Tag Archives: historical fiction

WWW Wednesday | 22.03.17

Happy Wednesday friends,

I’m back today for WWW Wednesday and boy has it been a long time ;P

I’ve been busy with writing, participating in an #AuthorHop on Instagram and life… beautiful, unexpected life! I’ve found time to read since my last post, but not the time to post. But today, I fix that.

Thanks to the lovely Sam at Taking on a World of Words for hosting this amazing blog hop every week! If you aren’t following her already, you’re missing out 🙂

Want to join in? All you have to do is answer these questions:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

CURRENTLY READING

The Splendour Falls by Susanna Kearsley

18998861Blurb:

Chinon: château of legend, steeped in the history of France and England.

It is to Chinon that Emily goes on a long-awaited holiday, to meet her charming but unreliable cousin, Harry. Harry wanted to explore the old town and the castle, where Queen Isabelle, child bride of King John, had withstood the siege of Chinon many centuries ago, and where, according to legend, she hid her casket of jewels. But when Emily arrives at her hotel she finds that Harry has disappeared, and as she tries to find him she becomes involved with some of the other guests and learns of a mystery dating from the German occupation during the Second World War. Another Isabelle, a chambermaid at the hotel, fell in love with a German soldier, with tragic results.

Emily becomes increasingly aware of strange tensions, old enmities and new loves; as she explores the city, with its labyrinthine dungeons and tunnels and its ancient secrets, she comes ever closer to the mystery of what happened to both the Isabelles of Chinon’s history.

Chances are I’ll be done this one by the time you’re reading this but I’m including it here for the moment because I’m still 100 pages from the end. It’s the second Kearsley I’m reading in my 2017 read-a-thon of her bibliography. It just took a really tragic turn that I wasn’t expecting….

FINISHED READING

The Manningtree Acount by Becky Wright

34510505Blurb:

1646 – A time of English Civil War, when life is cheap, death common and superstition consumes the hearts of God-fearing folk. The life of a healer is precarious, dwelling in the shadows of normal society. Ostracised, their time running out as the self-appointed Witchfinder General scours the countryside for the Devil’s whores…

2016 – One dark night, one sleepy town, one family gripped by terror. The EAPI paranormal team are called to investigate dark poltergeist activity. But, as the eternal night finally loosens its grip, it seems that some evil deeds are never forgotten, reaching out from beyond the grave to exact their revenge…

I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful this novella was! Thrilling and gripping! After reading Becky’s debut novel (Remember to Love Me), a time slip romance, I was excited to see how she handled a paranormal thriller and WOW! She’s a true storyteller, able to work her magic across genres. My full review will be up tomorrow!

READING NEXT

Song of Susannah (Dark Tower #6) by Stephen King

5093Blurb (from The Gunslinger – Book I the series)

Set in a world of extraordinary circumstances, filled with stunning visual imagery and unforgettable characters, The Dark Tower series is King’s most visionary feat of storytelling, a magical mix of science fiction, fantasy, and horror that may well be his crowning achievement.

In The Gunslinger (originally published in 1982), King introduces his most enigmatic hero, Roland Deschain of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting, solitary figure at first, on a mysterious quest through a desolate world that eerily mirrors our own. Pursuing the man in black, an evil being who can bring the dead back to life, Roland is a good man who seems to leave nothing but death in his wake.

The penultimate in the series, I am excited and nervous to finish this amazing adventure. I have fallen in love with these characters and am constantly amazed by King’s masterful storytelling. If you can stomach some of the more gruesome elements, this dark fantasy is brilliant and shouldn’t be missed!


Share your WWW posts below or let me know what your week has been like in books in the comments below!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

Remember to Love Me | Becky Wright

Hi friends,

Yes. I’m alive.

I know I’ve been gone for a while. I’ve been hiding out in my writing cave lately. This month I’ve written 26,942 (not including today’s word count which is over 2k already). I have 30k left to write to get to the end of this first draft and I need it to be done for the end of the month, so fair warning that I’ll be a little absent for the next two weeks.

Until then, I’ll drop in with a few reviews and any other posts I can manage.

Like this one!


33149049BLURB

1900
Annabelle yearns for nothing more than motherhood. Losing her own mother in child birth at the tender age of four; a gaping hole has grown in the pit of her belly with the desire to nurture a child. Her sole purpose, she values its significance and her duty to provide an heir to devoted husband Richard Hardwick, successor to a wealthy landowning family. But motherhood may not be as she once hoped, as fate deals her a cruel hand, leaving her with a life-changing dilemma.

Her younger sister Emily, vibrant and full of zest is engaged to the dashing Lance Corporal James Wright, jubilant with thoughts of the future she imagines nothing but wedded bliss on the horizon. But as a new century dawns, darkness falls, as the Boer War gains strength James is deployed to South Africa, leaving his new bride alone with an uncertain future. As melancholy festers, Emily escapes the rural confines of Bury St Edmunds to stay with Aunt Anna by the sea, where she languishes in nature’s rough vast beauty. As the distance stretches between the sisters, so too does the life-thread of family.

