Mailbox Monday (15.12)

meme 9 Comments 15th December, 2014

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

Here’s the books I got in the last 2 weeks.

IMG_3414
The Pagan Lord by Bernard Cornwell (purchased)
Night Shift by Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Lisa Shearin, Milla Vane (bought)
Jason by Laurell K. Hamilton (bought)
The Sweet Scent Of Blood by Suzanne McLeod (bought)
Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw (bought)
The She-Wolf by Pamela Bennetts (bought)
Battle Story: Bosworth 1485 by Mike Ingram (bought)
The de Montfort Legacy by Pamela Bennetts (bought)
The Queen’s Promise by Lyn Andrews (bought)

Gentlemen of Pitchfork by Kamil Gruca

reviews 1 Comment 12th December, 2014

01_Gentlemen of Pitchfork CoverGentlemen of Pitchfork by Kamil Gruca

The year is 1415. France is weakened by the recently ended Civil War between the factions of Burgundians and Armagnacs. The young and belligerent King Henry V Lancaster decides to pay the French a neighbourly visit. With him – the flower of the English knighthood.

Among them – Sir Arthur, the Baron of Pitchfork, an ideal of all chivalric virtues – his uncle, Sir Ralph, a veteran soldier with a taste for women and bitter humour – and his cousin, Sir Robert, a young and romantic would-be scholar who will have his first taste of war, sieges, duels, betrayal and intrigue but also love and practical philosophy.

Together they ride as secret envoys of their King to meet Burgundian emissaries. But the Armagnacs’ spies keep their eyes open for any sign of treason on the part of their political opponents and three powerful French armies are gathering to cross King Henry’s way.

This was quite quick and short read. I haven’t read many books set during the reign of Henry V but it was nice to read about the war from the point of view some other than Henry.

My problem with the book was that there were too many POV’s which made it very confusing. Half the time I was wondering how these people connect or will they connect at some point. There was nothing wrong with the chapters itself but I don’t think all were necessary.

And I have to say that I hate endings where you don’t know what happens to the characters. You see people falling in love and you have no idea if they end up together. How frustrating!

All that said it was enjoyable read and it gives realistic image about medieval war.

3/5

Published: Kamil Gruca (2014)
Format: eBook
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

03_Gentlemen of Pitchfork_Blog Tour Bannerjpg You can check the tour schedule here

About the author

Kamil Gruca is a Polish writer born in 1982 in Warsaw. He is a graduate of the Faculty of Philosophy at the Warsaw University.

Kamil is also an active knight who confirmed his battle prowess by winning the Polish National Knights League in 2006 under the alias of Sir Robert Neville. He has studied medieval swordsmanship for over 15 years hence his novels are full of dynamic and realistic swordplay.

Being an avid re-enactor and a passionate history geek Kamil moved to France for two years to study documents unavailable in other countries that would add to the feel and realism of the book on multiple levels.

His first novel “Panowie z Pitchfork” was published in 2009 by a major publishing house Rebis. Receiving a warm welcome from Polish critics, readers and fellow writers, the first part of the adventures of the young and keen Sir Robert was soon followed by a sequel “Baron i Łotr”, published by another publishing house Znak, bringing closure to the major plot.

Currently Kamil lives in Warsaw with his family and is working on another series of historical novels focused around one of Poland’s most famous knights – Zawisza Czarny – and his not so famous yet equally interesting brothers.

For more information about the book please visit http://gentlemenofpitchfork.blogspot.com or http://facebook.com/gentlemenofpitchfork. You can contact Kamil at Gruca.Kamil@gmail.com.

If you want to learn more about how Kamil trains medieval swordsmanship please visit HAM-Historyczna-Akademia-Miecza on Facebook (Site in Polish), as well as http://draby.pl (Site in Polish).

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

reviews 2 Comments 9th December, 2014

paranormalcy

Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy 1) by Kiersten White

Vampires. Werewolves. Faeries. Shapeshifters.

Evie’s always thought of herself as normal. Sure, her best friend is a mermaid, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours, but still. Normal.

Only now paranormals are dying, and Evie’s dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies. She soon realizes that there may be a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths, and even worse, that she is at the centre of a dark prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures. (back cover)

I have vague memories that people really loved this when it came out. I might be wrong though… Wouldn’t be a bad thing this time…

The biggest problem for me was Evie. She was way too naïve and childish. And liked pink more that is healthy in my opinion… She was found as a small child and grew up in IPCA – organisation that monitors all things paranormal – and yet seems totally clueless what IPCA does or about her own past.

She falls in love with Lend, paranormal who was captured by IPCA. Apart from being practically the only teenage boy she’s met, I don’t see what Evie saw in him. I just thought he was boring.

The most interesting thing was the fairies. They weren’t as “controlled” as everyone seemed to think. Evie’s ex Reth came at first a bit stalkerish but he turned out to be the most interesting pearson in the book. First you think he’s good, then he seems bad, then good.. And he seemed dangerous. Like he could have killed everyone. Or maybe that’s just me hoping.

This was quick and easy read and I can safely say that I won’t continue this trilogy.

2/5

Published: HarperCollins Children’s Books (2011)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 335
Source: my own

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

reviews 2 Comments 27th November, 2014

heir of fireHeir of Fire (Throne of Glass 3) by Sarah J. Maas

Consumed by guilt and rage, Celaena can’t bring herself to spill blood for the King of Adarlan. She must fight back…

The Immortal Queen will help her destroy the king – for a price. But as Celaena battles with her darkest memories and her heart breaks for a love that could never last, can she fulfil the bargain and head the almighty court of Terrasen? And who will stand with her? (back cover)

I have kinda mixed feelings about this one. It started really slow and I think the book was way too long but then again it got better.

