceivable to them, and it's interesting -and often humorous-, to watch this, as both heart and reason have equally valid reasons (such as family, homeland, honor, self-preservation, and so on) that can weigh the same on the scale of the final decision. I loved this book, couldn't put it down and would recommend it to medieval historical romance fans everywhere, even if this is a difficult title to get -looks like it's out of print! :((less)
In short: this book is freaking AMAZING. Felix J.Palma, you are a genius, sir. Keep those books coming please, because I want them badly. Seriously, T...moreIn short: this book is freaking AMAZING. Felix J.Palma, you are a genius, sir. Keep those books coming please, because I want them badly. Seriously, The Map of Time was one of my favorite reads of 2010, the crazy, hilarious story took me completely by surprise, partly, I think, because I had no expectations whatsoever for what I was going to encounter – and it blew my mind! (BTW, I can barely believe it’s going to be a trilogy! :o)
**english review** And Marillier does it again. Writes to sweep her readers off their feet, and crave for more. (Moooore. Moooooore.) Seer was a lovely...more**english review** And Marillier does it again. Writes to sweep her readers off their feet, and crave for more. (Moooore. Moooooore.) Seer was a lovely comeback to Sevenwaters, or shall I say, to its characters, because this time the Sevenwaters forest will be present only in Sibeal’s thoughts and tales to help Felix get better. Does the story loses its magic because of it? Not at all. It is my deepest belief Juliet could send any of these characters to the most exotic places and the Sevenwaters magic would still be there, because it lives in them, in the love that clearly shows when a character thinks or speaks of the forest, tells the story of the brothers turned into swans, or that one about the girl who saved the Painted Man (and so on). But Sibeal doesn’t even go that far, and Inis Eala with Johnny, Clodagh, Muirrin, Cathal, Gull, and so many others, can surely be called home.
Seer’s tale starts in the island, with Sibeal managing between her druid’s tasks, and –to the reader’s rejoice– helping Felix restore his health; but later there’s a rescue mission that requires a group to get on a ship, sail through unknown waters, reach an unknown place, home of a legendary seamonster, and save a few of Felix’s comrades. I won’t say the boat trip was my favorite part (because my favorite part was the WHOLE book), but it was the one that kept me reading all night, until morning. I loved Juliet’s take on the seamonster myth (I can’t say more or I’ll spoil it, and I don’t want to) and how she portrayed the creature. Sometimes I seem to forget that it’s so like her to make the reader see the other side of a story, a character, and even of a terrifying, men-eating beast.
Prior to my reading, with only the synopsis for support –Sibeal+Viking shipwreck– I often thought Seer sounded like a cross between Sevenwaters and The Light Isles. Now if someone asks me, I’ll probably be a little more specific and say it’s kind of a cross between Son of the Shadows and Wolfskin, first because there is a man in need of rescue from a dark place, this time called loss of memory/physical limitations/feeling guilty/am I brave enough?/can I do this?; second, because besides the fact that for obvious reasons the couple kept reminding me of Nessa and Eyvind -when he’s sick and she takes care of him, Sibeal also sent me the Nessa vibe when she goes through a inner war to make the choice between her religious call and her heart. But that’s not all, I also think Seer has a very mysterious storyline, from beginning to end, which at times, reminded me of some thrilling (chilling *scary*) Wolfskin moments.
Still about the couple: as always, it was delicious (really, this is the word for it) to witness their relationship grow, slowly, tenderly, and this particular set amused me greatly because they are the “nerdiest” of Juliet’s couples until date, with Sibeal being a druid, and Felix a scholar (and a poet!) – and don’t I love nerds and geeks so. (I really do :D )
About everyone else: it was delightful to meet those beloved characters from previous books again, but I’ll admit some reencounters were quite, quite painful; on the other hand, almost everyone provided me with laughing out loud scenes, being Gull, Cathal and Clodagh clearly in the leadership – I wasn’t expecting for them to be so active in this one, so it was a good surprise.
I say this all the time, and I’ll say it again: I’ll never be capable to put into words just how much I love this author and every single sentence she writes. Never. No praise is or will ever seem enough, simply because she’s beyond it. Her stories and writing go further than everything I have in high esteem. Her books, to me, are prized treasures I keep both on my bookshelf and in my heart. I do believe she knows, and at the same time doesn’t (fully), the precious gift she presents me -and I presume, all of the other fans- with, when a new book comes out, and everytime I look at my Marillier collection I immediately feel the need to somehow tell her thank you, thank you, THANK YOU. So, to finish, and as I gaze upon my Seer, I’ll just say this: thank you master storyteller, thank you queen of historical fantasy, thank you beautiful, kind, and much cherished lady, thank you for sharing your wisdom, your craft and your heart, once again, with all of us.
Shannon Hale you mastermind!!! I cannot believe I had this GEM untouched on my bookshelf for so long---why, why am I an idiot?? Awww, it...moreOMG
Shannon Hale you mastermind!!! I cannot believe I had this GEM untouched on my bookshelf for so long---why, why am I an idiot?? Awww, it was so cute, and lovely, and emotional, and fairytale-like! What am I saying? This isn't just fairytale-like, this IS in fact a fairytale retold, and the original is called "Maid Maleen" by the Brothers Grimm. It basically tells the story of two girls, one a princess (not really a princess, but the daughter of a very rich and powerful lord) the other one her maid, who get imprisoned in a tower because the princess refuses to marry this evil guy. A few years later they manage to escape and find out everyone in the kingdom is dead -- so they travel to a neighbour kingdom and start working in the kitchen of another powerful lord's house, but this one is kind and lovely and everything a woman wants in a man. The original story has the princess as the protagonist, but Shannon made the maid the heroine of Book of a Thousand Days, and I have to say IT WORKED. I love the irony between this book and my absolute favorite by the author, which is Goose Girl -- the stories are similar, but in Goose Girl the maid is vicious and steals the princess's identity, while in Book of a Thousand Days the poor maid, Dashti, has to pretend she's the princess because the real one is constantly afraid of the world and makes Dashti do things for her. I absolutely loved Dashti's voice and practical manner during the whole story; loved how she took care of what needed to be done most of the times under the worst circumstances; loved her undeniable loyalty towards her loony lady; loved the touching memories and stories regarding her mother, the only person she had in the world (YOU BREAK MY HEART SHANNON HALE!); loved how, in time, she realized she could make a difference, even if she wasn't born in a golden crib. I say, this is quite the flawless heroine. The writing is typical Shannon Hale: musical, addictive, sarcastic, brilliant, and my only regret is that the final events happened too fast -- I wanted more!
Definitely one of the best books I've read this year so far, and a new all time favorite. Go read it!
...LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH!! D: What were the odds anyway? It’s a Beauty & the Beast type of story with a polar bear! :3
Actually East is a fairytale retelling of the Norwegian folk tale ‘East of the Sun and West of the Moon’, which is about this girl who is taken by a white bear as part of a deal, and everyone is horrified by this, but turns out she becomes the bear’s knight in shining armor when she has to save him from this dreadful troll queen. How awesome is that??
The writing in East is just plain beautiful and, truthfully, for me it was mind-blowing. Notice that this book is like 500 pages long, and I read it, nay!, devoured it from one day to the other. 500 pages!! BAM!!
The heroine, Rose, is just perfect and I could not get enough of her doings, I can honestly say she made me smile and even laugh out loud in pretty much every chapter. I loved her fierce determination, her daring demeanor, and how she never gives up on these impossible tasks that keep coming her way.
The romance is scarce, but so sweet that I can’t complain. <3
Ah, Ying…you are amazing. If I could give you a big hug right now, I would, I would also look like a crazy person/creepy stalker, but it would be wort...moreAh, Ying…you are amazing. If I could give you a big hug right now, I would, I would also look like a crazy person/creepy stalker, but it would be worth it, because you just wrote the most PERFECT third book in a series of this kind, and I'm so happy I can finally give my beloved Mary Quinn a 5 star rating! SO HAPPY!
In this third book, Mary is working as a maid at the Buckingham Palace, undercover, of course, for the Agency. Some objects have gone missing, suggesting there's a thief among the staff, and Mary's job is to unravel this mystery. Meanwhile, Mr James Easton is commissioned to rebuild the sewer system of the Palace, which forces the couple to meet again – YAY! I was so nervous -and excited- to know how they were going to behave around each other after their oh-so-sad last encounter in The Body at the Tower. Really, James…you broke my heart, but I'm so happy I didn't lose my faith in you, because you may have broken it then, but you healed it now... *pause to swoon all over James*
I don't want to say too much about the plot, because I would hate to spoil this GREAT book for potential readers, but I'll say this: this is a remarkably well written story, with just the perfect amounts of historical facts, spying, danger, romance, heartbreaking scenes, and will-bring-a-smile-to-your-face moments, and I highly recommend this series for everyone who is in need of a great read with a lovely -and yet so brave- heroine. I want to thank the author once again for writing these books, and also say that I could barely believe my eyes when I found out this third installment was not going to be the last one in the Agency series, YES: THERE'S GOING TO BE A FOURTH BOOK! Thank you my lucky stars! :)
Before reading the book (I can't delete the little fellow, he got me a few likes) September 11!!
After reading the book
I should probably start this r...moreBefore reading the book (I can't delete the little fellow, he got me a few likes) September 11!!
After reading the book
I should probably start this review by saying I’m a HUGE Juliet Marillier fan (for those who don’t know this yet) -- she’s my favorite author, fantasy is my genre of choice, and every time I’m in possession of a new JM book it’s like Christmas, and it’s snowing outside while I’m inside the house by the fire, looking out the window, with a cup of cinnamon flavored hot chocolate warming my hands, a blanket over my legs, and I’m about to open the perfect gift, which by the way, would be a JM book.
That said, Shadowfell tells the story of Neryn’s journey across Alban, a land ruled by the tyrant Keldec -- at first she’s travelling with her father, who after doing something terrible to her, dies and leaves her all alone in the world; after this tragic event she decides to travel to a place in the north called Shadowfell, the alleged land of the rebels, where she believes she’ll be safe from the Enforcers, and from the king himself, because he could use her powers for his benefit. Yes, the girl has powers.
Naturally I loved this book from page one, and I loved especially how the story picks up rhythm in the first couple of pages and barely slows it down afterwards, there’s always something happening with or around Neryn, something that would make it impossible for me to put the book down.
AND THE MALE LEAD. Goodness! Juliet really knows how to write them. (Not sure why I sounded surprised just now.) His attitude towards Neryn melted my heart from the very first moment – his posture, his patience, the way the helps and takes care of her even when she’s doubting his motives. Awww. In fact he reminded me a bit of Red, which is always the best compliment I can give to a male character.
I also loved the secondary characters, mainly the Good Folk who follows Neryn on the journey, their knowledge is crucial for her mission, and they also help her survive along the way -- would give them all a big hug if I could; still my favorites were the Brollachan and the pookie -- the image of a giant using a cat-like creature as a ball he throws in the air is forever stuck in my brain, I’m sure it will be useful for when I’m feeling down. xD
*kind of spoiler ahead, not really if you know Neryn will be heroine of the whole series* The end surprised me -- this is the first JM book that ends without the couple actually getting together (don’t even try to contradict me, I know what happened in Seer, they got together, Felix just needed to get some stuff done before), and all I can say is: MY HEART CAN’T TAKE IT! I need them together, I need it! But Neryn will still be the heroine in the second book, so I’m thinking, hoping, praying, they will have plenty of time to get together and leave my heart at peace. I know the wait will be worth it, I just know it. *end of spoiler*
What else can I say? I honestly could go on and on about Shadowfell to the point of people reading this review eventually run away screaming, but I’ll stop right now because if I go on more spoilers will find its way out of me and I’d hate for that to happen.
