Skip to main content


Showing posts from May, 2013

Review: "Of Fathers and Sons" by Evan Ostryzniuk

  Synopsis: Geoffrey Hotspur and the Este Inheritance takes place in 1395 when the conflict between rival branches of the mighty Este family over the succession to the strategic Marquisate of Ferrara reaches its climax. The Este lands are vulnerable. The unexpected death of the powerful Marquis Alberto d'Este in 1393 has left his ten-year old son, Niccolo, as his sole direct heir. Though born out of wedlock, the pope himself legitimized the boy’s birth, but in an age when great lords ruled by the sword as much as by the laws of inheritance, having a boy lead the family can be a sign of weakness. Made unhappy by the father, several Este vassals want to humble the son, and they see their opportunity in the essential weakness of Niccolo’s minority rule. Championing their cause is the head of a humiliated branch of the Este family who is not only a famous condottiere, but also a powerful captain of the ambitious lord of Milan. Fearing that civil war will lead to a s

Stacking the Shelves (46)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews . I only received one book this week and I actually just finished it yesterday! For Review:   Gracianna by Trini Amador What books did you get this week?

If You Want to Read About...Spain

  The Alhambra palace in Granada , S pain I recently read a n awesome book set in Spai n which was the in spiration for this post.  I haven't rea d a lot of works of historical fiction set in Spain but the ones I have read are really good.  Here is what I recommend for those interested in reading about Spain's his tory. The Queen's Vow by C.W. Gortner -Gortner's books are excellent and this one focuses on Isabel of Castile's youth and rise to power. By Fire, By Water by Mitchell James Kaplan -This book found me and I am so glad it did.  It takes place in Spain during the Inquisition and is an absolutely wonderful story.  I highly recommend it! The Inquisitor's Wife by Jeanne Kalogridis - While this is another book about the Inquisition, it is a very different story than By Fire, By Water.   This is the book that made me want to do to a list about Spain. The Last Queen by C.W. Gortner -Another Gortner book but this one is about Isabel's

Review: "Royal Mistress" by Anne Easter Smith

From Goodreads:  Jane Lambert, the quick-witted and alluring daughter of a silk merchant, is twenty-two and still unmarried. When Jane’s father finally finds her a match, she’s married off to the dull, older silk merchant William Shore—but her heart belongs to another. Marriage doesn’t stop Jane Shore from flirtation, however, and when the king’s chamberlain and friend, Will Hastings, comes to her husband’s shop, Will knows his King will find her irresistible. Edward IV has everything: power, majestic bearing, superior military leadership, a sensual nature, and charisma. And with Jane as his mistress, he also finds true happiness. But when his hedonistic tendencies get in the way of being the strong leader England needs, his life, as well as that of Jane Shore and Will Hastings, hang in the balance. This dramatic tale has been an inspiration to poets and playwrights for 500 years, and told through the unique perspective of a woman plucked from obscurity and thrust i

Quick Review: "Clockwork Princess" by Cassandra Clare

From Goodreads:   Tessa Gray should be happy - aren't all brides happy?  Yet as she prepares for her wedding, a net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. A new demon appears, one linked by blood and secrecy to Mortmain, the man who plans to use his army of pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. Mortmain needs only one last item to complete his plan. He needs Tessa. And Jem and Will, the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa's heart, will do anything to save her. My Thoughts:  I can't believe it's over!  I have said it before and will say it again, the Infernal Devices is so much better than the Mortal Instruments. I loved this whole series and I loved the way the author wrapped it all up   I could not put this book down at all!  I loved all the little romances that popped up and all the action that was going on as the Shadowhunters tried to fight and stop Mortmain.  I also enjoyed finall

Stacking the Shelves (45)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews . I only received one book this week which is totally fine with me since I am starting to slow down on my reading. For Review (from Historical Fiction Book Tours):     Of Fathers and Sons by Evan Ostryzniuk What books did you get this week?