1997
April has spent her solitary childhood in the pretty Norfolk village of Winterton-on-Sea, surrounded by its quiet lanes and circular pastel holiday cottages; a child flourishing in its rural beauty and thriving off the natural elements of sandy dunes and buffering waves. But now, after leaving University and as her 21st birthday approaches, April finds herself relocating closer to her Grandmother Sarah, to her mother’s childhood home of Bury St Edmunds; a market town in the heart of the Suffolk countryside. Her parents open their longed-for antique shop, and although April is eager to assist with the busy Christmas rush, she aches for something else; a missing puzzle-piece. She looks to Sarah for guidance and direction, struggling to adjust, in her heart, pining for her sea-side home; she takes solace in the extraordinary bond she shares with her grandmother

April’s feelings of uncertainty amplify as she steps over the threshold of her ancestral home; an early Victorian townhouse at the heart of the historic town, where time has stopped in its tracks, pristine and perfectly antiquated. In a visit to the attic late one afternoon, she discovers more than just dusty tea chests and old suitcases. She encounters an ancestor that has remained, a beautiful ghostly apparition whispering secrets in the shadows.

As the weeks follow and Christmas arrives, April is confronted with strange visions and dreams; memories of a lost, long buried time, of grave secrets, of sisterly love, romance and family loyalties that stretch beyond even love’s limits. April is thrown into turmoil, living moments in two eras, experiencing love and loss in both. With the help of Annabelle’s diary, she begins to unravel the mysteries of her ancestor’s history as her own destiny falls into place. Piecing together snippets of another life, giving peace back to the house and laying ghosts to rest; she unfolds the mystery of her family’s Supernatural Legacy.

REVIEW

A brilliant debut novel full of romance and heartbreak, that pulls tight on your heartstrings and ensnares you with magical prose and lyrical beauty.

Fantasy might be my most read genre, but historical time slips/time travels/parallel tales are second to it. I love fiction that weaves narratives through two or three different time periods, seeing the connection of various lives, seeing recurring themes and settings. And that is what I loved most about this truly enchanting read.

In the present day (1997) April is a young girl who is still searching for her purpose in life. When she and her family move near her grandmother, she discovers a family secret and pieces together the lives of her ancestors, all the while coming to understand her role within it.

Annabelle and Emily are two sisters living at the turn of the century, learning to love and coping with love. They face hardships, and their bond is challenged at each obstacle that meets them.

Both these narratives come together in spectacular fashion and it was hard to keep a dry eye throughout the story’s development. Becky Wright gives and takes, sometimes too much for one’s heart, but her characters are so strong and when they interact with one another and come together to support each other, they reawaken hope to ease the soul.

Reminded me of Susanna Kearsley in the best of ways, this novel is not one that you want to miss out on if you love historical romances.

CONCLUSION

A truly stunning debut! Brilliant and beautiful.

RATING

quills


May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

WWW Wednesday | 18.01.17

Happy Wednesday friends,

I missed this last week because, to be frank with you, I hadn’t done much reading at all ;P Fortunately, I’ve made up since then and am currently on my 7th read of the year!

rapunzel

Yes, I’m rather excited about it! 😂

Thanks to Sam at Taking on a World of Words for hosting this great opportunity to discover new books and share our reads each week.

If you want to participate – and I hope you do – then answer these three questions:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

CURRENTLY READING

30298463Summerlong by Peter S. Beagle

Blurb:

Retired history professor Abe Aronson is a cranky, solitary man living out his autumn years on Gardner Island, a ferry ride away from the hustle and bustle of nearby Seattle. One rainy February night, while dining at a favorite local haunt, Abe and his girlfriend Joanna meet an engaging enigmatic waitress, new in town and without a place of her own. Fascinated and moved by the girl’s plight, Joanna invites her to stay in Abe’s garage. It seems everyone falls for the charming and invigorating the waitress, but she is much more than she appears, and an ancient covenant made a millennium ago threatens to disrupt the spring and alter the lives of Abe, Joanna, and all those around them forever…

I am rather enjoying this one so far. I received an ARC from Netgalley but it’s been on the backburner for some time and I am doing my best to get caught up with them all by the end of February.

Anyway, this book is a lovely bit of whimsy and wonder, somewhat reminiscent of Neil Gaiman’s work. Shamefully this is my first Beagle novel. I’ve been meaning to read the Last Unicorn (the movie has always managed to terrify me and devastate me)! For now, I must say that Beagle has caught my attention 🙂

FINISHED READING

I finished reading Mariana by Susana Kearsley in early January, but just posted my review here, if you want to check it out! A beautiful historical romance! Really tugs on the heartstrings!

