Mailbox Monday (28.10)

Mailbox Monday was created by The Printed Page. Mailbox Monday is currently on tour, hosted by a different blog each month. Today’s Linky will be hosted by Book Dragon’s Lair.

The King’s Grave: The Search for Richard III by Philippa Langley, Michael Jones (bought)
On 22 August 1485 Richard III was killed at Bosworth Field, the last king of England to die in battle. His victorious opponent, Henry Tudor (the future Henry VII), went on to found one of our most famous ruling dynasties. Richard’s body was displayed in undignified fashion for two days in nearby Leicester and then hurriedly buried in the church of the Greyfriars. Fifty years later, at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries, the king’s grave was lost – its contents believed to be emptied into the river Soar – and Richard III’s reputation buried under a mound of Tudor propaganda. Its culmination was Shakespeare’s compelling portrayal of a deformed and murderous villain, written over a hundred years after Richard’s death.

Now – in an incredible find – Richard III’s remains have been uncovered beneath a car park in Leicester. The King’s Grave traces this remarkable journey. In alternate chapters, Philippa Langley, whose years of research and belief that she would find Richard in this exact spot inspired the project, reveals the inside story of the search for the king’s grave, and historian Michael Jones tells of Richard’s fifteenth-century life and death. The result is a compelling portrayal of one of our greatest archaeological discoveries, allowing a complete re-evaluation of our most controversial monarch – one that discards the distortions of later Tudor histories and puts the man firmly back into the context of his times.

Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews (bought)
Mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate, Curran, the Beast Lord, are struggling to solve a heartbreaking crisis. Unable to control their beasts, many of the Pack’s shapeshifting children fail to survive to adulthood. While there is a medicine that can help, the secret to its making is closely guarded by the European packs, and there’s little available in Atlanta.

Kate can’t bear to watch innocents suffer, but the solution she and Curran have found threatens to be even more painful. The European shapeshifters who once outmaneuvered the Beast Lord have asked him to arbitrate a dispute—and they’ll pay him in medicine. With the young people’s survival and the Pack’s future at stake, Kate and Curran know they must accept the offer—but they have little doubt that they’re heading straight into a trap…

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass 1) by Sarah J. Maas

Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake. She got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament – fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted? (back cover)

Celaena is an assassin who has been in prison at Endovier for a year. She’s being dragged from the prison and given a choice to become the king’s champion for 4 years and then get her freedom. But first she has to win the competition against other criminals to win the price.

I’ve read lot of great reviews about this and I’m so glad it lived up to those!

I loved the fact that Celaena was an assassin and not some damsel in distress. What’s not to like in a girl who speaks her mind? The book starts after she was captured so we don’t see her killing people or anything like that. She manages to become friends with princess Nehemia and she’s lot more friendly and likeable with her.

And of course there is a love triangle. This is YA book after all. I have to say I’m all for Chaol, the Captain of the Guards. Dorian, the crown prince, didn’t do anything for me and I didn’t really believe in their romance. It felt awkward and they fell for it way too easily. But yeah, I’m rooting for Chaol.

4/5

Published: Bloomsbury (2012)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 420
Source: library

Must Love Hellhounds by Charlaine Harris, Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Meljean Brook

Must Love Hellhounds by Charlaine Harris, Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Meljean Brook

In these four original novellas, readers follow paranormal bodyguards into Lucifer’s realm, where they’ll encounter his fearsome four-legged pets; seek out a traitor in the midst of a guild of non-lethal vampire trackers, one who intends to eradicate the entire species of bloodsuckers; find out why the giant three-headed dog that guards the gates of Hades has left the underworld for the real world; and embark on a perilous search for the kidnapped niece of a powerful vampire alongside her blind-and damn sexy-companion and a hellhound. (Goodreads)

 
 

The Britlingens Go To Hell by Charlaine Harris
Batanya and Covache kind of bodyguards who are contracted by a customer to guard him on a way to Hell. He stole something from Lucifer on his last trip but left there while escaping and now goes to collect it.

There was witches, magic, hellhounds and things happened. Can’t really say anything more about that one. Definitely the weakest one on this book.

Angel’s Judgment by Nalini Singh
Deacon is a Slayer who works for the Guild and his job is a secret and only few people know about it.  There were angels, vampires and hellhound…

I’ve never read any of her books before but I think this was a prequel to her Guild Hunter Series. I liked this but I think it would have given more if I had read the series. But I liked Deacon and Sara together and I’ll definitely keep this series in mind. And I think I have the first book somewhere…

Magic Mourns by Ilona Andrews 
This takes place after Magic Strikes and Kate is still recovering and Andrea is covering for her at the Order. There’s three-headed Cerberus, Hades’ hellhound, on the loose and Andrea promises to help catch it. Unfortunately for her, she has to do it with Raphael…

This was the reason why I read this book and it didn’t disappointed. It was great to learn more about them and how they become a pair. And you see softer and more vulnerable side of Aunt B too.

Blind Spot by Meljean Brook
Maggie is former CIA operative who must protect Geoff and save his sister Katherine. There’s family secret involved and Maggie’s innocence to prove.

This was another author I haven’t read before but I was surprised how much I liked this. I think this is part of a series but it was easy to follow even though I haven’t read the series. I’m curious to know how Geoff’ and Maggie’s relationship grows from this and to learn more about Geoff’s uncle.

