The Blood of The Fifth Knight by E.M. Powell

reviews 0 Comments 30th January, 2015

Powell_Knight_Cover_Template_UK.inddThe Blood of The Fifth Knight by E.M. Powell

A triumphant sequel to Powell’s acclaimed historical thriller The Fifth Knight. A desperate king trusts a lone knight to unravel a web of murder.

England, 1176. King Henry II has imprisoned his rebellious Queen for her failed attempt to overthrow him. But with her conspirators still at large and a failed assassination attempt on his beautiful mistress, Rosamund Clifford, the King must take action to preserve his reign.

Desperate, Henry turns to the only man he trusts: a man whose skills have saved him once before. Sir Benedict Palmer answers the call, mistakenly believing that his family will remain safe while he attends to his King.

As Palmer races to secure his King’s throne, neither man senses the hand of a brilliant schemer, a mystery figure loyal to Henry’s traitorous Queen who will stop at nothing to see the King defeated.

The Blood of the Fifth Knight is an intricate medieval murder mystery and worthy sequel to E.M. Powell’s acclaimed historical thriller The Fifth Knight.

I haven’t read the first book and while this works as stand-alone, I wish I had read the previous book. I think there’s lot more to Benedict and Theodosia’s tale than we learn here.

While Henry’s relationship with Rosamund isn’t new to me it was still interesting to read. For me Rosamund’s portrayal was nice change from what I’ve usually read about her. Which is logical considering that Henry was quite older than she… Geoffrey was also very interesting because most times he’s very minor character and I liked reading more about him.

I liked the relationship between Benedict and Theodosia; they’re very loyal and committed to each other. I really wish I had read the first book because I’m curious to know how they met.

I’m very bad with mysteries but I did not see who the villain was. I was so sure I knew who it was but I was totally wrong!

I loved this book and I have to read the first book soon!

4,5/5

Published: Thomas & Mercer (2015)
Format: ebook
Pages: 368
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

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You can check the tour schedule here

About the author

E.M. Powell is the author of medieval thriller THE FIFTH KNIGHT which was a #1 Amazon Bestseller. Born and raised in the Republic of Ireland into the family of Michael Collins (the legendary revolutionary and founder of the Irish Free State) she now lives in the north west of England with her husband and daughter and a Facebook-friendly dog. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society, International Thriller Writers and Romance Writers of America. She is a reviewer of fiction and non-fiction for the HNS. Find out more by visiting www.empowell.com. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Mailbox Monday (26.1.)

meme 7 Comments 26th January, 2015

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia and is now hosted on its own blog.

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Blood of the Wicked by Karina Cooper (bookmooch)
The Three Edwards by Thomas B. Costain (bookmooch)
Love Letters Of Henry VIII To Anne Boleyn (bookmooch)
Bosworth: The Birth of the Tudors by Chris Skidmore (purchased)
Age of Iron by Angus Watson (purchased)
Knife-Sworn by Mazarkis Williams (purchased)
All But My Life by Gerda Weissmann Klein (bookmooch)
Elizabeth of York by Arlene Naylor Okerlund (bought)

The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

reviews 2 Comments 15th January, 2015

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The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy 3) by Deborah Harkness

After traveling through time to Tudor London, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont are now back in the present to face new crises and old enemies.

At Matthew’s ancestral home in France they reunite with their families – with one heart-breaking exception. But the real threat to their future is yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for the elusive manuscript Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on a terrifying urgency. Using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the palaces of Venice and beyond, Diana and Matthew will finally learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago. (back cover)

I don’t really know what to say… I really loved this series and I’m sad that it ends here.

Diana and Matthew are back in the present from Tudor time and Diana is pregnant with twins. Matthew is still trying to find a way to cure blood rage.

All that lab work and DNA thing went way over my head again, but it was still fascinating stuff. And the nerd in me really loves that they’re historian and scientist so we get along with their researching,

Diana finally grows into her magic here and is less afraid to use it. Thankfully while being pregnant she’s still doing stuff so her chapters are never boring.

We meet new and old characters and I really loved Fernando and Gallowglass. Okay, maybe I had little crush on him… I would have liked to know what happens to him in the end because that was left open.

The bad guy of the book is Matthew’s son Benjamin who also has blood rage. Now who wouldn’t like a villain who kills, tortures and rapes to get his vengeance? He was crazy enough to be a perfect villain.