Awaken (The A’Vean Chronicles #1) by GR Thomas

27822669Blurb:

SOME PEOPLE AREN’T DESTINED TO BE ORDINARY.
With a special gift held close to her heart, it was always going to be hard for Sophia Woodville to live an ordinary life.
As a 20 year old nursing grad, she thought she had her future all sorted.
However, destiny was about to intervene.
Her secret was not so secret. The gift she possessed was just a hint of something far beyond her wildest imagination.
Sophia will be pulled, kicking and screaming, into an unseen, ancient world that challenges all that she thought to be true of herself, her family and the origins of humanity.
Original sin, forbidden love and her life in constant danger.
Will Sophia survive this dark twist of fate?
Will the devil be her saviour?
Will an Angel be her downfall?

One of my highly anticipated reads of 2017, it exceeded my expectations. Amazingly well written with a dazzling mythology to support a gripping plot. Sophia is a brilliantly crafted protagonist and I can’t wait to find out what happens to her next. My review should be up tomorrow!

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

25480342Blurb:

Conor has the same dream every night, ever since his mother first fell ill, ever since she started the treatments that don’t quite seem to be working. But tonight is different. Tonight, when he wakes, there’s a visitor at his window. It’s ancient, elemental, a force of nature. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.

Patrick Ness takes the final idea of the late, award-winning writer Siobhan Dowd and weaves an extraordinary and heartbreaking tale of mischief, healing and above all, the courage it takes to survive.

I am still not over this beautiful, heart-wrenching, magical book! Patrick Ness, welcome to my favourite author list!

 

Rage and Ruin by Kate Roman

33198313Blurb:

Bridget O’Malley’s temper has always been trouble. It’s made her the black sheep of the family, cost her customers at her bar, and ruined relationships, but it has never put her life in danger. That is until she tries to rescue her cousin from a demon summoning cult. In picking a fight with one of Chicago’s most powerful witches, Bridget finds her bar being picketed, her witch’s license suspended, and demons on her trail. Annoyed and afraid Bridget uses the only weapon at her disposal to get her life back to normal: her temper.

An ARC received from NetGalley, I was tempted to pick it up because the premise sounded so intriguing, unfortunately the plot fell flat, the story lacked in tension, stakes and likeable characters. My review will definitely be up tomorrow.

AND

The Blue Sword (Damar #1) by Robin McKinley

407813Blurb:

Harry Crewe is an orphan girl who comes to live in Damar, the desert country shared by the Homelanders and the secretive, magical Hillfolk. Her life is quiet and ordinary-until the night she is kidnapped by Corlath, the Hillfolk King, who takes her deep into the desert. She does not know the Hillfolk language; she does not know why she has been chosen. But Corlath does. Harry is to be trained in the arts of war until she is a match for any of his men. Does she have the courage to accept her true fate?

I finished this one two nights ago and I am still hung over how wonderful it was! A real fantasy gem, stunning with plot, characters and world building! My second McKinley (I read Hero and the Crown first, and am kind of glad I did), I am in love with this woman’s writing capabilities! Fellow fantasy lovers, read this now 🙂

 

READING NEXT

I have three books left on my original January TBR (Vicious by VE Schwab, Desert Jewel by Natalina Reis and Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop), but I’ve added another book to the pile and will probably put it first…..

Night Study (Soulfinders #2) by Maria V. Snyder

16130759I’m not including the blurb because there are plentiful spoilers to be found within it!

I know this series gets a lot of mixed reviews and, in all honestly, I wasn’t such a big fan of Soul Study, but I feel compelled to finish this series. My understanding is that Night Study is superior to it, so I’m hopeful that I’ll enjoy it more.

The last book (I think it’s the last) is coming out January 31st so I figured I read this one now and then get to Dawn Study and call our time together at an end.

 

 

 


What books have you devoured of late? Let me know your weekly reading habits or share your link to your WWW post! Let the love of reading flourish 🙂

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith  quill-ink

Mariana | Susanna Kearsley

Hello friends,

It’s been awhile since I posted a review, but here comes a new one for you.


1777492Blurb:

The winner of the Catherine Cookson Fiction Prize: this mesmerizing, suspenseful, atmospheric tale of time travel draws us into the heart of a heroine we won’t soon forget. The first time Julia Beckett saw Greywethers she was only five but she knew at once it was her house. Now twenty-five years later, by some strange chance, she has become the new owner of the sixteenth-century Wilshire farmhouse.

Julia begins to suspect more than coincidence has brought her. As if Greywethers were a porthal between worlds, she finds herself abruptly transported in time. Stepping into seventeenth-century England, Julia becomes Mariana: a beautiful young woman struggling against danger and treachery, battling a forbidden love for Richard de Mornay; handsome forebear of the squire of Crofton Hall. Each time Julia travels, she becomes more enthralled with the past, falling deeper in love… until one day she realizes Mariana’s life threatens to eclipse hers. She must find a way to lay the past to rest, or risk losing a chance for love in her own time.

