Before I start this review, it is important to note that I received this book as a part of a Goodreads-First Reads giveaway. However, this did not inf Before I start this review, it is important to note that I received this book as a part of a Goodreads-First Reads giveaway. However, this did not influence my review or rating in any way.
I was quite excited to receive this book in the mail because I am always up for a good historical conspiracy. I don’t usually believe them, but I always think that they are fun to learn about.
Right away, it was obvious that this author’s, Adrian Gilbert, had done a lot of research into his theory and that he has a passion for it. In The Blood of Avalon, he postulates that Prince William, his brother Prince Harry, and their mother, the late Princess Diana, all possess sacred blood that comes from their Welsh ancestors and King Arthur. This is due to the fact that history has placed the King Arthur myth in the wrong location and it actually all took place in Wales. Even farther back, Joseph of Arimathea is a part of the bloodline, which links the family back to the Holy Grail.
However, despite the author’s enthusiasm, I found this book difficult to read. The chapters didn’t flow together very well and there was a lot of complicated history that was explained in too brief of a time.There were also several errors with names and dates. Besides that, it was almost too conspiratorial and read like an episode of History Channel’s show, “Ancient Aliens”.
I thought the premise of this book was interesting, it just wasn’t executed as well as it could have been. I am giving it 2.5 stars. Since Goodreads doesn’t allow for half star ratings, I rounded up to three on the site.
If you are interested in adding this book to your to-read shelf, here is the Goodreads page!...more
Before I start this review, I feel that it is necessary to state that I won this book from the publisher on Goodreads. However, this in no way influenBefore I start this review, I feel that it is necessary to state that I won this book from the publisher on Goodreads. However, this in no way influenced my review. It was awesome to win the book because it was on my to-read list! But, I will review this book in the same way that I review books that I have bought or checked out from the library.
The Spanish Armada is one of my favorite events in history. The tables could have so easily turned the other direction and history could have been changed forever. However, I don’t know much about the more minute details and was excited to see that Robert Hutchinson wrote an hour by hour account of the event. I had read his book on the last days of Henry VIII’s life (found here) and found it to be well written. This one was also fascinating!
Hutchinson has a very clear and concise writing style. It works well because it does not burden the reader with information and allows them to follow the story.easily. However, he also writes with an exciting build up to the final event which keeps the reader entertained.
The author does two useful things. The first is that he converts all money into today’s values. This helped me to get a better idea on just how much both sides spent on war. The other thing was the multiple appendices in the back. There was a list of ships, people, etc. This helped keep me straight since there were so many players in this event.
Overall, I found this book to be a new and fascinating take on the Spanish Armada. Even though I already knew the outcome, I still found myself excited to see what was going to happen next. Hutchinson did a great job and I look forward to reading his other books on the Tudors! I am giving it four stars!
If you liked my review, check out my book review blog! Here is the link! ...more
To start off this review, I would like to state that I received this book as a part of a giveaway hosted at www.goodreads.com. However, this has nothiTo start off this review, I would like to state that I received this book as a part of a giveaway hosted at www.goodreads.com. However, this has nothing to do with my opinion on the story and I am simply sharing my thoughts as a service to my fellow bookworms!
Wow. That is what I said after finishing this book. At the end, it left me breathless and wishing that there were still 100 more pages! Loupas is a master at historical fiction! In this book, she weaves a tale set in the turbulent times of Medici Florence. The main character, Chiara Nerini, is the daughter of a bookseller. Through her own courage, she is suddenly set up to be an alchemist in the household of the Grand Duke. During the story, Chiara must weave her way through the complicated politics and schemes that plague the court. All while trying to find the legendary Philosopher's Stone and figure out her feelings for the mysterious English alchemist that the Duke also keeps in his employ.
This book had a lot of things going for it. Firstly, Loupas has a beautiful, descriptive style that meshes with her intense, dark and twisted, storytelling. There is a sense of evil and foreboding that lingers just below the surface and keeps the reader in a constant state of tension. She also understands people and how their minds work, especially when it comes to politics and power. This means that each character is developed into a real, complex, three-dimensional person that fits perfectly into their place in the story.
I adored this book and I can’t wait to read the others that Elizabeth Loupas has written. I am giving it five stars!!! ...more
Before I start this review, I should disclose that I won this book from a giveaway hosted on www.goodreads.com. This in no way altered my opinion of tBefore I start this review, I should disclose that I won this book from a giveaway hosted on www.goodreads.com. This in no way altered my opinion of this book and my review will be written as if I had bought this book.
I may have mentioned it before, but I figured I should say it again, I got my bachelor’s degree in art history. So, you can imagine my excitement when I was notified that I won a book all about self-portraits! It has been a few months since I had read a scholarly based art history book, so I was pumped to delve back into this world.
From the very first sentence, this book had me hooked! I found the sentences to be thoughtful and well-crafted, without the typical academic stuffiness. In fact, sometimes I found the writing to be a bit sassy at times, which made it enjoyable to read. It felt like a conversational lecture, instead of the information being thrust upon me.
The examples used were plentiful and varied with excellent descriptions. Although sometimes I felt the author read too much into certain pieces, which art historians sometimes do, (I know I did lol), it was still an interesting take on several key pieces in the history of art. In fact, Hall often compared pieces across time periods, which I thought to be an excellent decision. It showed that humanity has changed drastically, yet not.
I only have a couple of criticisms. There were paragraphs at the end of each chapter that summarized the whole chapter. I found it to be a bit too much like a textbook and unnecessary. Second, the ending felt rushed, as if Hall was trying to fit too much in the final chapter. Another reason this could be possible was that there was no conclusion. It ended abruptly and it was a bit jarring.
Other than those couple things, I loved the book and am giving it 4 stars. I thought it was a great read for anyone who is interested in art history. I hope that Hall continues this project and writes a book on non-Western art because this book was entirely focused on Western art. ...more
I should start off this review by stating that I won this book over at www.goodreads.com. I am not normally a person who wins contests, so this was quI should start off this review by stating that I won this book over at www.goodreads.com. I am not normally a person who wins contests, so this was quite exciting for me. Not to mention I was notified that I had won on my birthday! However, the fact that I won this book in no way influenced my opinion on it.
This book, Daughter of Empire: My Life as a Mountbatten is the autobiography of Lady Pamela Hicks. She is the second daughter of the famous Lord Louis Mountbatten. I knew a little bit about her father because he is one of my grandfather’s favorite historical figures, but I knew next to nothing about his daughters. However, I am fascinated by their family because they are so closely related to the British monarchy, and because of Queen Victoria, many other royal families as well. The book begins with her birth in Barcelona and concludes with her returning from her honeymoon. In between, she experiences the Second World War, the transition of power in India, and the Commonwealth Tour.
I thoroughly enjoyed the style in which this book was written. Instead of being dry, like most biographical/autobiographical works, it had the flow of natural conversation. I felt as if Lady Pamela was telling me her story one-on-one. This made the book a quick, but entertaining read. I immediately became engrossed in her story because her life is so different from my own. Her parents were famous, she got to travel all over the world, and she also got to be a part of many historical events. I must admit, I was a little jealous of her! However, I never felt as if she was bragging. I got the feel that she was simply trying to tell her story.
Overall, I am rating this book at 4 stars because of the way it was written. I loved hearing Lady Pamela’s story and how she got to experience so many amazing things! Thank you to the publisher, Simon & Schuster for sending me this book! ...more