I picked this book up by chance for 50p in the library, and read it in less than two days. I immediately loved all the characters, even the ones I wasI picked this book up by chance for 50p in the library, and read it in less than two days. I immediately loved all the characters, even the ones I was supposed to loathe, and found myself completely wrapped up in the story. I'm so glad this book is mine and not the library's, as I don't think I'd be able to give it back. I'm always a sucker for literary mysteries, and what I liked about this book is that it never really gave everything away. Even when you finish it, all the questions are not answered, and you're free to speculate about what you think really happened 400 years ago on the evidence provided. I thought that the twists were very clever and unexpected, and I thought that it was brilliant that, despite being a book about the truth behind William Shakespeare, it didn't stay in England, let alone Stratford. My only niggle would be that I thought the romance felt slightly forced, and the main character didn't dwell on certain things which I thought she should have done, but overall a great book, and one which I will definitely re-read, if only to make sure that I understood the mystery properly....more
First off: this is not a cheerful book. I don't mean that it's grimmer than Grimsville, but it was never going to be happy seeing as it's set in the SFirst off: this is not a cheerful book. I don't mean that it's grimmer than Grimsville, but it was never going to be happy seeing as it's set in the Second World War. I cry every time I read this book. But that's what makes it so wonderful. You feel for the characters so much that they take over your emotions until after you've finished the book, and sometimes they don't even let go then. This book is one of those odd ones. It's not one you rave about when you read it, but it's not one you rant about either. Somehow the story is too special to rave about it, but to rant would be a huge discredit. I would never take this book on holiday with me, but when I've got a spare day on my own, I will take it down from my shelf and relive every moment with an overwhelming sense of honour....more
I bought this book primarily because I'd already read and loved The Swan Kingdom and Daughter of the Flames by the same author. A couple of weeks on,I bought this book primarily because I'd already read and loved The Swan Kingdom and Daughter of the Flames by the same author. A couple of weeks on, and I'm still not sure what to feel about it. It is a brilliant book, with wonderful characters who are believable yet unpredictable every step of the way, and a beautifully imagined environment. But it also deals with some serious issues. It's been staring at me from my floor (I ran out of shelf space a month ago) since I first finished it. Read me again, it hisses. And I want to. I honestly want to. But how? I love the story so much, and yet the emotion in it is so strong I don't know whether I can handle it for a second time. This is the reason it's four star, not five; this and the fact that the ending ties up in the space of a couple of pages, with a speed that gave me whiplash.
I should just do it, right? I know once I pick it up I'll be completely immersed in that world once more. It's just crossing that boundary between closed book and open that's somehow the problem....more
Loved it. Absolutely loved it. This book has made it into the select group of books which I take with me on every single holiday and night away from hLoved it. Absolutely loved it. This book has made it into the select group of books which I take with me on every single holiday and night away from home. When I go to uni, it'll be the first book in the box.
Daughter of the Flames was the first book I'd read which really championed the female heroine. Sure, I'd read them before, but none of them had that determined spark that I envy so much. Zahira was, and is, so much that I want to be myself. She is strong, independent without being overly proud, and realistic about the world without damning it, a quality which I admire incredibly. I would love for there to be a sequel to this book. It needn't have a plot. Just Zahira being herself, and being amazing. Please, Zoe?...more
Well, here's a no-brainer. A fantasy book with a grumpy and unwillingly badass policeman? A comedy with underlying important race issues? Yes please.Well, here's a no-brainer. A fantasy book with a grumpy and unwillingly badass policeman? A comedy with underlying important race issues? Yes please.
Thud! was the first Pratchett that I read, and the first book I ever had which actually fitted in my handbag of the time (I've now got a decent book-sized one). As such, the gold is almost gone from the cover, the pages are falling out, and the covers themselves are battered beyond saving. I must have read this book at least 25 times, if not more. So much so, that I can actually quote entire pages. But I digress. This is a review, after all.
Thud! also had the advantage of being the first comedy/fantasy book I'd ever got my hands on, and, as such, I was hooked from the first page. The characters are extraordinarily vivid, the setting entirely random on the surface and possibly in the depths too, and, to top it all off, Carrot. Need I say more?
Basically, stop reading this, and start reading the actual book. Now....more