Probably one of the best fantasy books I have read in a long time. I was so enthralled with the story that instead of waiting a couple of days for theProbably one of the best fantasy books I have read in a long time. I was so enthralled with the story that instead of waiting a couple of days for the book to be returned to the library I ended up purchasing both this book and the second one....more
I’ve been craving historical fiction of late and this soothed my craving to no end. I’m not a historian so I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the histoI’ve been craving historical fiction of late and this soothed my craving to no end. I’m not a historian so I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the historical information in the novel, nor would I as this is a fictional account of the life and times of the Lady Elizabeth who would eventually become the Queen Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen. The novel by Alison Weir provides a well written narrative that not only follows Elizabeth, but those around her and influencing her life. Alison Weir in her note to the reader admits to taking some liberties with the historical facts in this novel, but she states that she attempts most of the time to stay as true to the accounts of fact as she can. Once again as I am not a historian I can not vouch for this, but as a reader and lover of history I would like to think that this is true.
As is typical of my nature when reading novels, I find myself fascinated by a supporting character. The Lady Mary, who eventually becomes Queen Mary is a well written character in this book who you find yourself at times sympathizing with and at other times despising. I think the emotional attachment that one finds themselves entangled in while reading this book is proof of Alison Weir’s ability to write a believable and entrancing tale surrounding the early life of Lady Elizabeth.
In The Lady Elizabeth, Weir does a fantastic job of providing a viewpoint both through the eye’s of a precocious child and through the eyes of the adults around her. I found myself so entranced and emotionally attached to all of the characters in the book that I could not put the book aside until I had finished reading it completely. ...more
I felt deeply sympathetic with the protagonist and this shows the masterful way Alison Weir writes her novels to tug at the emotions of the readers. LI felt deeply sympathetic with the protagonist and this shows the masterful way Alison Weir writes her novels to tug at the emotions of the readers. Lady Jane’s tale is a tragic tale and you find yourself hoping for some great happiness to befall her at every turn of the page.
Despite my love of the story, I was not as enthralled with this book as I was with The Lady Elizabeth. I found I had some difficulty getting past the narrative style in Innocent Traitor. The book was written from the point of view of multiple characters all using the first person. Though Weir always designated who was talking I felt, as another reviewer pointed out, none of the characters had their own “voice.” I found males, females, and even children at times all sounded the same when they were speaking in first person. It always took me a moment to register who was talking. Even though the narrative style was difficult to get past the overall story was still well written.
If you are fascinated with the history of Tudor England and want to read a book from the perspective of an individual who eventually gets put to death through the folly of the adults around her, Innocent Traitor is a worthy read. It will not leave you disappointed if you are looking for a good historical story. ...more
Magic, sexual escapades, court intrigue, death, war … The Devil’s Queen A Novel of Catherine de Medici by Jeanne Kalogridis has it all. Despite this fMagic, sexual escapades, court intrigue, death, war … The Devil’s Queen A Novel of Catherine de Medici by Jeanne Kalogridis has it all. Despite this fact, I am left wondering what I got out of this book. There were times in the book where I was turning the pages fast desperate to know what would happen next and other times where I was immensely bored and wondering when something interesting would happen. Sometimes I felt a connection with the protagonist other times I felt there was something lacking in her, that she was slightly two dimensional. I’m not sure what was missing in this book. The story and plot line were fascinating. The ideas were great. I don’t believe there was much historical fact to the story line and that most of it was fiction, but that is to be expected in a historical fiction novel. I was also left at times disturbed by the some of the characters in the story.
The imagery used to describe dreams, visions, magic, and clothing were spectacular. They were filled with vivid details and allowed one to truly see those scenes. Those aspects of the book were brilliant and well done.
After reading The Devil’s Queen I am left with a neutral feeling. I don’t dislike the book, but I am not raving about it either. I feel it is an fascinating read and had it’s good points, but it wasn’t one where it held my interest the entire time and it felt a little slow and drawn out. ...more
The Ghost-Feeler Stories of Terror and the Supernatural is an anthology of ghost/supernatural stories written by Edith Wharton. The collection includeThe Ghost-Feeler Stories of Terror and the Supernatural is an anthology of ghost/supernatural stories written by Edith Wharton. The collection includes both chilling and even comedic stories. Her supernatural tales include ghosts, the dead walking, simple murder, psychological tales, and more. In each story I was struck with Wharton’s ability to weave vivid detail and imagery to create an unforgettable scene, such as in this description of a person dying:
At last even these dim sensations spent themselves in the thickening obscurity which enveloped her; a dusk now filled with pale geometric roses, circling softly, interminably before her, now darkened to a uniform blue-blackness, the hue of a summer night without stars. And into this darkness she felt herself sinking, sinking, with the gentle sense of security of one upheld from beneath. Like a tepid tide it rose around her, gliding ever higher and higher, folding in its velvety embrace her relaxed and tired body, now submerging her breast and shoulders, now creeping gradually, with soft inexorableness, over her throat to her chin, to her ears, to her mouth … Ah, now it was too high; the impulse to struggle was renewed; … her mouth was full; … she was choking…. Help!
‘It is all over,’ said the nurse, drawing down the eyelids with official composure.
While reading this collection, I have also been reading The Turn of The Screw by Henry James. One story in particular, The Lady Maid’s Bell, reminded me a lot of Henry James’ writing style. Which according to the introduction of this book is not surprising. Her style is also reminiscent of Edgar Allen Poe.
Overall, this book is a great collection of wonderfully put and vividly written stories. They aren’t scary in the traditional sense, but are indeed chilling and anyone who has a chance to pick up this collection should. It is like taking a walk through someones life and a journey through the dark recesses of Wharton’s mind. ...more