Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Fateful Day- A Libertus Mystery - Rosemary Rowe~ Preorder now!

" .. News arrives from Rome which will turn the lives, not only of Libertus and his family, but the whole Empire upside down ."

There is a great backstory here and the history and details of the era are very fine. Roman British Glevum ( Gloucester) is described as a retirement colonia and in this novel we find the military in control.The author indicates her endeavor for accuracy and I feel she succeeds, although the pace could be quicker, and would then merit 4 stars.

Libertus is checking on the estate of his patron Marcus daily and this particular evening finds things have gone very awry. A complicated set of circumstances has led to murders and mayhem which even extends to the household of Libertus.

As Libertus attempts to notify the proper persons, his status as a citizen is always in question. Apparently only clothing infer status in this time and place, and life is precarious.

I always enjoy these trips backward into Roman Britain and visits with Celtic Libertus are entertaining. Preorder links are posted for you to continue the adventure.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Book of Fires- Brother Athelstan #14 by Paul Doherty ~ Preorder Now!!

Book of Fires, aka The Sorrowful Mysteries of Brother Athelstan #14, was very entertaining and enjoyable. Volume #13 had a bit too much murder, did the author read me review, for this one was a lot different. The priest solves a series of interconnected mysteries, both connected with Church and society.

Having only read a few of the 14 books, I particularly this time enjoyed the homey peeks at Athelstan's household. His friends also were quite well fleshed out and endeared all of them to me. I plan to get some more to read now.

The John of Gaunt era, and his problems with the common man  or "Upright Men", apparently permeated and infiltrated the entire land and very strata of society. Brother Athelstan, as pastor of a cohesive flock, has a warm and fatherly ( or perhaps brotherly) concern for his parishioners. He is highly esteemed by many, the Coroner most of all!

Read this mystery and learn about Greek Fire and how it came to be utilized in medieval England, and why. Also "Who is the terrifying Fire Bringer – and what does he want? Was Isolda really guilty of murder?" You will love this one!

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Tudor Vendetta- C.W.Gortner ~ The Spymaster Chronicles

My first excursion into the Spymaster Chronicles was extremely enjoyable! I had a bit of a problem plunging into some of the adventure scenes, got a bit dizzy with that unevenness but everything turned out so very well.

Although it was my first read of the series, the intricate relationships between Elizabeth I and Brendan Prescott sorted them selves out quite satisfactorily. The complex nature of all the main characters is part of the storyline and apparently well developed. Still a bit perplexed as to how Mary of Suffolk had this son with a knight in her retinue but I need to go back and read the first two books. I encourage you to read all all three!

The(to me)jolts between adventure and tranquil scenes was a bit jarring to me so, although I really liked the book, I give it 4.5 stars.

Very happy that I was able to review this book via NetGalley by such a fine author.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Sovereign of Stars- She King Book Three ~ L.M. Ironside

As usual, I was transported to a different time and place as Hatshepsut and Thutmose III continue will their dual reign. Senenmut and Ahmose's death brought great sorrow to Hatshepsut but she seemed to grow in wisdom though the years. Neferure, as in real life seems to disappear from sight after a grievous deed. Live!

The series will conclude with Book Four of The She-King in "The Bull of Min". Meet us there.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The King's Curse- Philippa Gregory~ Riveting!

A very important book about the Tudor era and one that is not usually dealt with.I could literally not read anything else until I finished this book. The King's Curse much more than held my attention, it was all encompassing regarding this particular family. 

Henry Tudor's Plantagenet relatives had been perceived by him, and his father, to be a threat to their reign due to their royal blood. Usually in a Tudor tale, one or even two victims are written about but not in this much detail. 

Margaret of York,or Margaret Pole as she was known, was the aunt of Henry VIII and first cousin to his mother. She, her children and her cousins undoubtedly were as or more royal as Henry and became, in his later years, target to his paranoia.

The question may be, did this family attempt to claim the throne and constantly conspire to wrest control of event in England? Or is the question really, with Henry VIII's increasing paranoia, why they did not in fact succeed?

Margaret Pole was executed at the age of 67 and later Beatified by the Catholic Church as having been martyred for her faith. Was it a religious issue or a family feud? It is a must read and the very best, in my opinion of the Cousins series. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Slave Graves- A River Sunday Murder Mystery ~ Thomas Hollyday

I appreciated being offered this book free at Amazon via my Upper Eastern Shore and Dorchester Maryland Facebook pages. Thanks Thomas Hollyday!

 In return I am blogging about it and sharing the blog on my usual sites and with my usual followers which are fairly numerous.

 I liked the history of the area a lot and feel the author has gotten that down well. The characters perhaps not as lively as I had hoped, nor was their dialogue. That being said, I usually read ancient and medieval history novels and mysteries. These characters were Vietnam era, of course like myself- Baby Boomer era and slightly before. Nothing wrong with that.

 I recommend it to those who want to explore the history of the Eastern Shore of the Delmarva 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Land of the Silver Dragon - An Alf Fen Mystery ~ Alys Clare

 I always like to return to the Fens and experience Lassair's adventures.I wonder how different the Fens are from the salt meadows that I am familiar with? 

Immediate post Conquest is an interesting time to explore historically, and Alys Clare is very adept at bringing that to life. Politics in England at that point in time even intrude in this very remote, inaccessible area.

Lassair learns through a series of scary adventures that her grandfather was from Iceland. Family secrets give way to violent intruders into their quiet Fenland community and her grandmother's resting place is disturbed.

Recommended for those who like Medieval history with their mysteries. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Court of Traitors - V.E. Lynne

The very best part of this book is that, despite the protagonists being fictitious,the danger and drama of the Tudor Court is clearly felt by the reader. Bridget Manning de Brett is not a historical person, but she responds exactly as others have done to the terribly stressful and often terrifying event of this era.

The ending puzzles me, perhaps leaving the way for yet another sequel? I really do hope so. I recommend this book to those who follow this time period in history. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

A King's Ransom - Sharon Kay Penman

Of all the Plantagenet Kings, Richard's exploits consist of fighting and more fighting,that is just what the Lionheart was about. What made this book rise to 4.5 stars were the poignant scenes that included Eleanor. She was a loving mother and a vibrant and courageous woman, all the years of her life.

Sharon Kay Penman always has done a masterful job with the Plantagenets.This time, as she laid them to their final rest, was surely no exception. 

There is still John of course, but he has his own story to tell. Heartily recommended

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Crook and the Flail - The She King -Book Two ~ L.M Ironside

The second book in the series even better than the first one, how can that be? All I know is that I raced through it, putting other very good books aside.

Is it the Thutmosides that are so riveting or is it the author's vivid style of writing about them? Whatever it is I will grad the next one as soon as I am finished this review.

Hatshesput was awesome but no more awesome than her mother, Ahmose. Their life style choices, although contextual with the era were so modern, or is that the author's prose? Senenmut, the steward is also my hero, capable of any heroic act. His image with Nererure is enclosed in anticipation of the next book.

L.M.Ironside is an incredible storyteller and lovers of any era historical novel will adore this series.