4/5

Published: Headline (2014)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 580
Source: library

Oracles of Delphi by Marie Savage

reviews 1 Comment 7th January, 2015

9780989207935-Perfect.inddOracles of Delphi by Marie Savage

All Althaia wants on her trip to Delphi is to fulfill her father’s last wish. Finding the body of a woman in the Sacred Precinct is not in her plans. Neither is getting involved in the search for the killer, falling for the son of a famous priestess, or getting pulled into the ancient struggle for control of the two most powerful oracles in the world. But that’s what happens when Theron, Althaia’s tutor and a man with a reputation for finding the truth, is asked to investigate. When a priest hints that Theron himself may be involved, Althaia is certain the old man is crazy — until Nikos, son of a famous priestess, arrives with an urgent message. Theron’s past, greedy priests, paranoid priestesses, prophecies, and stolen treasures complicate the investigation, and as Althaia falls for Nikos, whose dangerous secrets hold the key to the young woman’s death, she discovers that love often comes at a high price and that the true meaning of family is more than a bond of blood.

I have to confess I hadn’t heard about the Oracle of Delphi before this and I realized how little I actually know about ancient Greece.

Althaia is a privileged young woman from Athens but thanks to her lenient and loving father she’s had more rights than most women. She has knowledge to perform an autopias on a dead body, which becomes handy when a dead woman is found.

I liked Althaia, Theron and her two slaves. Praxis was almost like a brother to her even though he was a slave and it was nice to see their close relationship. Althaia was very likeable character: strong, compassionate and quite outspoken for that time. We get another perspective of her from the point of view of Nepthys, her personal slave.
Little by little we learn more about their past and how they became to each other’s lives.

I loved reading about the Oracles of Delphi because there the women could have power and be quite independent since women didn’t have much rights in Ancient Greece. And many of the women were born peasants and they could still be powerful.

3,5/5

Published: Blank Slate Press (2014)
Format: eBook
Pages: 324
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

04_Oracles of Delphi_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL You can check the tour schedule here

About the author

Marie Savage is the pen name of Kristina Marie Blank Makansi who always wanted to be a Savage (her grandmother’s maiden name) rather than a Blank. She is co-founder and publisher of Blank Slate Press, an award-winning small press in St. Louis, and founder of Treehouse Author Services. Books she has published and/or edited have been recognized by the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), the Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY), the Beverly Hills Book Awards, the David J. Langum, Sr. Prize in American Historical Fiction, the British Kitchie awards, and others. She serves on the board of the Missouri Center for the Book and the Missouri Writers Guild. Along with her two daughters, she has authored The Sowing and The Reaping (Oct. 2014), the first two books of a young adult, science fiction trilogy. Oracles of Delphi, is her first solo novel.

For more information visit Kristina Makansi’s website and the Blank Slate Press website. You can also follow Krisina Makansi and Blank Slate Press on Twitter.

2014 End of Year Book Survey

meme 3 Comments 2nd January, 2015

survey_14

Yearly End of the Year survey hosted by The Perpetual Page-Turner.

survey_142

Number Of Books You Read: 69 (DNF 4)
Number of Re-Reads: 1

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1. Best Book You Read In 2014?
I couldn’t decide so I’ll say these two: Shadows And Strongholds by Elizabeth Chadwick and The Gathering Storm by Brandon Sanderson (Robert Jordan)

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Hmm… I’ll say A Triple Knot by Emma Campion.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014?
In a good way: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa. It’s YA book with vampires and I was surprised how much I liked it.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?
I don’t think I “pushed” anything…

5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?
Series: I didn’t really started any series this year so I’ll say The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa. I think    that’s the only one I started.

Sequel: India Black and the Widow of Windsor by Carol K. Carr

Ender: Emperor of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?
Elizabeth Fremantle

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
I don’t read much historical mysteries so I’ll go with The Winter Siege by D.W. Bradbridge

8. Most unputdownable book of the year?
This was really hard but I’ll say Sisters of Treason by Elizabeth Fremantle.

9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
I re-read (too) rarely so probably nothing.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014? sonata
This was quite boring year cover wise but I liked the cover of Sonata Arctica by Marko J. Ollila.

11. Most memorable character of 2014?
Either Jorg Ancrath from The Broken Empire series by Mark Lawrence or Brunin FitzWarin from Shadows And Strongholds by Elizabeth Chadwick. For very different reasons though…

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?
hmm… I have to think about this…

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?
Death at SeaWorld: Shamu and the Dark Side of Killer Whales in Captivity by David Kirby

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read?
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. I’ve meant to read it for years and finally did it.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?
Many but can’t remember any right know.

