Mailbox Monday (23.11.2015)

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

Here’s what I got last week, except In the Shadow of the Storm which I got earlier:

books23.11.05 Eternal Rider by Larissa Ione (bought)
The Tudor Princess by Darcey Bonnette (bought)
In the Shadow of the Storm by Anna Belfrage (for review)
Anglo-Norman England 1066-1166 by Marjorie Chibnall (bought)
The Egyptians by Cyril Aldred (bought)
Marie Therese by Susan Nagel (bought)
Cleopatra and Antony by Diana Preston (bought)

Orphan’s Blade by Aubrie Dionne

Orphan's BladeOrphan’s Blade (Chronicles of Ebonvale 2) by Aubrie Dionne

In the battle for a kingdom, every alliance counts…

Princess Valoria only cares about her music and her destiny: to unite the Kingdom of Ebonvale with the House of Song and succeed where her father has failed. As if that weren’t challenge enough, she must contend with her marriage to a battle hungry brute of a prince…until she falls for his adopted brother, the orphaned son of a blacksmith. But with a horde of undead gathering to attack Ebonvale, Valoria will have to choose between her personal happiness and the safety of the kingdom. Now the fate of Ebonvale rests in her heart. (publisher)

This is the second book in a series but I haven’t read the first one and I thought it stands well as a stand alone.

I really liked the idea of minstrels who can take part on a battle with their harps. The music affects people and like a dream spells and stuff. I thought it was so cool.

I liked Valoria and she was a great heroine. She stood up to Brax, who is a battle hungry prince and only thinks about war, and cared for the common people. I liked Nathaniel and his relationship with Valoria but thought Brax a was bit too unappealing to make Nathaniel more likeable.

My one problem with the book was the ending. It just ended so abruptly that I wouldn’t have minded more pages. It’s pretty short book with 190 pages and so it easily could have been bit longer.

But otherwise I enjoyed it and I want to read the first book too.

3,5/5

Published: Lyrical Press (November 10, 2015)
Format: ebook
Pages: 190
Source: NetGalley

Spirit of the Highway by Deborah Swift

01_Spirit of the HighwaySpirit of the Highway (Highway Trilogy, Book II) by Deborah Swift

England 1651.

England has been engaged in a bitter Civil War for nearly ten years. Ralph Chaplin, a farmerís son, has fallen for beautiful copper-haired Kate. There is only one problem ñ he is a Roundhead soldier and she is a Royalist lady.

Tired of bloodshed, Ralph volunteers to fight, sensing that the Battle at Worcester will be a chance to finish the fighting for good. He longs for peace, so he can forge a secure future and find a different, more equal way of life for himself and Kate.

But war is not what he imagined, and soon he has made a deadly enemy; one who will pursue Ralph and those he loves, and wreak vengeance. Whatís more, Ralph finds he has just as many enemies at home, as on the battlefield.

Told by Ralphís ghost, Spirit of the Highway is the stand-alone second part of the Highway Trilogy based on the real life and legend of Lady Katherine Fanshawe, highwaywoman and heiress.

The event take place soon after book 1 and is told by Ralph Chaplin’s ghost. Ralph has finally joined the army and when he comes back home learns that things have changed around Markyate Manor.

Since the story is told by a ghost you know he will die but it didn’t ruin the story in any way. I liked the first book more but that doesn’t mean this was bad either. I didn’t really care for Ralph in book 1 and he didn’t grow much for me in this one either. I liked his friend Cutch whom he met at the army and Cutch tried to act like voice of reason without much success. I wanted to shake Ralph so many times to get some sense into him because he seems to find himself always in trouble.

We see more about the life on the battlefield and I could have read more about that. Ralph makes an enemy on the battlefield where he meets a man who seeks vengeance for the killing of his family. Ralph’s father didn’t give good impression n the last book and even worse in this one.

I’m looking forward reading the next book in the series which will focus on Katherine Fanshawe.

3,5/5

Published: Endeavor Press (September 30, 2015)
Format: paperback
Pages: 292
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

About the Author02_Deborah Swift

Deborah Swift is the author of three previous historical novels for adults, The Ladyís Slipper, The Gilded Lily, and A Divided Inheritance, all published by Macmillan/St Martinís Press, as well as the Highway Trilogy for teens (and anyone young at heart!). Her first novel was shortlisted for the Impress prize for new novelists.

She lives on the edge of the beautiful and literary English Lake District – a place made famous by the poets Wordsworth and Coleridge.

WEBSITE | BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS | GOOGLE+ | PINTEREST

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 26
Guest Post at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, October 27
Review at Book Nerd
Spotlight & Excerpt at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, October 28
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Thursday, October 29
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Monday, November 2
Review at The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, November 3
Spotlight & Excerpt at Brooke Blogs

Thursday, November 5
Review at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

Friday, November 6
Review at Bookramblings
Review at Just One More Chapter
Guest Post at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

Giveaway

To win a signed paperback of Spirit of the Highway please enter the giveaway via the GLEAM form below. Three copies up for grabs!

Rules

ñ Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 6th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
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ñ Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Spirit of the Highway

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The Lake House by Kate Morton

02_The Lake HouseThe Lake House by Kate Morton

From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Secret Keeper and The Distant Hours, an intricately plotted, spellbinding new novel of heart-stopping suspense and uncovered secrets.

Living on her familyís idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories. But the mysteries she pens are no match for the one her family is about to endureÖ

One midsummerís eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest child, eleven-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace. What follows is a tragedy that tears the family apart in ways they never imagined.

Decades later, Alice is living in London, having enjoyed a long successful career as an author. Theoís case has never been solved, though Alice still harbors a suspicion as to the culprit. Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, is staying at her grandfatherís house in Cornwall. While out walking one day, she stumbles upon the old estateónow crumbling and covered with vines, clearly abandoned long ago. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone…yet more present than ever.

A lush, atmospheric tale of intertwined destinies, this latest novel from a masterful storyteller is an enthralling, thoroughly satisfying read.

This is my second Morton book I’ve read and this was even better than The Forgotten Garden. Why is the books you love the hardest to review?

The dual timeline works well here and while the story is told from various point of views it’s not confusing at all.

I’m not good at solving mysteries and I though several times that I know what happened and then something new comes up. I got something right but one thing really surprised me and did not see it coming.

I don’t remember when was the last time that I got so caught up in a book that I jut want to keep reading and reading. I’m definitely reading more from Morton!

4,5/5

Published: Atria Books (October 20, 2015)
Format: eBook
Pages: 512
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR03_Kate Morton

Kate Morton grew up in the mountains of south-east Queensland and lives now with her husband and young sons in Brisbane. She has degrees in dramatic art and English literature, specializing in nineteenth-century tragedy and contemporary Gothic novels.

Kate Morton has sold over 7.5 million copies in 26 languages, across 38 countries. Her novels include The House at Riverton, The Forgotten Garden, The Distant Hours, and The Secret Keeper.

You can find more information about Kate Morton and her books at www.katemorton.com or www.facebook.com/KateMortonAuthor

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, October 5
Review at Just One More Chapter

Tuesday, October 6
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Monday, October 12
Review at Book Drunkard

Thursday, October 15
Review at The Eclectic Reader
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Tuesday, October 20
Review at Unshelfish
Review at Luxury Reading

Wednesday, October 21
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews

Monday, October 26
Review at Beth’s Book Nook

Tuesday, October 27
Review at Peeking Between the Pages

Wednesday, October 28
Review at The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, October 29
Review at Book Nerd

Friday, October 30
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Sunday, November 1
Review at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

Monday, November 2
Review at A Book Geek
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Tuesday, November 3
Review at Bookish
Review at Bookramblings
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, November 4
Review at Broken Teepee
Review at Words and Peace

Thursday, November 5
Review at The Lit Bitch
Review at Kinx’s Book Nook

Friday, November 6
Review at A Literary Vacation
Review at Curling Up By the Fire

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