Review:

“…seek me not with your eyes, but with your soul. The soul sees what truly matters.”

Set in the present, but defined by the echoing past, Mariana, is a historical romance that tells the story of a young artist beckoned to remember a past life, a time when she was Mariana.

This story was a reread for me, and I enjoyed it even more this time than the first. Perhaps it has something to do with how I’ve grown as a person since my last reading, but I’d rather claim it to be a recognition of the subtle foreshadowing layering the earlier chapters in preparation for the denouement.

“The past can teach us, nurture us, but it cannot sustain us. The essence of life is change, and we must move ever forward or the soul will wither and die.”

The plot is an enchanting one, exploring the life of one woman as she experiences two times, two lives, two realities. Julia may exist in the present, but the past is still very tangible for her and dangerously so, as it threatens to claim her present. The more she experiences of Mariana’s life, the more in danger she becomes of fading into it.

Julia’s story is a compelling one, an illustrator of children’s books, she is able to roam where she will and roams she does, to a house that first called her when she was a child.

“I first saw the house in the summer of my fifth birthday.”

Now, thirty and inquisitive, she moves into this home settled in the verdant British countryside where she makes new friends, falls in love, and seeks to understand why she keeps walking Mariana’s memories.

And yet, the more endearing story is Mariana’s. As a reader, I craved those moments when Julia trespasses into 17th century England. Mariana is a young woman who is forced to flee London at the outbreak of the plague that renders her an orphan. In her abusive uncle’s house, she becomes a prisoner of sorts, until fate introduces her to Richard de Mornay.

Friends, I usually am not one for romantic pieces, but this relationship is all my heart needed. To see their love blossom is one of the pure joys of this book:

His hand lifted higher, and clasped mine strongly. “Feel that, love. There’s nothing can break that. We are two parts of the one whole, you and I. The hawk mates for life, and our lives are but beginning.”

Swoon, right?

Of course, it’s not just the relationship that makes Mariana’s story more compelling. It is the character herself and the setting. I’m a bit of a history geek (proud of it), so my heart feels drawn to stories that are established in days of old. The world building is wonderfully vibrant, establishing the reader well into the time period and the political undercurrents that subtly affected Mariana’s rural world. And Mariana is a strong woman in a time when things weren’t easy for the ‘fairer sex’. Dauntless, yet compassionate, she is reminiscent of a heroine from one of Jane Austen’s novels.

The secondary characters round out the story nicely. From Geoffrey de Mornay (Julia’s love interest), to Thomas Beckett (Julia’s brother & a rather unconventional parson), to Iain Sumner (the Scottish gardener), to Vivien Wells (Julia’s friend and the owner of the local pub.), the ensemble is a brilliant cast with unique personalities and entertaining banter.

I want to give this book five stars, but it’s perfection is tempered by an abrupt ending that demands to be continued.

Still, this book is a cozy read. Enchanting and beautifully written and as Susanna’s second book, reveals only a glimmer of the narratives that she can tell!

Conclusion:

A story about love transcending time and one woman’s journey to uncover a life once lived, Mariana is a gorgeously woven narrative that might just steal your heart.

Rating:

4-5-quills


May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faithquill-ink

Victoria | Daisy Goodwin

Hello friends,

Hope you’re having a relaxing Saturday.

Here’s a new review for a book I read back in December! Slowly catching up 😉

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!


30841109Blurb:

In 1837, less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, Alexandrina Victoria – sheltered, small in stature, and female – became Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. Many thought it was preposterous: Alexandrina — Drina to her family — had always been tightly controlled by her mother and her household, and was surely too unprepossessing to hold the throne. Yet from the moment William IV died, the young Queen startled everyone: abandoning her hated first name in favor of Victoria; insisting, for the first time in her life, on sleeping in a room apart from her mother; resolute about meeting with her ministers alone.

One of those ministers, Lord Melbourne, became Victoria’s private secretary. Perhaps he might have become more than that, except everyone argued she was destined to marry her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. But Victoria had met Albert as a child and found him stiff and critical: surely the last man she would want for a husband….

Review:

This was an exceptional historical fiction for me. Why?

Firstly, because it took me by surprise. I prided myself on knowing about Victoria’s life, but Daisy Goodwin opened my eyes to aspects I had never known before. And I love that! The book chronicles the early years of Victoria’s reign, starting just before she becomes queen and spanning to a marriage proposal. As the novel explores her early struggle against society, Parliament and her family, it centers itself around a fundamental relationship, that between Victoria and Melbourne.

