Monthly Archives

September 2016

reviews

Days of Sun and Glory by Anna Belfrage

02_days-of-sun-and-gloryDays of Sun and Glory (The King’s Greatest Enemy 2) by Anna Belfrage

Adam de Guirande has barely survived the aftermath of Roger Mortimerís rebellion in 1321. When Mortimer manages to escape the Tower and flee to France, anyone who has ever served Mortimer becomes a potential traitor – at least in the eyes of King Edward II and his royal chancellor, Hugh Despenser. Adam must conduct a careful balancing act to keep himself and his family alive. Fortunately, he has two formidable allies: Queen Isabella and his wife, Kit. England late in 1323 is a place afflicted by fear. Now that the kingís greatest traitor, Roger Mortimer, has managed to evade royal justice, the king and his beloved Despenser see dissidents and rebels everywhere ñ among Mortimerís former men, but also in the queen, Isabella of France.

Their suspicions are not unfounded. Tired of being relegated to the background by the kingís grasping favourite, Isabella has decided it is time to act – to safeguard her own position, but also that of her son, Edward of Windsor. As Adam de Guirande has pledged himself to Prince Edward he is automatically drawn into the queenís plans – whether he likes it or not.

Yet again, Kit and Adam are forced to take part in a complicated game of intrigue and politics, while other just want to play fun games, and take a look at them . Yet again, they risk their lives – and that of those they hold dear – as the king and Mortimer face off. Once again, England is plunged into war ñ and this time it will not end until either Despenser or Mortimer is dead.

Days of Sun and Glory is the second in Anna Belfrageís series, The Kingís Greatest Enemy, the story of a man torn apart by his loyalties to his lord, his king, and his wife.

It was great to see that Adam and Kit have managed to get such a happy marriage despite the way it started. It’s not all happy times but they’re still there for each other and I love their relationship.

I wasn’t a fan of Mortimer in book 1 and I’m still not but I was waiting to see how Adam would feel about the future and Mortimer’s role in it. It seems Adam has chosen prince Edward’s side and I’m glad about that. I wonder how that will go in the future.

I was so glad that Joan didn’t just forgive her husband all the misery he had cost her. I’ve always wondered what she thought about all that Mortimer was doing and his affair with the queen.

I liked the future Edward III and I hope we’ll see much more about him in the next book. I felt bad for Hugh Despenser but then again I have a soft spot for him. This isn’t my view of him in the book but it worked here.

Another great book by Anna Belfrage and this was even better than the previous book. I just wanted to keep reading! I really loved this and I can’t wait for the next book.

4,5/5

Published: Matador (July 4, 2016)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 418
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

About the Author03_Annna_Belfrage 2015

Had Anna been allowed to choose, sheíd have become a professional time-traveller. As such a profession does as yet not exists, she settled for second best and became a financial professional with two absorbing interests, namely history and writing. These days, Anna combines an exciting day-job with a large family and her writing endeavours.

When Anna fell in love with her future husband, she got Scotland as an extra, not because her husband is Scottish or has a predilection for kilts, but because his family fled Scotland due to religious persecution in the 17th century ñ and were related to the Stuarts. For a history buff like Anna, these little details made Future Husband all the more desirable, and sparked a permanent interest in the Scottish Covenanters, which is how Matthew Graham, protagonist of the acclaimed The Graham Saga, began to take shape.

Set in 17th century Scotland and Virginia/Maryland, the series tells the story of Matthew and Alex, two people who should never have met ñ not when she was born three hundred years after him. With this heady blend of romance, adventure, high drama and historical accuracy, Anna hopes to entertain and captivate, and is more than thrilled when readers tell her just how much they love her books and her characters.

Presently, Anna is hard at work with her next project, a series set in the 1320s featuring Adam de Guirande, his wife Kit, and their adventures and misfortunes in connection with Roger Mortimerís rise to power. The Kingís Greatest Enemy is a series where passion and drama play out against a complex political situation, where todayís traitor may be tomorrowís hero, and the Wheel of Life never stops rolling.

The first installment in the Adam and Kit story, In the Shadow of the Storm, was published in 2015. The second book, Days of Sun and Glory, will be published in July 2016.