Quick Review: "The Devil Wears Prada" by Lauren Weisberger

From Goodreads:  Andrea Sachs, a small-town girl fresh out of college, lands the job “a million girls would die for.” Hired as the assistant to Miranda Priestly, the high-profile, fabulously successful editor of Runway magazine, Andrea finds herself in an office that shouts Prada! Armani! Versace! at every turn, a world populated by impossibly thin, heart-wrenchingly stylish women and beautiful men clad in fine-ribbed turtlenecks and tight leather pants that show off their lifelong dedication to the gym. With breathtaking ease, Miranda can turn each and every one of these hip sophisticates into a scared, whimpering child.  My Thoughts:  I have no idea why I bought this book but at some point in time, I did.  I have read one other Lauren Weisberger book and I think this one will be my last.   The story was very predictable and not super exciting.  Once I got started reading it, I knew exactly what was going to happen for the rest of the story.  It actually seemed like th

Top Ten Books Dealing With Tough Subjects

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is: Top Ten Books Dealing with Tough Subjects 1.)  Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson 2.) Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson 3.) Kolyma Tales by Varlaam Shalamov 4.) Every Last One by Anna Quindlen 5.) We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver 6.) Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay 7.) The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult   8.) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green 9. ) These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf 10.) Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher Did any of these books make your list?  Anything I missed?  Leave your link in the comments so I can check out your TTT post!

Stacking the Shelves (44)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews . I hope everyone had a great week! Here are the books I picked up: Won from Dewey's Read-A-Thon The Diviners by Libba Bray   (Thanks to Deb Nance at readerbuzz ) Purchased (ebook) Mindful Birthing by Nancy Bardacke What books did you get this week? Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!

Review: "The Fifth Knight" by E.M. Powell

Synopsis:  To escape a lifetime of poverty, mercenary Sir Benedict Palmer agrees to one final, lucrative job: help King Henry II’s knights seize the traitor Archbishop Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. But what begins as a clandestine arrest ends in cold-blooded murder. And when Fitzurse, the knights ’ ringleader, kidnaps Theodosia, a beautiful young nun who witnessed the crime, Palmer can sit silently by no longer. For not only is Theodosia’s virtue at stake, so too is the secret she unknowingly carries—a secret he knows Fitzurse will torture out of her. Now Palmer and Theodosia are on the run, strangers from different worlds forced to rely only on each other as they race to uncover the hidden motive behind Becket’s grisly murder—and the shocking truth that could destroy a kingdom. My Thoughts:  Wow! I don't know what I was expecting when I decided to read this but what I got was a fast-paced, action-packed historical mystery.  I have read a lot abo

Review: "Murder as a Fine Art" by David Morrell

Synopsis :  Thomas De Quincey, infamous for his memoir Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, is the major suspect in a series of ferocious mass murders identical to ones that terrorized London forty-three years earlier. The blueprint for the killings seems to be De Quincey's essay "On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts." Desperate to clear his name but crippled by opium addiction, De Quincey is aided by his devoted daughter Emily and a pair of determined Scotland Yard detectives. In Murder as a Fine Ar t, David Morrell plucks De Quincey, Victorian London, and the Ratcliffe Highway murders from history. Fogbound streets become a battleground between a literary star and a brilliant murderer, whose lives are linked by secrets long buried but never forgotten. My Thoughts:  I loved this book!  It is the perfect mix of historical fiction and murder mystery and is guaranteed to give you the creeps.  I haven't read such a good mystery in a very long time a

If You Want to Read About...Russia (Historical Fiction edition)

This is my second 'If You Want To' post on I thought I would focus it on historical fiction set in Russia.  I am obsessed with Russian history (I even got my master's in Russian Studies) and so anytime I see a work of historical fiction that is focused on Russia, I have to read it.  Personally, I don't think there are that many really good works of Russian historical fiction  but below are some of my favorites.  I may do another post at some point that focuses on non-fiction about Russia and/or Russian Literature. The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons -I'm sure you are all well aware about my love for this book.  It's seriously one of my favorite books ever and it is set in Russia which makes me love it more! The Jewel of St Petersburg by Kate Furnivall - This is a wonderful love story set at the beginning of the Russian Revolution.  It has wonderful characters and a beautiful setting.  It's the first in a trilogy but I think it was the definitely the b

April Wrap Up

I had a great reading month in April!  I had no idea I would get so much reading in but I know that it definitely helped to participate in Dewey's Readathon.  I read a total of 14 books in April which puts me at 45 books for the year. My goal is to read 75 books this year and I think I am well on my way to that goal!  I am going to try to read as much as I can in the next 8 weeks because once the baby gets here, I am not sure how much reading I will be able to get done. I also am pretty proud that 6 of the books I read this month were ones I already owned.  I need to keep that up because I still have a ton of unread books on my shelf. Here is what I read in April: 1.) Tully by Paullina Simons 2.) Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen 3.) The Fifth Knight by E.M. Powell 4.) The Mirrored World by Debra Dean 5.) Starvation Heights by Gregg Olsen  6.) The Inquisitor's Wife by Jeanne Kalogridis 7.) 11/22/63 by Stephen King 8.) The Light in the Ruins by Chris Bohjalian 9