These characters were another highlight for me. The dialogue and interactions between the two were so well written, I easily got lost into each moment. I enjoyed also how Goodwin presented both of their perspectives, letting the narrative unfold on both sides. I was able to delight in understanding how each appraised the situations they found themselves in. Admittedly, I was waiting impatiently for Albert to show up, but Goodwin did an excellent job bringing him into the complicated world of Victoria’s life and having the two interact.

Another positive note for me is that the romance was downplayed. The relationship between Melbourne and Victoria might have had its undertones of a more intimate potential, but it was never realized, never overtly forced on the reader. The subtlety of the novel was something to delight in, even when it came to Victoria and Albert’s conversations.

At its heart, it is a story devoted to Victoria, a girl forced at once to become a woman and a queen. It is a story of growth. The characters are fully formed and develop over the course of the narrative. They are flawed individuals who affected our past and through a fictional form, Goodwin allows us to appreciate them a bit better in our present.

I am excited now to watch the tv series that accompanies it and hope that a sequel may be in the works!

Conclusion:
Historical fiction done right, Victoria is an enchanting read which draws the reader into the 19th century and the early life of one of Britain’s most renown monarchs.

Rating: quills


May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

The Tea Planter’s Wife | Dinah Jefferies

Happy Tuesday friends!

Hope you’re all settling well into the new year. As part of my resolution to post more book reviews, I’m making my attempt to start on the right foot…

Thank you to NetGalley and Crown Publishing for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!


25237718Blurb:

Nineteen-year-old Gwendolyn Hooper is newly married to a rich and charming widower, eager to join him on his tea plantation, determined to be the perfect wife and mother.

But life in Ceylon is not what Gwen expected. The plantation workers are resentful, the neighbours treacherous. And there are clues to the past – a dusty trunk of dresses, an overgrown gravestone in the grounds – that her husband refuses to discuss.

Just as Gwen finds her feet, disaster strikes. She faces a terrible choice, hiding the truth from almost everyone, but a secret this big can’t stay buried forever . . .

 

My Review:

The Tea Planter’s Wife was a book that surprised me, and that doesn’t often happen. I spent a majority of the novel believing that I knew everything, but the end proved me wrong. That being said, I enjoyed the book. I found it a diverting read that entertained me. Unfortunately, there were many things that I was not too fond of. The characters for one fell flat for me, especially our protagonist. I found it difficult to believe some of her choices. Her relationship with her husband was also lacklustre.

The descriptions, on the other hand, were extremely vivid. The lush images were easy to get lost in. It was that that swept me into the story when plot and characters proved less enchanting.

The plot itself was a tragic one, revolving around a dark secret and the consequences of the lies told to keep it concealed. It promised to be an interesting turn, but the secret itself was ignored in my opinion for a good portion of the novel, focusing more on our protagonist’s attempts to reconcile with the world she inhabits. It is unfortunate, because if the focus had been laid more heavily upon the secret itself, the story might have been more intriguing than it was. As I mentioned, the ending was not what I expected and I appreciated the maturity and realism of it. I only wish that the entire novel leading up to it had demanded more of my investment.

Conclusion: Still, I can not fault Dinah Jefferies for her strengths in crafting a narrative that really brings the reader into both the time period and the setting. A diverting historical fiction.

Rating: quills


May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

WWW Wednesday | 23.11.16

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words, this is one of my favourite weekly blog hops! I love being part of the a great community of readers.

All you have to do is answer three questions!

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

I managed to finish a few books, despite the fact that I’m juggling writing for NaNoWriMo and preparing my novella for publication.

Selfish promotion right now, but Eléonore has a release date: DECEMBER 4TH 2016, and I’m looking for a few more ARC readers! If you’re interested, here’s a link to the post!

And now to my reading habits!


CURRENTLY READING

Fay Storms (The Storms Trilogy #1) by A.A. Frascati

32796029Blurb:

Thief by trade. Half-breed by blood. Fifer is part-Fay and all pluck.

When her partner goes missing and she is abducted by demanding clients, Fifer finds herself trapped in a plot she wants no part of. By fulfilling her contract with the Aestus, the brotherhood of powerful and secretive warriors, she will discover that she’s not what she thinks.

The Aestus need her—even though Arkadius, Master in training, can’t see it. In order to stop the Aestus clans from warring among themselves, Arkadius must rely on Fifer to steal a powerful magical artifact. But how can a woman save the mighty Aestus? When he discovers the answer, the fate of the Empire will rest on the edge of his sword.

I’m only a few chapters into this book, which I received in exchange for an honest review. So far, so good. The world-building is rather impressive and I like the characters well enough. A decent start 🙂

RECENTLY READ

Throne of the Crescent Moon (The Crescent Moon Kingdoms #1) by Saladin Ahmed

15808366Blurb:

From Saladin Ahmed, finalist for the Nebula and Campbell Awards, comes one of the year’s most acclaimed debuts: a fantasy adventure with all the magic of The Arabian Nights.

