Thursday, October 24, 2013

Mini-Reviews (2)

I am not a huge fan of Philippa Gregory and yet I just keep reading her books.  I am so intrigued by the War of the Roses that I just can't stay away from her Cousin's War series.  Elizabeth of York is a fascinating historical figure and I can't help feeling bad for her in both real life and this story.  I must say that I really enjoyed this book.  This is probably the first book I've read where Elizabeth Woodville seemed like a pretty nice person and a very loving mother; she was portrayed in a completely different manner in this book than in others I've read.  I enjoyed that but I'm not sure if it's an accurate depiction or not.  Also, while I loved the fact that Gregory had one of the 'princes in the tower' survive, I was annoyed that she asserts in her author's note that she believes that this version of the story is correct.  I feel like sometimes she makes a lot of assertions that she doesn't always back up. Oh well, it was still a good read!  3 1/2 stars.

The Child Thief by Dan Smith

This book reminded me a lot of Child 44 in that it was a mystery set in Stalinist era Ukraine.  However, it did focus more on the peasant population and how collectivization affected them.  It was a really interesting read because a lot of the story focused on the mystery but there was also a lot of focus on the fear of being collectivized.  What I loved most about this book is that I could not figure out who the kidnapper/killer was.  When it was finally revealed, I was so surprised because I never in a million years would have guessed that person.  The Child Thief is the perfect combination of historical fiction and mystery. 4 stars.

Tarnish by Katherine Longshore

I know I've said before that I am getting sick of Anne Boleyn books but seriously, this is one of the best Anne Boleyn books I have read.  It was set prior to Henry VIII's bid for a divorce and his split from the Catholic Church.  I loved Longshore's portrayal of Anne: it's probably one of my favorites. She was a very sympathetic and well-developed character.  The only thing I didn't like was the constant use of the word 'tarnish'.  I got the point she was trying to make but it started to get annoying.  Tarnish is the second book in a trilogy and while I liked Gilt (the first book), Tarnish was even better.  I can't wait to see what the next book will be like. 4 stars.

All books reviewed in this post were borrowed from my local library.


  1. I've never read Philippa Gregory, but I do have one random book of hers on my shelves: The Constant Princess. We'll see how many years it takes me to get to it because I'm just slow that way. ALL THE BOOKS! :D

  2. I feel very similar about Philippa Gregory. I don't particularly enjoy her books, but I still keep reading them. Although I do at least appreciate what she's done for getting historical fiction mainstream, but I just wish more people branched out from her.


Imagination Designs