A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic 3) by V.E. Schwab

Witness the fate of beloved heroes – and enemies.

THE BALANCE OF POWER HAS FINALLY TIPPED…
The precarious equilibrium among four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving a space for another London to rise.

WHO WILL CRUMBLE?
Kell – once assumed to be the last surviving Antari – begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. And in the wake of tragedy, can Arnes survive?

WHO WILL RISE?
Lila Bard, once a commonplace – but never common – thief, has survived and flourished through a series of magical trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry. Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery of the Night Spire collects his crew, attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible.

WHO WILL TAKE CONTROL?
And an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown while a fallen hero tries to save a world in decay. (Goodreads)

The book starts soon after where the previous book A Gathering of Shadows ended. A powerful enemy from another London moves to Red London. Kell, Lila, Alucard and Holland team up to beat this magical thing that thinks it’s a god.

We learn more about Holland and Alucard through flash backs and I loved learning how Holland came to be who he is. Alucard started slowly growing on me. As did Lila, kind of at least. She’s still too arrogant and reckless but bit less than before. I didn’t want to hit her all the time so that’s progress… Rhy has grown up and become more ready to be a king. Kell has learned that he still has a lot to learn about magic. I was hoping we would have learned more about his past and it was so close.

I don’t know what more to say. I can’t believe the series ends here! I thought this was a good ending but there were some loose ends that I keep hoping that someday there will be more books.

4/5

Published: Titan Books (February 21, 2017)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 666
Source: Library

Casanova’s Secret Wife by Barbara Lynn-Davis

Casanova’s Secret Wife by Barbara Lynn-Davis

Set in eighteenth-century Venice and based on an actual account by Giacomo Casanovaóhere is a lush tale of desire and risk.

Caterina Capreta was an innocent girl of fourteen when she caught the attention of the worldís most infamous chronicler of seduction: Giacomo Casanova. Intoxicated by a fierce love, she wed Casanova in secret. But his shocking betrayal inspired her to commit an act that would mark her forever Ö

Now twenty years later on the island of Murano, the woman in possession of Caterinaís most devastating secret has appeared with a request she cannot refuse: to take in a noble-born girl whose scandalous love affair resembles her own. But the girlís presence stirs up unwelcome memories of Caterinaís turbulent past. Tested like never before, she reveals the story of the man she will never forget.

Bringing to life a fascinating chapter in the history of Venice, Casanovaís Secret Wife is a tour de force that charts one womanís journey through love and loss to redemption.

Almost everything I knew about Casanova before reading this was from Heath Ledger’s movie. So not much… I did know he has written books about his conquests.

Knowing that I was somewhat cynical about the romance between Caterina and Casanova and I just kept waiting for her to realize what kind of man he was. And he did love her but he fell in and out of love very quickly. But she was 14 years old and very naïve. Which was little surprising considering who her brother was and how he behaved…

I liked the older and wiser Caterina who agrees to take care of a young woman who reminds her of herself 20 years ago. The abbess who asks this favor is an old enemy of hers and we learn the story there. And another side of Caterina too.

I enjoyed the book despite some problems with the romance and I can’t wait for the author’s next book.

3,5/5

Published: Kensington Books (July 25, 2017)
Format: ebook
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

About the Author

Barbara Lynn-Davis graduated from Brown University with a degree in art history. She then worked at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice and later spent a year there while completing her Ph.D. in Renaissance art at Princeton University.

She currently teaches art history and writing at Wellesley College, and lives outside Boston with her family.

For more information please visit Barbara Lynn-Davis’ website. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, July 25
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Spotlight at The Lit Bitch

Wednesday, July 26
Review at A Bookaholic Swede
Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Thursday, July 27
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Friday, July 28
Excerpt at Passages to the Past

Monday, July 31
Review at A Bookish Affair
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Tuesday, August 1
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Review at Historical Fiction Obsession

Wednesday, August 2
Review & Guest Post at Books of All Kinds

Thursday, August 3
Review at Library of Clean Reads
Interview at Let Them Read Books

Friday, August 4
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Monday, August 7
Review at Just One More Chapter

Tuesday, August 8
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Wednesday, August 9
Guest Post at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Thursday, August 10
Spotlight at Queen Bee Books

Friday, August 11
Review at Trisha Jenn Reads

Monday, August 14
Spotlight at Books, Dreams, Life

Tuesday, August 15
Review at Creating Herstory

Wednesday, August 16
Guest Post at Creating Herstory

Thursday, August 17
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Friday, August 18
Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads
Interview at Ms. Stuart Requests the Pleasure of Your Company

Monday, August 21
Review at Broken Teepee
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Tuesday, August 22
Review at Bookramblings
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Spotlight: The Quest for the Crown of Thorns by Cynthia Ripley Miller

The Quest for the Crown of Thorns
by Cynthia Ripley Miller

 

Publication Date: June 12, 2017
Knox Robinson Publishing
eBook & Paperback; 308 Pages

Series: The Long – Hair Saga, Book 2
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery

 

 

AD 454. Three years after the Roman victory over Attila the Hun at Catalaunum, Arria Felix and Garic the Frank are married and enjoying life on Garic’s farm in northern Gaul (France). Their happy life is interrupted, when a cryptic message arrives from Rome, calling Arria home to her father, the esteemed Senator Felix. At Arria’s insistence, but against Garic’s better judgment, they leave at once.

Upon their arrival at Villa Solis, they are confronted with a brutal murder and the dangerous mission that awaits them. The fate of a profound and sacred object–Christ’s Crown of Thorns–rests in their hands. They must carry the holy relic to the safety of Constantinople, away from a corrupt emperor and old enemies determined to steal it for their own gain.

But an even greater force arises to derail their quest–a secret cult willing to commit any atrocity to capture the Crown of Thorns. And all the while, the gruesome murder and the conspiracy behind it haunt Arria’s thoughts.

Arria and Garic’s marital bonds are tested but forged as they partner together to fulfill one of history’s most challenging missions, The Quest for the Crown of Thorns.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Praise

“Ripley Miller astutely brings to life a Rome teetering precariously on the brink of collapse …the combination of political and romantic drama–spiritual as well–is rousing. The reader should be glad to have read this volume and eager for a third. Intelligent and artfully crafted historical fiction…” -Kirkus Reviews

“From cover to cover a gripping read – in all senses of the word! Grips your interest and imagination, your held breath and your pounding heart! A thumping good novel!” -Helen Hollick USA Today bestselling author of the Sea Witch Voyages

“Forbidden love, a turbulent time period, and world-changing events combine to produce a real page-turner.” -India Edghill, author of Queenmaker, Wisdom’s Daughter, and Delilah.

“A passionate and intriguing take on the often overlooked clash of three brutal and powerful empires: the Romans, Franks, and Huns. A Compelling read!” -Stephanie Thornton, author of The Secret History and The Tiger Queens

“Readers will be absorbed by a setting of barbarian Gaul and the constancy of Arria’s and Garic’s destined love amid the strife of a dying Roman Empire.” -Albert Noyer, author of The Getorius and Arcadia Mysteries

“The Quest for the Crown of Thorns, is an elegant masterpiece of historical fiction. This book totally ensnared me in its clasps, and it did not release me until I had read it all. The attention to detail was exquisite The characterisation was sublime, and the romance was breathtakingly beautiful. I adored the world that Miller has created, as well as the characters in it. This is a sit-down and finish book and is one I would Highly Recommend.” -Mary Anne Yarde author of the Du Lac Chronicles

About the Author

Cynthia Ripley Miller is a first generation Italian-American writer with a love for history, languages and books. She has lived, worked, and travelled in Europe, Africa, North America and the Caribbean. As a girl, she often wondered what it would be like to journey through time (she still does), yet knew, it could only be through the imagination and words of writers and their stories. Today, she writes to bring the past to life.

She holds two degrees and has taught history and teaches English. Her short fiction has appeared in the anthology Summer Tapestry, at Orchard Press Mysteries.com and The Scriptor. A Chanticleer International Chatelaine Award finalist for her novel, On the Edge of Sunrise, she has reviewed for UNRV Roman History, and blogs at Historical Happenings and Oddities: A Distant Focus

Cynthia has four children and lives with her husband, twin cats, Romulus and Remus, and Jessie, a German Shepherd, in a suburb of Chicago.

On the Edge of Sunrise is the first in the Long-Hair Saga; a series set in late ancient Rome and France and published by Knox Robinson Publishing. The second book in the series, The Quest for the Crown of Thorns, was released in June 2017.

For more information please visit Cynthia Ripley Miller’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 7
Feature at Mello & June, It’s a Book Thang!

Tuesday, August 8
Review at Book Nerd

Wednesday, August 9
Feature at Aurora B’s Book Blog
Feature at The Never-Ending Book

Thursday, August 10
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews
Feature at What Is That Book About

Friday, August 11
Feature at Just One More Chapter

Sunday, August 13
Feature at A Holland Reads

Monday, August 14
Interview at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, August 15
Review at Bookramblings
Feature at Impressions In Ink

Mailbox Monday (12.6.2017)


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

These are the latest books I’ve got in the last few weeks.


Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell (bought)
A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan (purchased)
Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton (bought)

Deposed by David Barbaree

Deposed by David Barbaree

In a darkened cell, a brutally deposed dictator lies crippled – deprived of his power, his freedom – and his eyes.

On the edge of utter despair, his only companion is the young boy who brings him his meagre rations, a mere child who fears his own shadow. But to one who has held and lost the highest power, one thing alone is crystal clear: even emperors were mere children once.

Ten years later, the new ruler’s son watches uneasily over his father’s empire. Wherever he looks rebellion is festering, and those closest to him have turned traitor once before.

To this city in crisis comes a hugely wealthy senator from the very edge of the empire, a young and angry ward at his heels. He is witty but inscrutable, generous with his time and money to a leader in desperate need of a friend – and he wears a bandage over his blinded eyes.

The fallen emperor’s name is Nero.

But this isn’t his story. (publisher)

The book moves between two timelines: AD 68 which follows Nero when he is imprisoned and blinded in his cell. AD 79 follows Emperor Vespasian’s son Titus who is obsessed uncovering murderous plots against his father. While there is a huge cast with changing POV’s and changing timelines it was easy to follow and it’s clearly stated in what year we are on.

This is a book about what if Nero had lived it was really fascinating. I don’t know that much about this era in Roman history so can’t tell how well it kept with real history.

Marcus is a slave boy who brings Nero’s food when he is imprisoned. When Nero escapes, he takes the boy with him. No longer a slave, Marcus has some troubles adjusting to his new life and to Nero’s expectations of him. Nero has a plan to get back at the people who blinded him and Marcus has a role in it.

My only gripe about the book is that at some parts I felt the story was little far fetched and everything came so easily for Nero. But otherwise, I thought this was a great book and fabulous debut book.

4/5

Published: Bonnier Zaffre (May 4, 2017)
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 480
Source: Publisher