Review: Wolf Hall

81THPjDmFnLWolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Series: Thomas Cromwell Trilogy
Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction
Maturity Level: 4
View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆


England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope and most of Europe opposes him. Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell: a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people, and implacable in his ambition. But Henry is volatile: one day tender, one day murderous. Cromwell helps him break the opposition, but what will be the price of his triumph?


Oh my goodness, what a brilliant book! I read a lot of books that I really enjoy, but it’s not very often that I read what I would consider a legitimate masterpiece. This is one of those novels.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Review: The Rose & the Dagger

The Rose & the Dagger by Renee Adieh

23308084Series: The Wrath & the Dawn
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fiction
Maturity Level: 4
View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆


In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad is forced from the arms of her beloved husband, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once thought Khalid a monster—a merciless killer of wives, responsible for immeasurable heartache and pain—but as she unraveled his secrets, she found instead an extraordinary man and a love she could not deny. Still, a curse threatens to keep Shazi and Khalid apart forever.

Now she’s reunited with her family, who have found refuge in the desert, where a deadly force is gathering against Khalid—a force set on destroying his empire and commanded by Shazi’s spurned childhood sweetheart. Trapped between loyalties to those she loves, the only thing Shazi can do is act. Using the burgeoning magic within her as a guide, she strikes out on her own to end both this terrible curse and the brewing war once and for all. But to do it, she must evade enemies of her own to stay alive.


I feel like The Rose & the Dagger was probably of about the same quality as The Wrath & the Dawn, however I enjoyed it a lot less. Continue reading

Review: The Wrath & the Dawn

The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

18798983Series: The Wrath & the Dawn
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fiction
Maturity Level: 4
View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆


In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?


I wish I would have known two things before I started reading this book. 1. It’s young adult. 2. It’s part of a series. I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I had been expecting those two things. Because I LOVED The Wrath and the Dawn, but was really bothered by a lot of little things.

Continue reading

Review: The Girl in the Tower

34050917The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

Series: Winternight Trilogy
Genres: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Fiction
Maturity Rating: 4
View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆


Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop. 


The Girl in the Tower was not quite as amazing as The Bear and the Nightingale, but was still an outstanding read.

Continue reading

Review: The Song of Achilles

51erEvChGpL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction
Maturity Rating: 5
View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆


Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their difference, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’ mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. 

But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfill his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.


The Song of Achilles was just so completely different from what I was expecting that I’m not even really sure how to review it. I wasn’t expecting a love story AT ALL, but that’s essentially what the book was. I suppose if I was better versed in Greek History I wouldn’t have been surprised, or if I was any good at reading a synopsis properly, lol.

Continue reading

Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper

51nTreUEtgL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fiction
Maturity Level: 4-
View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆


Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.


While not the best-written book I have ever read, Stalking Jack the Ripper sure was a lot of fun! There’s not enough books out there about Jack the Ripper in my opinion, and I’m glad Maniscalco gave this one such a fun twist.

Continue reading

Review: My Cousin Rachel

5604250My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier

Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Classics
Maturity Level: 3
View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆


I threw the piece of paper on the fire. She saw it burn …Orphaned at an early age, Philip Ashley is raised by his benevolent older cousin, Ambrose. Resolutely single, Ambrose delights in Philip as his heir, a man who will love his grand home as much as he does himself. But the cosy world the two construct is shattered when Ambrose sets off on a trip to Florence. There he falls in love and marries – and there he dies suddenly. In almost no time at all, the new widow – Philip’s cousin Rachel – turns up in England. Despite himself, Philip is drawn to this beautiful, sophisticated, mysterious woman like a moth to the flame. And yet …might she have had a hand in Ambrose’s death? 


What a unique love story! Even though I felt like I kind of knew what to expect (curse you movie trailer!!!!!), it kept going in directions that took me by surprise. However, I didn’t find the atmosphere quite as brooding and mysterious as I expected to, which was a little disappointing.

Continue reading