The Crescent Moon Kingdoms, home to djenn and ghuls, holy warriors and heretics, are at the boiling point of a power struggle between the iron-fisted Khalif and the mysterious master thief known as the Falcon Prince. In the midst of this brewing rebellion a series of brutal supernatural murders strikes at the heart of the Kingdoms. But these killings are only the earliest signs of a plot for the Throne of the Crescent Moon that threatens to turn the great city of Dhamsawaat, and the world itself, into a blood-soaked ruin.

I rather enjoyed this one. The non-European setting was definitely a plus for me. It’s been a while since I read a fantasy that centres on different culture than I’m accustomed to. The world building was strong and the characters were well developed, for the most part. Definitely a promising start to a series.

The Tea Planter’s Wife by Dinah Jefferies

24875334Blurb:

Nineteen-year-old Gwendolyn Hooper is newly married to a rich and charming widower, eager to join him on his tea plantation, determined to be the perfect wife and mother. But life in Ceylon is not what Gwen expected. The plantation workers are resentful, the neighbours treacherous. And there are clues to the past – a dusty trunk of dresses, an overgrown gravestone in the grounds – that her husband refuses to discuss. Just as Gwen finds her feet, disaster strikes. She faces a terrible choice, hiding the truth from almost everyone, but a secret this big can’t stay buried forever . . .

To be perfectly honest, I have mixed feelings about this book. It was a good read, but nothing exceptional. The descriptions were beautiful, the historical setting definitely caught my attention, but the characters fell flat for me. There were also a lot of time jumps which I found to be more jarring and dissociated me from the story. I wanted to enjoy it more, because the potential was there, and though the ending proved superior to everything that came before, it didn’t come soon enough to redeem the whole story.

The Hero and the Crown (Damar #2) by Robin McKinley

1215136Blurb:

Aerin could not remember a time when she had not known the story; she had grown up knowing it.

It was the story of her mother, the witchwoman who enspelled the king into marrying her, to get an heir that would rule Damar; and it was told that she turned her face to the wall and died of despair when she found she had borne a daughter instead of a son.
Aerin was that daughter.

But there was more of the story yet to be told; Aerin’s destiny was greater than even she had dreamed–for she was to be the true hero who would wield the power of the Blue Sword…

The last book I finished this week, was my favourite. BY FAR. I love McKinley’s writing style. I love Aerin. I love the way the story is uncontrived. It was a classic fantasy, reminiscent of Mary Stewart and JRR Tolkein in many respects. Also, I haven’t felt so inclined to ship a pairing in a while as I have with two characters (won’t specify for spoilers) in this beautiful story. A quick read, and a mesmerizing one!

READING NEXT

Vicious by V.E. Schwab was supposed to be one of my November reads, but the person I’m supposed to buddy read it with (aka my sister :P) is still reading another book, so it might be postponed to December. In light of that, I have a few NetGalley ebooks to read, and of course Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling. I’ll see how I feel after Fay Storms.


That’s it for me friends 🙂 Feel free to share your link in the comments or let me know what you’ve been up to in the reading world!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

WWW Wednesday | The Nineteenth

Happy Wednesday friends 🙂

As ever, today is a chance to share the love of reading and discover new books across the blogosphere thanks to WWW Wednesday, hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

Care to join in sharing your weekly reads, all you have to do is answer these 3 questions:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

It’s actually been a hard last few days to fit in reading, what with visiting Vieux-Québec on Monday and then yesterday going to see Star Trek Beyond (not my favourite movie I’ll say that much). But I still managed to get through all my to read nexts from last week, so that’s a plus!

Note: All covers/blurbs are from Goodreads.


WHAT I AM CURRENTLY READING

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

9118135Blurb:

In a narrative replete with poison arrows, devouring snakes, scientific miracles, and spiritual transformations, State of Wonder presents a world of stunning surprise and danger, rich in emotional resonance and moral complexity.

As Dr. Marina Singh embarks upon an uncertain odyssey into the insect-infested Amazon, she will be forced to surrender herself to the lush but forbidding world that awaits within the jungle. Charged with finding her former mentor Dr. Annick Swenson, a researcher who has disappeared while working on a valuable new drug, she will have to confront her own memories of tragedy and sacrifice as she journeys into the unforgiving heart of darkness. Stirring and luminous, State of Wonder is a world unto itself, where unlikely beauty stands beside unimaginable loss beneath the rain forest’s jeweled canopy.

This is one of those books that’s been sitting on my shelves for 5+ years and I thought it was about time I give it a shot. It’s not a typical read for me, but I’m in the mood to be adventurous, so away we go 🙂

WHAT I RECENTLY FINISHED READING

Witch Infernal (Infernal Hunt #3) by Holly Evans

Witch Infernal (Infernal Hunt Book 3) by [Evans, Holly]Blurb:

Evelyn Hawke wasn’t made for the quiet life. She’s bored.

