Thank you Bloomsbury Children's Books for the ARC of Crown of Midnight which I received at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.
Full review to comThank you Bloomsbury Children's Books for the ARC of Crown of Midnight which I received at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.
Full review to come closer to the August 27th release date, But I will say it's wonderful! If you haven't read the first book Throne of Glass go to the library or bookstore and grab a copy. And if you haven't read the novellas yet I would recommend reading the. As well, there are several references to what happened in those stories, although they are not necessary to read I fund knowing what happened added to my overall enjoyment.
It's been a while since I picked up an historical fiction novel set in the medieval/renaissance period and boy did I forget how much I LOVE all the drIt's been a while since I picked up an historical fiction novel set in the medieval/renaissance period and boy did I forget how much I LOVE all the drama that goes along with a royal court. I mean the plotting, deception, and intrigue of that world. *love it* Not to mention all the finery and chivalry that one will often find in that type of setting that just isn't in our modern day world, and Grave Mercy has it all.
The historical setting of Grave Mercy based in truth. The court Ismae must infiltrate is the real court of Anne Duchess of Brittany, and many of the people at court were real as well. As with any historical fiction the author has taken liberties and created charters to enhance the story she is trying to tell. If you are interested in the history behind the book (a I was) the author has provided a wonderful "authors note" on her website.
This story however is not strict historical fiction, it's historical fantasy, and the mythology created for this world is pure magic. The Brenton gods have been refashioned by the Catholic Church as saints. It was common practice for the Catholic Church to incorporate pagan beliefs into their own traditions to make it easier to convert people to Christianity. In the world of His Fair Assassin these gods, now saints are more than just myth they are real. Ismae being a daughter of Death himself has been given special gifts that make her an adept assassin.
Right from the beginning of the book we learn about Ismae's struggled pass. She has a large red stain with welts and scars on her back, marks left by an herbwitch's poison her mother took to expel her from her womb. The fact Ismae survived, the herbwitch said, was proof that Ismae was a daughter of death himself. As young woman Ismae barely escapes a terrible arranged marriage and finds her self at the Convent of St. Mortain where the nuns still serve the the Breton god of death. Ismae spends the next three years training to be one of Death's handmaidens and is currently serving the convent as a novice. Ismae must prove she is ready to take her vows and be come a full sister of the convent and devote her life to doling out the vengeance of Mortain. To do so she must complete her first kills, but things get complicated when her assignment to follow Gavriel Duval a Brenton noble causes her to question the true intentions of the convent. Even worse is that she just might, maybe be falling for him.
Really I can't blame Ismae one bit for falling for Duval, because I pretty much fell for him myself. Maybe its the whole historical setting, I'm pretty much a sucker for period guys. Not to mention that Duval isn't your typical YA love interest (that being a teenage boy, which I don't tend to fall for because, I'm not a teenage girl.) I wouldn't exactly say he was charming, but he is very much a gentleman, chivalry can go a long way. There was also his devotion to the duchess that totally won me over. As Ismae fought over her growing feelings for him I found my self hoping he was truly what he presented himself to be, not only for her sake, but because I was falling hard for this fictional guy myself.
I would recommend this title to anyone who enjoys historical fiction as well as fairytale fantasy books. Over all I think girls will enjoy this book more, but I believe there is enough action (she is an assassin after all) to keep a guys interest as well. The romance isn't too over powering to turn a guy completely off, but the tension between Ismae and Duval will satisfy romance fans.
I truly enjoyed this book and wish I didn't have to wait a year for Dark Triumphthe second book in the trilogy to come out, but so is life. I'm sure I'll find plenty of other stories to fill the gap. ...more
In honor of St. Nicks day! Originally titled "A Visit from Saint Nicholas"
Growing up my father would read this book to my sister and me every ChristmIn honor of St. Nicks day! Originally titled "A Visit from Saint Nicholas"
Growing up my father would read this book to my sister and me every Christmas Eve. It’s the same copy my Grandfather would read my Dad and Aunt every Christmas.