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?
Not counting short stories etc.
Shortest: Richard the Lionheart by Tracy Kauffman (124 pages)
Longest: The Gathering Storm by Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson (784 pages)

17. Book That Shocked You The Most
Gah I don’t know… Let’s go with character death in A Shiver of Light by Laurell K. Hamilton.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
don’t really know what that means…

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
oh dear, I’ll say Allie and Jackal from Blood of Eden

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Shadows And Strongholds by Elizabeth Chadwick

21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure
I guess Everneath by Brodi Ashton. Lot of people were raving about it when it came out but didn’t work for me.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?
Brunin FitzWarin from Shadows And Strongholds

23. Best 2014 debut you read?
I don’t think I read any debuts this year.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
I don’t know… The Gathering Storm?

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Sonata Arctica by Marko J. Ollila

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?
Anne Frank Remembered: The Story Of The Woman Who Helped To Hide The Frank Family by Miep Gies

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
The Sekhmet Bed by Lavender Ironside

Mailbox Monday (29.12)

meme 5 Comments 29th December, 2014

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia and is now hosted on its own blog.

I hope everyone had a happy Christmas and great time with loved ones.

Here’s the books I got for Christmas:

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Tudor: The Family Story by Leanda de Lisle
Towton: The Battle of Palm Sunday Field 1461 by John Sadler
The Woman Who Would Be King: Hatshepsut’s Rise to Power in Ancient Egypt by Kara Cooney
Edward II: The Unconventional King by Kathryn Warner

Book Spotlight: The Oblate’s Confession by William Peak

spotlight 1 Comment 19th December, 2014

02_The Oblate's ConfessionThe Oblate’s Confession by William Peak

Publication Date: December 2, 2014
Secant Publishing
Formats: eBook, Hardcover

Set in 7th century England, The Oblate’s Confession tells the story of Winwaed, a boy who – in a practice common at the time – is donated by his father to a local monastery. In a countryside wracked by plague and war, the child comes to serve as a regular messenger between the monastery and a hermit living on a nearby mountain. Missing his father, he finds a surrogate in the hermit, an old man who teaches him woodcraft, the practice of contemplative prayer, and, ultimately, the true meaning of fatherhood. When the boy’s natural father visits the monastery and asks him to pray for the death of his enemy – an enemy who turns out to be the child’s monastic superior – the boy’s life is thrown into turmoil. It is the struggle Winawed undergoes to answer the questions – Who is my father? Whom am I to obey? – that animates, and finally necessitates, The Oblate’s Confession.

While entirely a work of fiction, the novel’s background is historically accurate: all the kings and queens named really lived, all the political divisions and rivalries actually existed, and each of the plagues that visit the author’s imagined monastery did in fact ravage that long-ago world. In the midst of a tale that touches the human in all of us, readers will find themselves treated to a history of the “Dark Ages” unlike anything available today outside of textbooks and original source material.

Buy the Book
Amazon US
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

About the Author

03_William Peak William Peak spent ten years researching and writing The Oblate’s Confession, his debut novel. Based upon the work of one of the great (if less well known) figures of Western European history, the Venerable Bede, Peak’s book is meant to reawaken an interest in that lost and mysterious period of time sometimes called “The Dark Ages.”
Peak received his baccalaureate degree from Washington & Lee University and his master’s from the creative writing program at Hollins University. He works for the Talbot County Free Library on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Thanks to the column he writes for The Star Democrat about life at the library (archived at http://www.tcfl.org/peak/), Peak is regularly greeted on the streets of Easton: “Hey, library guy!” In his free time he likes to fish and bird and write long love letters to his wife Melissa.

For more information please visit William Peak’s website.

The Oblate’s Confession Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, December 1
Review at Broken Teepee

Tuesday, December 2
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, December 3
Review at Back Porchervations
Review at A Fantastical Librarian

Thursday, December 4
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Friday, December 5
Interview at Back Porchervations

Monday, December 8
Review at A Book Geek

Tuesday, December 9
Review at The Writing Desk
Spotlight at Historical Tapestry

Thursday, December 11
Interview at Forever Ashley

Monday, December 15
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Tuesday, December 16
Spotlight at Bibliophilic Book Blog

Thursday, December 18
Review at 100 Pages a Day…Stephanie’s Book Reviews
Guest Post at Books and Benches

Friday, December 19
Review at Book Nerd
Review at bookramblings

Monday, December 22
Spotlight at Let Them Read Books

Tuesday, December 23
Review at Just One More Chapter

Wednesday, December 24
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Monday, December 29
Review at The Never-Ending Book

Tuesday, December 30
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection

Friday, January 2
Review at Library Educated

Monday, January 5
Review & Interview at Words and Peace

Tuesday, January 6
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, January 7
Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews

Thursday, January 8
Review at Impressions in Ink

Friday, January 9
Review at The True Book Addict
Review & Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

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