I liked the new characters Rowan and Manon. Those witches are badass! And unlike Celaena who keeps telling how bad she is but fails to show it, the witches are brutal. I loved those early training parts between Rowan and Celaena where they really didn’t get along but then suddenly it all changed. I just hope were not headed that way where he falls in love with Celaena.

For some reason I thought this would be just 3 books in the series but apparently no… I’m too curious to know how this ends so I guess I’m stuck with this series till the end.

3/5

Published: Bloomsbury UK (2014)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 562
Source: library

Mailbox Monday (24.11)

meme 6 Comments 24th November, 2014

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

Here’s what I got in the last two weeks.

books
Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews (bought)
The Silver Wolf by Alice Borchardt (bookmooch)
The Handfasted Wife by Carol McGrath (bought)
Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler (bought)
Ghost Town by Rachel Caine (bookmooch)
The Forgotten Queen by Haley Elizabeth Garwood (bookmooch)
Daughter of the Gods: A Novel of Ancient Egypt by Stephanie Thornton (bought)
Penelope’s Daughter by Laurel Corona (bookmooch)

If I Should Die by Amy Plum

reviews 1 Comment 13th November, 2014

If-I-Should-DieIf I Should Die (Revenants 3) by Amy Plum

I will not lose another person I love. I will not let history repeat itself.

Vincent waited lifetimes to find me, but in an instant our future together was shattered. He was betrayed by someone we both called a friend, and I lost him.

It shouldn’t be possible, none of it should be, but this is my reality. I know Vincent is somewhere out there, I know he s not completely gone, and I will do anything to save him.

After what we’ve already fought to achieve, a life without Vincent is unimaginable. He once swore to avoid dying – to go against his nature and forsake sacrificing himself for others – so that we could be together. How can I not risk everything to bring my love back to me? (back cover)

Hmm… I have mixed feelings about this one and I don’t really know what to say. I think this was the weakest book in the series, which is sad since this is the finale…

There was lot of going on, maybe too much. I haven’t thought Kate to be whiny before but now she spent far too much time pining for him, wanting to hold him etc… I get that she thought she was losing him but still.

And oh Jules… There were hints before that he loves Kate but he didn’t want to “steal” his best friend’s girl. I was happy that there wouldn’t actually be love triangle. But now? He decides that he has to leave because he can’t be around Kate and Vincent. Really?! Why did you have to make things go that way!

I did enjoy this but I can’t deny that this was little too predictable at times.

3/5

Published: Atom (2013)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 408
Source: library

Sinful Folk by Ned Hayes

reviews 2 Comments 6th November, 2014

02_Sinful Folk

Sinful Folk by Ned Hayes

A tragic loss. A desperate journey. A mother seeks the truth.

In December of 1377, four children were burned to death in a house fire. Villagers traveled hundreds of miles across England to demand justice for their children’s deaths.

Sinful Folk is the story of this terrible mid-winter journey as seen by Mear, a former nun who has lived for a decade disguised as a mute man, raising her son quietly in this isolated village. For years, she has concealed herself and all her history. But on this journey, she will find the strength to redeem the promise of her past. Mear begins her journey in terror and heartache, and ends in triumph and transcendence.

The remarkable new novel by Ned Hayes, illustrated by New York Times bestselling author/illustrator Nikki McClure, Sinful Folk illuminates the medieval era with profound insight and compassion. (publisher)

1377 five boys are locked in a barn, burned to death and their grieving parents accuse Jews of this tragedy. The fathers decide to not bury the dead but to take them for the King to decide.
But the villagers each carry their own secrets and during their journey their secrets unravel and they learn surprising things from each other.

The story is told by Mear, a mute pretending to be a man, who lives with her son Christian on a remote village. Bit by bit we get to know more about this courageous woman, we learn how she became to live as a man on this village and how she met with the father of her son.

It’s a dark world and this is not a romanticized version of the fourteenth century. It wasn’t easy living after the Black Death.

My only complain is that I wish it was told better if were in the present time or in Mear’s past. It didn’t take long to figure where you are but still.

4/5

Published: Campanile Press (2014)
Format: eBook
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

04_Sinful Folk_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL

You can check the tour schedule here.

About the author

Ned Hayes is the author of the Amazon best-selling historical novel SINFUL FOLK. He is also the author of Coeur d’Alene Waters, a noir mystery set in the Pacific Northwest. He is now at work on a new novel, Garden of Earthly Delights, also set in the Middle Ages.

Ned Hayes is a candidate for an MFA from the Rainier Writer’s Workshop, and holds graduate degrees in English and Theology from Western Washington University and Seattle University.

Born in China, he grew up bi-lingually, speaking both Mandarin and English. He now lives in Olympia, Washington with his wife and two children.

For more information please visit www.sinfulfolk.com and nednote.com. You can also find him on FacebookTwitterPinterestBooklikesYouTubeGoogle+, and Goodreads.

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

reviews 2 Comments 24th October, 2014

MaasCrown of Midnight (Throne of Glass 2) by Sarah J. Maas

A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached.
It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend.

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then, one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie…and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for. (back cover)

While this wasn’t bad, I didn’t like this as much as book 1. And surprisingly the action parts were the most boring ones in the book… Those were also the most ridiculous ones because she’s supposed to be this badass assassin, and in reality she’s too soft hearted and gets caught most often than not.

In the last book I thought Dorian was annoying and too superficial but he did grow up in this book. I don’t remember if we had his POV in the last book but at least in this one it worked well.

Even though I like Chaol, I can’t but wonder his stupidity at times. I think he trusts the king way too much and he should doubt more about what the king tells him. I’d like Chaol to be little more hardened especially since he’s the Captain of the Guard. But he’s still my favourite character.

3/5

Published: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (2013)
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 420
Source: library