4/5

Published: Berkley (2010)
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 320
Source: my own

Mailbox Monday (14.10)

Mailbox Monday was created by The Printed Page. Mailbox Monday is currently on tour, hosted by a different blog each month. Today’s Linky will be hosted by Book Dragon’s Lair.

Omens by Kelley Armstrong (for review)
Twenty-four-year-old Olivia Taylor Jones has the perfect life. The only daughter of a wealthy, prominent Chicago family, she has an Ivy League education, pursues volunteerism and philanthropy, and is engaged to a handsome young tech firm CEO with political ambitions.

But Olivia’s world is shattered when she learns that she’s adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers serving a life sentence. When the news brings a maelstrom of unwanted publicity to her adopted family and fiancé, Olivia decides to find out the truth about the Larsens.

Olivia ends up in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois, an old and cloistered community that takes a particular interest in both Olivia and her efforts to uncover her birth parents’ past.

Aided by her mother’s former lawyer, Gabriel Walsh, Olivia focuses on the Larsens’ last crime, the one her birth mother swears will prove their innocence. But as she and Gabriel start investigating the case, Olivia finds herself drawing on abilities that have remained hidden since her childhood, gifts that make her both a valuable addition to Cainsville and deeply vulnerable to unknown enemies. Because there are darker secrets behind her new home, and powers lurking in the shadows that have their own plans for her.

Blood Song by Anthony Ryan (for review)
An epic fantasy exploring themes of conflict, loyalty and religious faith. Vaelin Al Sorna, Brother of the Sixth Order, has been trained from childhood to fight and kill in service to the Faith. He has earned many names and almost as many scars, acquiring an ugly dog and a bad-tempered horse in the process. Ensnared in an unjust war by a king possessed of either madness or genius, Vaelin seeks to answer the question that will decide the fate of the Realm: …who is the one who waits?

The Prodigal Son by Anna Belfrage

The Prodigal Son (The Graham Saga 3) by Anna Belfrage

Safely returned from an involuntary stay on a plantation in Virginia, Matthew Graham finds the Scottish Lowlands torn asunder by religious strife. His Restored Majesty, Charles II, requires all his subjects to swear fealty to him and the Church of England, riding roughshod over any opposition.

In Ayrshire, people close ranks around their evicted Presbyterian ministers. But disobedience comes at a heavy price and Alex becomes increasingly more nervous as to what her Matthew is risking by his support of the clandestine ministers – foremost amongst them the charismatic Sandy Peden.

Privately, Alex considers Sandy an enervating fanatic and all this religious fervour is totally incomprehensible to her. So when Matthew repeatedly sets his faith and ministers before his own safety he puts their marriage under severe strain.

The situation is further complicated by the presence of Ian, the son Matthew was cruelly duped into disowning several years ago. Now Matthew wants Ian back and Alex isn’t entirely sure this is a good thing.

Things are brought to a head when Matthew places all their lives in the balance to save his dear preacher from the dragoons.

How much is Matthew willing to risk? How much will he ultimately lose? (publisher)

The book starts where the last one ended; Matthew is back from Virginia after his wife Alex saved him. Religious situation in Scotland is escalating and Matthew finds it hard choosing between his belief and his family. It puts him at odds with his wife and causes some trouble in their lives.

In this book Alex and Matthew spends the whole book together and it was nice to see more of their day-to-day life. In the previous books has been rescuing, long separations and the like while in this book they have time to have quarrels and problems in their marriage too. Made it feel more like a “real marriage”.
In the previous books there’s been chapters with persons from Alex’s old life but there wasn’t any in this. I don’t know if that’s because she’s settled more firmly in the 17th century and has kind of let go of the past?

Majority of the book deals with religious situation in Scotland and while I’m not very familiar with the subject it didn’t bore me down. At times I wanted to punch Matthew so hard because he can be so idiot and stubborn! But it shows the different look on religion in the past.

I was so happy to see that Alex has started to warm towards Ian. Poor boy! But hopefully things start to look better for him. The conflict between Matthew and his brother Luke is there but not so prominently as in the previous books.

I’ve really enjoyed this serie so far and I look forward seeing what happens in the future for them!

4,5

Published: Matador (2013)
Format: ebook
Pages: 392
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

 

 

About the Author

I was raised abroad, on a pungent mix of Latin American culture, English history and Swedish traditions. As a result I’m multilingual and most of my reading is historical – both non-fiction and fiction.

I was always going to be a writer – or a historian, preferably both. Instead I ended up with a degree in Business and Finance, with very little time to spare for my most favourite pursuit. Still, one does as one must, and in between juggling a challenging career I raised my four children on a potent combination of invented stories, historical debates and masses of good food and homemade cakes. They seem to thrive … Nowadays I spend most of my spare time at my writing desk. The children are half grown, the house is at times eerily silent and I slip away into my imaginary world, with my imaginary characters. Every now and then the one and only man in my life pops his head in to ensure I’m still there. I like that – just as I like how he makes me laugh so often I’ll probably live to well over a hundred.

I was always going to be a writer. Now I am – I have achieved my dream.

For more information, please visit Anna Belfrage’s WEBSITE.