It's a very old and cherished copy with the original "Happy Christmas to all and to all a goodnight" Both my sister and I always search for copies of this book with the proper last line, which is often times very difficult to find in newer editions of the book. I’m sure when I have my own children my father will continue this much loved tradition with them! (Simply because I’m sure he will not want to give up the book) ...more
Oh. My. God. Wow! Seriously amazing. I must get my hands on a copy of the second book ASAP. Don't know why it took me so long to pick this one up, butOh. My. God. Wow! Seriously amazing. I must get my hands on a copy of the second book ASAP. Don't know why it took me so long to pick this one up, but glad I don't have to wait long to find out what happens next. ...more
I do not know for the life of me why I didn't pick this book up sooner! This book has been in the back of my mind on my to read list ever since I firsI do not know for the life of me why I didn't pick this book up sooner! This book has been in the back of my mind on my to read list ever since I first saw it on the shelves when I worked at Borders #20. The cover art is simply stunning, and the tag line on the back "all her worlds a stage" should have gotten me to pick this book up much sooner than just now. Infact I knew I was going to finish this book tonight so I stopped by my local library (the LMC dosen't have these books.<- something I'll be reminding shortly) to pick up the 2nd book in the series Perchance to Dream
Our heroine, Beatrice Shakespeare Smith AKA: Bertie <- Great name! lives in the Théâtre Illuminata, a playhouse in which the players are the characters (not actors playing them but THE actual characters) from every play ever written. <- how cool is that!? Bertie's side kicks Cobweb, Moth, Mustardseed and Peaseblossom from Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream, who are absolutely hysterical, I found myself laughing out loud at their antics more than once while I was reading.
I don't want to ruin the story for anyone so I won't go into any detail on the plot, but I will say the story is steeped in Theatrical lore and practice. There are plenty of The Bard's characters roaming the wings of the theatre for any fan of Shakespearean literature to appreciate. Anyone who has ever been involved in a theatrical production be it as an actor or crew will fully understand the banter between the scenic manager and the properties manager as well as the other non acting members of the company. And anyone who has ever sat in a theatre and witnessed magic happen as the curtains rise and fall will be completely under the spell of the Théâtre Illuminata.
Five little words and I was intrigued...a few paragraphs later I was hooked. I had to read this book.
After waiti"The circus arrives without warning"
Five little words and I was intrigued...a few paragraphs later I was hooked. I had to read this book.
After waiting six weeks, the copies I ordered for my library came in, and I was finally able to get my hands on a copy of this book!
Night Circus is absolutely charming and pure magic. The imagery is so vivid I felt I could easily set foot in the black and white world of Le Cirque des Rêves, and on more than one occasion I found myself wishing the circus was real.
The story is about Celia and Marco, two magicians (and I’m talking real honest magic here, not the kind of magic that makes use of misdirection and sleight of hand, but kind of magic we, or at least I, wish was real) who are bound at a young age to compete against one another in a magical competition. The circus is the stage for this battle of imagination. As they each begin using their magic to make additions to the mysterious circus they begin to fall in love and start look at the competition as more of collaboration instead of a competition. The rules are vague at best and neither Celia nor Marco knows what is truly at stake.
Yes, the book has several different points of view and the book switch back and forth between two distinct time lines, and I understand that could make it difficult to read, but I promise it all comes together in the end and I promise you it’s worth it. I myself didn’t find the multiple points of view distracting, but maybe I just read a lot of fiction written from multiple points of view. As for the timelines each chapter is clearly marked at the beginning stating where and when it is taking place so as long as you pay attention to that detail jumping back and forth between the two timelines shouldn’t be too distracting.
Night Circus is a captivating read, it one of those books (for me, at least) that grabs you and takes you on a wonderful journey and leaves a lasting impression. I’ve found myself thinking about this book constantly since I put it down a and I’m sure I’ll continue to ponder the story and reread the book once I get a copy to add to my personal library. I cannot stop gushing about how much I enjoyed this book and it has rightfully earned its place in my top 5 favorite books!
The Tea Rose is one of my favorite books. I first read this book in 2005 after my mom had passed the book along to me, I then passed it on to my sisteThe Tea Rose is one of my favorite books. I first read this book in 2005 after my mom had passed the book along to me, I then passed it on to my sister (who unlike me is not an avid reader) and we all loved the book. The mass-market copy was so tattered and worn I went out and bought a replacement copy for my mom that Christmas. Since then I’ve re-read this book several times, and would constantly recommend this title to customers when I worked at a book store. I was very pleased when I learned Jennifer Donnelly was writing a sequel to it (The Winter Rose)and eventually with plans to make it a trilogy (The Wild Rose).
When recommending this book I would describe it as part historical fiction, part romance and part mystery, but it’s really more than that. It’s an epic tale about a young woman, Fiona Finnegan who works in an East London Tea factory in the late 19th century. Fiona has dreams of one day owning her own tea shop with her long time childhood friend Joe Bristow, but due unforeseen events her dreams do not exactly happen as she plans.
(It’s been a while since I’ve read this book. Planning on writing a more in-depth review once the story is again fresh in my mind)