Luckily for her, things start going wrong, and she’s expected to fix everyone else’s problems. A trio of celestials task Evie and her friends with the job of tracking down the witch who opened the hellmouth and putting an end to her. Little do they know that the witch has big plans and a far-reaching influence.

Oh! I had missed Evie! I bought the third installment in the brilliant Infernal Hunt series the day it was released and devoured it as I had the previous two. Holly does such an amazing job of bringing Prague to life as Evie leads us through the hectic life of a hunter. Plus the supporting cast of characters are such fun to be around. What’s most impressive is how the books have matured with Evie. There’s so much character development blended in with action sequences. A delightful urban fantasy series you should definitely check out!

The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant

Blurb:

142939Birth of Venus, draws readers into a turbulent 15th-century Florence, a time when the lavish city, steeped in years of Medici family luxury, is suddenly besieged by plague, threat of invasion, and the righteous wrath of a fundamentalist monk. Dunant masterfully blends fact and fiction, seamlessly interweaving Florentine history with the coming-of-age story of a spirited 14-year-old girl. As Florence struggles in Savonarola’s grip, a serial killer stalks the streets, the French invaders creep closer, and young Alessandra Cecchi must surrender her “childish” dreams and navigate her way into womanhood.

I was looking forward to a historical fiction and I had heard good things about this book but, while I did enjoy the beginning well enough, I felt that the story didn’t have as much direction as I had hoped it would. Maybe it was the mindset I was in reading it, but I couldn’t get into the story at all, though the writing was beautiful. I just wish that some elements had been better developed. I did enjoy parts of it, though, and still intend to read more of Dunant’s works in the future.

On a more positive note, this marked by 80th read this year 😄

A Swiftly Twisting Planet (Time Quintet #3) by Madeleine L’Engle

195816

Blurb (edited to avoid spoilers):

He and Gaudior must travel into the past on the winds of time to try to find a Might-Have-Been – a moment in the past when the entire course of events leading to the present can be changed, and the future of Earth – this small, swiftly tilting planet – saved.

So, I finished this book last night and I am still in awe of how powerful Madeleine L’Engle’s stories are. This third installment is just as magical as the first two, but there is a new level of maturity in it too that the first two did not have, the story developing and growing with the characters. It made for a rather profound and thoughtful read. I can’t believe it took me so long to discover these childhood classics, but I am inspired ❤

WHAT I KNOW I’LL BE READING NEXT

A lot of sequels 😉

Speaker for the Dead (The Ender Quintet #3): by Orson Scott Card

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I’m skipping the blurb on this one because I don’t want to spoil the original story for anyone.

While this is considered to be the third in the series, it’s the second published so I’m going to read it as such. I read Ender’s Game a long, long, long time ago and it really affected me. Deeply. Such a profound novel. I don’t tend to read Sci-Fi, but wow! That book just hooked me in and wouldn’t let go. I’ve had the sequel on my shelf for a while, but haven’t been in the mood for it until now. I hear wonderful things.

In the meantime, I highly recommend you discover Ender’s Game for yourself because it’s brilliant!

The Mad Ship (Liveship Traders #2) by Robin Hobb

771713

BLURB:

Robin Hobb returns to the sea with Mad Ship, the second book in a projected trilogy set in the same world as her famed Farseer series. Many unresolved questions from Ship of Magic are answered in this tale of sea serpents and dragons; living ships made of wizardwood; the Bingtown Trader families who sail the ships; and their disfigured cousins, the Rain Wild Traders, who build them.

I was supposed to read this a few weeks ago, but by the time I got to it, I found I wasn’t ready, so I placed it aside. Now, I’m going to try again and hope for better motivation 🙂

AND

Justice Hall (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #6) by Laurie R. King

6494790Blurb:

Only hours after Holmes and Russell return from solving one riddle on the moor, another knocks on their front door…literally.

It’s a mystery that begins during the Great War, when Gabriel Hughenfort died amidst scandalous rumors that have haunted the family ever since. But it’s not until Holmes and Russell arrive at Justice Hall, a home of unearthly perfection set in a garden modeled on Paradise, that they fully understand the irony echoed in the family motto, Justicia fortitudo mea est: “Righteousness is my strength.”

A trail of ominous clues leads Holmes and Russell from an English hamlet to fashionable Paris to the wild prairie of the New World. But as the moment of reckoning approaches, will justice be done…or have they been lured straight into an elusive killer’s perfectly baited trap?

It’s been a while since I last read one of these so I’m looking forward to it. Mary is such a wonderful protagonist and the last story set her too far in the background for my liking. Here’s hoping she shines more in this one!


Well, that’s it for me friends! Please share your own reading adventures or WWW link in the comments. Let’s keep the love of books ever growing!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith    quill-ink

WWW Wednesday | The Eighteenth

Greeting Friends!