Other than on her website, www.annabelfrage.com, Anna can mostly be found on her blog, http://annabelfrage.wordpress.com ñ unless, of course, she is submerged in writing her next novel. You can also connect with Anna on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 29
Kick Off at Passages to the Past
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Tuesday, August 30
Review at Beth’s Book Nook Blog
Review at Historical Fiction Obsession

Wednesday, August 31
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Spotlight at Queen of All She Reads

Thursday, September 1
Review at Lampshade Reader
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Friday, September 2
Review at Book Nerd

Monday, September 5
Review at Just One More Chapter

Tuesday, September 6
Guest Post at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Wednesday, September 7
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Guest Post at A Literary Vacation

Thursday, September 8
Interview at Books and Benches
Character Interview at Flashlight Commentary

Friday, September 9
Review at A Holland Reads

Monday, September 12
Review at Broken Teepee

Tuesday, September 13
Review at Let Them Read Books
Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Wednesday, September 14
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Thursday, September 15
Review at Seize the Words: Books in Review

Monday, September 19
Review at A Book Drunkard

Tuesday, September 20
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, September 21
Review at It’s a Mad Mad World

Friday, September 23
Review at The True Book Addict
Spotlight at The Reading Queen

Monday, September 26
Review at Diana’s Book Reviews

Tuesday, September 27
Guest Post at Passages to the Past

Thursday, September 29
Review at Bookramblings

 

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reviews

Karolina’s Twins by Ronald H. Balson

karolinas-twinsKarolina’s Twins by Ronald H. Balson

From the author of Once We Were Brothers comes a saga inspired by true events of a Holocaust survivor’s quest to fulfill a promise, return to Poland and find two sisters lost during World War II.

Lena Woodward, an elderly woman, enlists the help of both lawyer Catherine Lockhart and private investigator Liam Taggart to appraise the story of her harrowing past in Nazi occupied Poland. At the same time, Lena’s son Arthur presents her with a hefty lawsuit under the pretense of garnering her estate—and independence—for his own purposes. Where these stories intersect is through Lena’s dubious account of her life in war-torn Poland, and her sisterhood with a childhood friend named Karolina. Lena and Karolina struggled to live through the atrocity of the Holocaust, and at the same time harbored a courageous, yet mysterious secret of maternity that has troubled Lena throughout her adult life. In telling her story to Catherine and Liam, Lena not only exposes the realities of overcoming the horrors of the Holocaust, she also comes to terms with her own connection to her dark past.

Karolina’s Twins is a tale of survival, love, and resilience in more ways than one. As Lena recounts her story, Catherine herself also recognizes the unwavering importance of family as she prepares herself for the arrival of her unborn child. Through this association and many more, both Lena and Catherine begin to cherish the dogged ties that bind not only families and children, but the entirety of mankind. (Goodreads)

Lena Woodward is a Holocaust survivor who wants to fulfill a promise she made to her friend over 70 years ago. She wants to find her friends twins that were lost during the war in a Nazi occupied Poland. She hires Liam Taggert and Catherine Lockhart to solve the case but Lena’s son isn’t happy about the plan. He thinks his mother is delusional and senile and wants guardianship over Len’s matters.

Even though this is the third book in a series, it works fine as a stand-alone. It was a sad book but also very good. I didn’t want to put the book down but keep reading!
We have two timelines: Modern day where Lena tells the story to Catherine and Liam, and past where we follow Lena during the war. I thought it was easy to follow what timeline we were but I’ve read that many thought was messy.

I liked Lena, Catherine and Liam but Lena’s son Arthur was a jerk. He was just concerned with his inheritance and not his mother’s wellbeing.

I loved this and I’ll have to read the previous books soon.

5/5

Published: St. Martin’s Griffin (September 6, 2016)
Format: ebook
Source: Netgalley

reviews

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

schwabA Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2) by V.E. Schwab

Four months have passed since the shadow stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Rhy was wounded and the Dane twins fell, and the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift, and into Black London.

In many ways, things have almost returned to normal, though Rhy is more sober, and Kell is now plagued by his guilt. Restless, and having given up smuggling, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks like she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games—an extravagant international competition of magic, meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries—a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

But while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life, and those who were thought to be forever gone have returned. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night reappears in the morning, and so it seems Black London has risen again—meaning that another London must fall. (Goodreads)

I usually write the review right after reading the book and now it’s been some time I finished but still wanted to write few things about it.

First of all, that ending was evil! And it’s so long before book 3 comes out. I just hate cliffies…

I’m still not a huge fan of Lila. She’s bit less annoying here than in the last book but still. She’s arrogant and too reckless without thinking if anyone else gets hurt. She meets the pirate captain Alucard whom I liked. Hope we see more of him in the future.

Rhy and Kell aren’t doing too well after the events in the last book. Kell is out of favor with the king and queen. I really wanted to hit them, king and queen I mean.

Rarely book 2 is as good as book 1 but this really was. Loved this and can’t wait for book 3. I need book 3!

4,5/5

Published: Titan Books (February 23, 2016)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 508
Source: Library

meme

Mailbox Monday (5.9.2016)

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

I haven’t posted Mailbox Monday for some time so these books aren’t very new. But here’s what I got:

books5.9.16
Days of Sun and Glory by Anna Belfrage (for review)
The Rival Queens by Nancy Goldstone (bought)
Twelve Kings by Bradley P. Beaulieu (purchased)
Eater of Hearts: The Book of Coming Forth by Day: Part Three by Libbie Hawker (bought)
House of Rejoicing: Part 1 of the Book of Coming Forth by Day by Libbie Hawker (bought)