The Queen’s Pawn by Christy English

The Queen’s Pawn by Christy English

At only nine, Princess Alais of France is sent to live in England until she is of age to wed Prince Richard, son of King Henry II and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine. Alais is an innocent pawn on the chessboard of dynastic marriage, her betrothal intended to broker an uneasy truce between the nations.

Estranged from her husband, Eleanor sees a kindred spirit in this determined young girl. She embraces Alais as a daughter, teaching the princess what it takes to be a woman of power in a world of men. But as Alais grows to maturity and develops ambitions of her own, Eleanor begins to see her as a threat-and their love for each other becomes overshadowed by their bitter rivalry, dark betrayals, conflicting passions, and a battle for revenge over the throne of England itself. (publisher)

Alais was sent to England, where she was to be married to his father’s first wife’s son Richard. She is taken under Eleanor’s wings and they form very close friendship. When she meets Richard she falls in love instantly. But when she meets the king, Henry II, she just can’t stop thinking about him and whe she catches Richard with another woman, Alais feels betrayed and runs to Henry.

This was very interesting read since there’s not much written about Alais. The story is told from two point of views; Alais and Eleanor. While it was fun to read how both women felt the repeating of things was little tiring. I liked how Eleanor was portrayed and while I liked Richard, at times he seemed a bit too romanticized. Even if I have some serious doubts that Richard would have taken Alais back after she gave birth to Henry’s child, I liked how Richard had a softer side with Alais. But I really wanted to slap Alais when she catches Richard with another woman and feels wronged. I mean, how naive is she? Did she really think he was just gonna wait for her forever? And she had been drooling after Henry herself.

The only real problem I had was how Alais and Eleanor always seemed to know what eachother was thinking. It started sounding like hey had psychic abilities or something. And it was starting to sound little repeative.

But I did enjoy the book and can’t wait for next book!

3,5/5
Published: NAL (2010)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 373
Source: from author for review

Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

Voyager (Outlander 3) by Diana Gabaldon

Their passionate encounter happened long ago by whatever measurement Claire Randall took. Two decades before, she had traveled back in time and into the arms of a gallant eighteenth-century Scot named Jamie Fraser. Then she returned to her own century to bear his child, believing him dead in the tragic battle of Culloden. Yet his memory has never lessened its hold on her… and her body still cries out for him in her dreams.

Then Claire discovers that Jamie survived. Torn between returning to him and staying with their daughter in her own era, Claire must choose her destiny. And as time and space come full circle, she must find the courage to face the passion and pain awaiting her…the deadly intrigues raging in a divided Scotland… and the daring voyage into the dark unknown that can reunite—or forever doom—her timeless love. (Goodreads)

The book starts with Claire, who’s been living in her own time the past twenty years. In the last book she met a historian who found out that Jamie didn’t die at Culloden. She’s been planning on going back for the last 5 months. Her appearance in the past tooks Jamie totally by surprise and while they learn to know each other again after twenty years apart, they have to save Jamies’s nephew (Young) Ian.

I have to say that I love these books! The book really started to come alive after Claire finds Jamie. I liked how they were showed learning to know each other again. No wonder you’d be a little akward when you haven’t seen each other in such a long time and so much has happened to them. I was getting kinda annoyed at Jenny though, why did you had to meddle in Jamie’s things?And by that I mean getting Jamie married to Laoghaire! That was the only problem I had with the book… I so wish we hear more of Fergus in the future. Poor man had a very interesting wedding… Most hilarious thing in the book :)

4,5/5
Published: Dell (1994)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 1059
Source: my own

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

The White Queen (The Cousins’ War 1) by Philippa Gregory

Brother turns on brother to win the ultimate prize, the throne of England, in this dazzling account of the wars of the Plantagenets. They are the claimants and kings who ruled England before the Tudors, and now Philippa Gregory brings them to life through the dramatic and intimate stories of the secret players: the indomitable women, starting with Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen.

The White Queen tells the story of a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition who, catching the eye of the newly crowned boy king, marries him in secret and ascends to royalty. While Elizabeth rises to the demands of her exalted position and fights for the success of her family, her two sons become central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the missing princes in the Tower of London whose fate is still unknown. From her uniquely qualified perspective, Philippa Gregory explores this most famous unsolved mystery of English history, informed by impeccable research and framed by her inimitable storytelling skills. (Goodreads)

The story starts after Edward has already gotten his crown and Elizabeth has become a widow. She waits for the king to pass her on the road and petition for her lands. And Edward, who just can’t leave a pretty woman alone, takes fancy on her. After Elizabeth refuses to become his mistress by theatening him with a knife, they marries in secret. You could say the marriage isn’t taken with happy faces…

I have to say that I’ve heard more about Melusina thatn I’ve ever wanted to read in my life. And I don’t like how the author repeats certain things over and over and over again through the book. The readers aren’t stupid, you know? Didn’t care for the witchcraft thing either. I like history and fantasy, as long as you don’t mix them.

I liked how she portrayed Richard, Duke of Gloucester but didn’t care for what was going on with him and Elizabeth of York. But what did annoy me was the whole Anthony-hero-worshipping. I get that Elizabeth idolized her big brother but I was wondering if Gregory is gonna change history and gonna name him as a saint. Because there really wasn’t a thing he can’t do wrong. Haven’t read anyone else having this problem so maybe it’s just me…

For a person who brags what a great historian she is, you would think that she gots the places right. At one point Elizabeth goes to a palace that’s started by her grandson, Henry VIII. Time travel maybe?

I enjoyed this more than I thought I would and it was better than The Other Queen.

3/5
Published: Pocket
Format: Paperback
Pages: 438
Source: library

Blood Promise by Richelle Mead

Blood Promise (Vampire Academy 4) by Richelle Mead

Rose Hathaway’s life will never be the same.