Another Wednesday is upon, which means another post to share what I’ve been reading, am reading and will be reading 🙂

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Care to join in sharing your weekly reads, all you have to do is answer these 3 questions:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Here are my answers.

Note: All covers/blurbs are from Goodreads.


WHAT I AM CURRENTLY READING

Witch Infernal (Infernal Hunt #3) by Holly Evans

Witch Infernal (Infernal Hunt Book 3) by [Evans, Holly]Blurb:

Evelyn Hawke wasn’t made for the quiet life. She’s bored.

Luckily for her, things start going wrong, and she’s expected to fix everyone else’s problems. A trio of celestials task Evie and her friends with the job of tracking down the witch who opened the hellmouth and putting an end to her. Little do they know that the witch has big plans and a far-reaching influence.

Timing seemed to really work with me this week. I just finished reading Jane Eyre Monday night in time for Witch Infernal’s release yesterday! I dove into last night and got about halfway through! Evie is as wonderful as always and I just love the cast of characters that surrounds her. A wonderful band. Fast-paced and gripping as ever, if you haven’t read the first two yet, I highly recommend you do 🙂

WHAT I RECENTLY FINISHED READING

Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab

25667118Blurb

Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London – but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her ‘proper adventure’.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — trickier than they hoped.

I had heard so many people talk about ADSOM and all good things. The premise solidified my desire to pick it up. While I was worried that overhype might diminish my enjoyment, it’s now safe to say that, not only did it meet expectations, but it exceeded them like Hermione taking her O.W.L.s! There was so much to love about it. The style of V.E.’s writing, the characters of Kell and Lila, the whole concept of different Londons so well conceived and conveyed! Easily one of my favourite reads this year ❤

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Harry Potter #8) by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne

29056083

Blurb:

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

I read through this play really quickly and when I first finished it, I thought: what a wonderfully nostalgic play that I absolutely love. And then I started to consider it and the holes and gaps and irritations were able to break through my initial ‘Harry Potter can never disappoint’ mindset. It’s difficult to criticize this stageplay when it’s borne from my most beloved childhood series, one I still reread to this day. And yes, I could complain about so many things, but that would be nitpicking. At the end of the day, JK gave us an opportunity to return to the world of Harry and, despite its faults, it is still an adventure that reminds me of the magic I first fell in love with and I cannot begrudge her that.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

https://dynamic.indigoimages.ca/books/1785996320.jpg?altimages=true&width=260&quality=85&maxheight=400&lang=en&z=3.6.90.3.6.2.10112-8Blurb:

Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead, subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity.

She takes up the post of governess at Thornfield, falls in love with Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman’s passionate search for a wider and richer life than Victorian society traditionally allowed.

With a heroine full of yearning, the dangerous secrets she encounters, and the choices she finally makes, Charlotte Bronte’s innovative and enduring romantic novel continues to engage and provoke readers.

Dear Reader, if this book were a man, I’d marry it 😉

My annual reread of my beloved classic never disappoints. Actually, I think in the past year my mind has become so swept up in life, I forgot all the wonderful intricacies that make this story beautiful. In my book tag post yesterday, I mentioned that Jane and Rochester are one of my OTPs, and they really are. But it’s more than the romance that draws me in. It’s the intrigue and the development of Jane’s character as she struggles with a need to be moral, to hold back her passions, to do what is right and good. She is one of my favourite heroines. If you’ve never read this masterpiece, you really should!

WHAT I KNOW I’LL BE READING NEXT

The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant

Blurb:

142939Birth of Venus, draws readers into a turbulent 15th-century Florence, a time when the lavish city, steeped in years of Medici family luxury, is suddenly besieged by plague, threat of invasion, and the righteous wrath of a fundamentalist monk. Dunant masterfully blends fact and fiction, seamlessly interweaving Florentine history with the coming-of-age story of a spirited 14-year-old girl. As Florence struggles in Savonarola’s grip, a serial killer stalks the streets, the French invaders creep closer, and young Alessandra Cecchi must surrender her “childish” dreams and navigate her way into womanhood.

I’ve had this book on my shelf for a while — it’s one I bought for 2$ at a book sale. I haven’t read a historical fiction recently, so I’m looking forward to it.

A Swiftly Twisting Planet (Time Quintet #3) by Madeleine L’Engle

195816

Blurb (edited to avoid spoilers):

He and Gaudior must travel into the past on the winds of time to try to find a Might-Have-Been – a moment in the past when the entire course of events leading to the present can be changed, and the future of Earth – this small, swiftly tilting planet – saved.

I loved the first two — so whimsical and unique as they were. I can’t wait to see what L’Engle brings to the table next 🙂

 


That’s it for me today! Let me know what your reading or drop a link to your WWW Wednesday in the comments and I’ll come around 🙂

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink