From the moment I read the first few pages, I was entranced, hooked I tell you. Why? Well, I'm a sucker for the down-on-her-luck heroine who, on a whiFrom the moment I read the first few pages, I was entranced, hooked I tell you. Why? Well, I'm a sucker for the down-on-her-luck heroine who, on a whim, decides to follow a handsome, elusive stranger and soon finds herself in the midst of an intriguing, terrifying at times, adventure. Add in the fact that Victoria is described as a plain Jane typist who's a tad impulsive (maybe a tad crazy). In other words, she's a different type of heroine.
It all begins on a park bench, one lazy afternoon, where Victoria becomes bewitched by a handsome stranger and decides to follow him to Baghdad, with no means to get there by the by. And of course, along the way, she stumbles into, or I should say over, dead bodies and plenty of intrigue.
I have reread this book many times and I never get bored.
They Came to Baghdad is hands down one of my favorite books of all time. On a side note: Out of all the movies that have been made based on Agatha Christie's novels, I have always been confused as to why this one hasn't been touched - aside from a B&W flick circa 1940's.
It goes without saying that I would most definitely recommend this novel. ...more
Princes embarking on quests, defeating evil sorceresses, rescuing damsels in distress, locked away in tower. The down-on-her-luck servant girl being wPrinces embarking on quests, defeating evil sorceresses, rescuing damsels in distress, locked away in tower. The down-on-her-luck servant girl being whisked off into the sunset, her life of servitude a thing of the past. Living happily ever after.
All except 21-year-old Elena, who's barely existing in her monotonous so-called life within the Seven Kingdoms. Singing “Some Day My Prince Will Come” fell on deaf ears for she waited and waited and waited for her happily ever after, dreaming of her prince to rescue her from a life of servitude at the hands of her evil stepmother and bitchy stepsisters; yes, Elena is Cinderella, but her prince never came. She waited for a miracle on her 16th birthday, because that’s when all dreams come true. She even thought her 18th would be life-changing. Yeah, not so much. She watched in agony as every one in her village eventually partnered off in wedded bliss, but she refused to settle. As time passed, even the ugliest, rottenest of girls were betrothed, but not Elena. For she was invisible. Until one day a Fairy Godmother rescued her. In a flying carriage. From that moment on, Elena was taught the ins and outs of Fairy Godmothering, and after drinking dragon’s blood, was able to understand and converse with all the animals in the kingdom, including unicorns.
She was taught what’s called The Tradition, i.e., how damsels ended up in the tower in the first place. The Tradition is like fate - only sometimes it can go wrong. Elena was meant to marry her prince a long time ago. That clearly didn’t happen. So Elena, taking over the reins of the Seven Kingdoms’ Fairy Godmother, sets out making sure The Tradition stays its course, having to pretend to be an evil witch, putting a quest in place for a few princes, etc., along the way. Every fairy-tale cliche is covered and explained, kind of like a behind the scenes look in a way. I have to give Mercedes Lackey major credit, because this book took a whole lot of thought and planning.
To say The Fairy Godmother was clever would be a vast understatement. There were times when the explanation was a tad confusing, bogging down the overall whimsy, but all in all, this is exactly the fairy-tale, whimsical, enchanting read I thought it would be. And then some. ...more
Me and romance novels, not the best of friends. They're just not my thing. With that said, this book totally tricked me into reading it, what with theMe and romance novels, not the best of friends. They're just not my thing. With that said, this book totally tricked me into reading it, what with the promise of magic found in the darkest parts of London.
Exhibit A - taken from the back of the book itself: "Miranda Ellis is a woman tormented. Plagued since birth by a strange and powerful gift, she has spent her entire life struggling to control her exceptional abilities."
Exhibit B: "Lord Benjamin Archer is no ordinary man. When Archer is accused of a series of gruesome murders, he gives in to the beastly nature he has fought so hard to hide from the world. Now, to save his soul, Miranda will enter a world of dark magic and darker intrigue. For only she can see the man hiding behind the mask."
Dark magic? Huh? Unfortunately, the paranormal elements were scarce at best. However, magic or no magic, I enjoyed this novel. Color me surprised. Hooked, I eagerly flipped the pages. (Truth be told, it was mostly due to the fact that I was sure "dark magic" would Apparate at any moment.) The characters were great. Intrigue, check. Victorian period as a setting, not too shabby. Fantastic writing. The heroine was kick-ass. Mask or mask-less, Lord Archer was sexy and manly and chivalrous and . . . I'll have one of him please. I adored the Beauty & the Beast/Phantom of the Opera elements. I adored the relationship with Miranda and her sisters and their bantering and bonding and whatnot; I'd love to delve deeper into that familial relationship. Book two, perhaps? And can Kristen Callihan write a sex scene or what? The romance was hot and steamy. Holy moly!
So, again, if you're like me and are a-okay with romance as long as fantasy takes center stage, just know that that is so not the case within Firelight. In fact, my library catalogued this novel as Historical Romance. Can't put anything past them. Obviously the book's "liar, liar pants on fire" approach worked for yours truly, a self-proclaimed disliker of strictly romance novels. Its web of lies has trapped me, but I'm not struggling to escape its clutches for I'll definitely be continuing on with this series. And hopefully, hopefully book two will kick up the paranormal elements a notch or two or three. Fingers are crossed. ...more
3 1/2 stars. Enjoyable read but too romance-y for my tastes. I thought I was in for a grifter-y caper but ended up with a contemporary romance instead3 1/2 stars. Enjoyable read but too romance-y for my tastes. I thought I was in for a grifter-y caper but ended up with a contemporary romance instead. Luckily there was a healthy dose of suspense to keep my attention from wandering. And the way the story ended, I'll definitely be continuing on with this trilogy. ...more
Moments after finishing: Book, you have swept me off my feet, or perhaps that honor goes to Jamie. Who am I kidding, it's all about Jamie. All day. EvMoments after finishing: Book, you have swept me off my feet, or perhaps that honor goes to Jamie. Who am I kidding, it's all about Jamie. All day. Every day.
Some time later: I have never read a tale so epic and sweeping. A tale that seized my attention something fierce. I laughed; cried; cringed; swooned (a lot); cried some more; nibbled on my fingernails, wrought with anticipation. Life and responsibilities getting in the way, all I could think about was returning to Jamie, my precious Jamie, and Claire. I ignored countless phone calls, TV was merely background noise, with the exception of Outlander TV series.
Diana G's ability to write characters, her ability to highlight not only their strengths but their weaknesses, to put them through the wringer, to make you hate them, then love them against your better judgment, to the point where you find yourself wondering how you'd feel in that particular situation and what you'd do etc etc is bar none. Heartstrings plucked and tugged and snapped, check.
Is Jamie perfect, no, but he's pretty damn close. And I for one can't wait to meet back up with him and Claire in Dragonfly in Amber. Let the carrying away begin.
Oh, and I should state on record that I have always shied away from historical romances, not my cup of tea. So my devotion to the Outlander series is a testament to how said series is more than romance, it encompasses adventure and intrigue and everything in between. And for this reader, that type of book is the pink of perfection, and I couldn't ask for anything more. Moreover, the writing is delicious. ...more