The recent attack on St. Vladimir’s Academy devastated the entire Moroi world. Many are dead. And, for the few victims carried off by Strigoi, their fates are even worse. A rare tattoo now adorns Rose’s neck, a mark that says she’s killed far too many Strigoi to count. But only one victim matters . . . Dimitri Belikov. Rose must now choose one of two very different paths: honoring her life’s vow to protect Lissa—her best friend and the last surviving Dragomir princess—or, dropping out of the Academy to strike out on her own and hunt down the man she loves. She’ll have to go to the ends of the earth to find Dimitri and keep the promise he begged her to make. But the question is, when the time comes, will he want to be saved?

Now, with everything at stake—and worlds away from St. Vladimir’s and her unguarded, vulnerable, and newly rebellious best friend—can Rose find the strength to destroy Dimitri? Or, will she sacrifice herself for a chance at eternal love? (Goodreads)

Rose goes to Siberia, Russia to kill Dimitri as she promised and she also gets to know Dimitri’s family. While in Siberia, she meets this strange older guy who shows up when she’s in danger. She’s captured by Dimitri but manages to escape later on. We see what’s happening on Academy when Rose slips into Lissa’s mind and Adrian pays few visits in her dreams. Can’t really say much more without telling too much…

I think this was the best book so far. The book had a darker theme and I think Rose has (finally!) matured a little. She certainly didn’t annoy me so much anymore! Didn’t like Lissa at all this time, she was just a page-filler with her partying and drinking. The only good thing was that at the same time you get to see Adrian too. Somehow now that Dimitri is Strigoi, he’s and Rose’s age difference didn’t disturb me that much.

3/5
Published: Puffin
Format: Paperback
Pages: 493
Source: library

Daughters of the Witching Hill by Mary Sharratt

Daughters of the Witching Hill by Mary Sharratt

Bess Southerns, an impoverished widow living in Pendle Forest, is haunted by visions and gains a reputation as a cunning woman. Drawing on the Catholic folk magic of her youth, Bess heals the sick and foretells the future. As she ages, she instructs her granddaughter, Alizon, in her craft, as well as her best friend, who ultimately turns to dark magic.

When a peddler suffers a stroke after exchanging harsh words with Alizon, a local magistrate, eager to make his name as a witch finder, plays neighbors and family members against one another until suspicion and paranoia reach frenzied heights. (Goodreads)

The book is told through the eyes of two persons: Bess (first half) and Alizon (second half). While I liked it told from first person narrative but the characters didn’t come alive to me. You can see that the autohor has done her research but it also slows done the book with going on , and on, and on about their daily lives. I’ve never heard of the Pendle witches before and I’d like to hear more about the actual trials.

I don’t know much about that time period and it was interesting to read about common people of that time but I also think that it slowed down the book a little particularly in the beginning.

3/5
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2010)
Format: Hardback
Pages: 352
Source: won at giveaway

Shadow Prowler by Alexey Pehov

Shadow Prowler (Chronicles of Siala 1) by Alexey Pehov

After centuries of calm, the Nameless One is stirring.

An army is gathering; thousands of giants, ogres, and other creatures are joining forces from all across the Desolate Lands, united, for the first time in history, under one, black banner. By the spring, or perhaps sooner, the Nameless One and his forces will be at the walls of the great city of Avendoom.

Unless Shadow Harold, master thief, can find some way to stop them.

Epic fantasy at its best, Shadow Prowler is the first in a trilogy that follows Shadow Harold on his quest for a magic Horn that will restore peace to the Kingdom of Siala. Harold will be accompanied on his quest by an Elfin princess, Miralissa, her elfin escort, and ten Wild Hearts, the most experienced and dangerous fighters in their world.and by the king’s court jester (who may be more than he seems – or less). (Goodreads)

This is the first book in a popular Russian fantasy serie. There were times that I regretted that I haven’t read Russian so I could have read the original edition. It started little slow but got better towards the end. Mainly because it took far too long to Harold to actually leave to the quest, but after he does things started rolling smoothly.

A thief called Harold is framed into stealing an object before being recruited by the king to the most dangerous burglary in his life. He has to steal a Horn from Hrad Spein. He gets help from people from different races; dwarf, gnome, goblin, elves and human warrior group called The Wild Hearts. The elves are no Tolkien-elves but are nearly as ugly as orcs with fangs.

I liked the snarky, quirky Harold. The story is told from his point of view in first person so we get good look what goes on in his head. It reminded me of David Edding’s Belgarion-serie.

All in all, I found the book good and I’ll definitely read the next one!

3/5
Published: Simon & Schuster UK (2010)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 394
Source: won at giveaway

Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead

Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy 3) by Richelle Mead

It’s springtime at St. Vladimir’s Academy and Rose is close to graduation, but since making her first Strigoi kills, things haven’t felt quite right. She’s having dark thoughts, behaving erratically, and worst of all… might be seeing ghosts.

Consumed by her forbidden love with her tutor Dimitri and protecting her best friend, the Moroi princess Lissa, Rose is in no state to see the deadly threat that will change her entire world—and make her choose between the two people she loves most. (Goodreads)

It was not great but I liked it better than the first 2 books. I think Rose has grown a little. She’s still ckinda childish but atleast she’s not so slutty anymore…
At first I was little annoyed about the useless drama she created because she wouldn’t say what was going on. And it’s irritating how she thinks Dimitri is perfect and can’t do anything wrong. I’m still icky about their age difference, or more like of their mental age difference. Dimitri is too mature for his age and Rose too childish for hers. But I’ve started to like Adrian more.

3/5
Published: Puffin (2010)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 464
Source: library