Buy it, read it, let your minds rejoice in the excellence of Juliet Marillier’s writing--do yourselves the favor.
Am I right, or am I right, little dancing owls? <- I believe this is a "The human is right, she's right!"
Like many others who read Howl's Moving Castle before me, I wanted to read this book because I loved Miyazaki's animation based on it - who wouldn't?...moreLike many others who read Howl's Moving Castle before me, I wanted to read this book because I loved Miyazaki's animation based on it - who wouldn't? It's extraordinary! And I was so, so happy when I realized I was loving the book just as I loved the movie, even if both versions can, at times, seem different stories. I think Sophie is a lovely, perfect heroine, and Howl is just too cute for words. I'm eagerly waiting for the next two books in this series to arrive in my mailbox, even if they don't have Howl and Sophie as protagonists, for I really enjoyed DWJ's writing and will surely read a lot more books from her. <3
If You Deceive, the third book in the MacCarrick Brothers trilogy by Kresley Cole, tells the story of Ethan and Maddy, two people destined to meet and...moreIf You Deceive, the third book in the MacCarrick Brothers trilogy by Kresley Cole, tells the story of Ethan and Maddy, two people destined to meet and fall helplessly in love, even if they share a past event that should turn them into enemies instead of lovers.
Ethan is the typical historical romance rake, the tall, dark and handsome single man who sleeps around with every willing woman, until the day the husband of one of them wants revenge and injures him badly. After recovering he sets his mind into a revenge of his own, and because he’s a rich and powerful nobleman, he achieves it with little effort. Ten years later he spots a random girl in a crowd and immediately wants her for his own. Turns out this girl, Maddy, is the daughter of that same man who scarred him, and who Ethan made sure went bankrupt, sending his family to destitution, but he doesn’t know this until he’s utterly, maddly, and irrevocably obsessed with Maddy.
I know, I know, this probably sounds like every other historical romance around, but I loved it, mainly because the couple is so, SO much fun to read about. They have a turbulent chemistry that makes it hard for the reader to wait for their next scene together, and the dialogues would make me laugh my head off every time, with Ethan being so blunt about everything, and Maddy being such a spitfire. Also, the author uses Scottish accents in the hero’s speech (yes, he’s a Highlander :D ) which is hilarious, and to be honest, takes the seriousness out of every of his attempts to sound dangerous and commanding.
About the story, I like how it starts off as a cruel payback plan that turns into a tale of forgiveness, redemption, and mad love. It may not sound like it, but it’s actually funny to witness Ethan planning to use Maddy at his will and then leave her dishonoured, because he simply can’t do it. Correction: he pretty much forgets all about his numerous “evil schemes” every time he’s with her, for she’s constantly disarming and awing him either through speech, actions, or by simply being herself. That said, I’ll admit my only problem with this book -which is my main problem with almost every historical-, is that I wish there was more story development instead of so many long and detailed sex scenes. I mean, they are good, perhaps too descriptive for my taste at times, but definitely oh-my-goodness!-hot, and I’m only complaining because I was so into the couple’s relationship besides their bedroom action, that I often wished the sex had just a bit less of protagonism, and the rest of the plot a lot more.
The last part of the book surprised me immensely, and I’m not ashamed to admit I cried myself a river in one crucial moment -honestly, I could barely believe in what was happening before me. (O_O)
This was my first book by Kresley Cole, and without knowing her style, for some reason I imagined it was going to be a quite serious, dark, tragic tale of revenge, full of painful, heartbreaking moments, plus a maddening quota of vile misunderstandings, and I was so pleased to find out I was wrong. So, yes, I’ll certainly get myself the other two MacCarricks. :D Cuidado com o Dálmata - If You Deceive(less)