Child of the Northern Spring (Guinevere 1) by Persia Woolley
In an age alive with portents and magic, a spirited young beauty rode out of the rugged Celtic lands to wed the great warrior king, Arthur. Now, at las, Guinevere herself unfolds the legend.
Born a princess, raised to be a queen, Guinevere traveled the length of England protected by the wise enchanter Merlin. As Britain struggled out of a long darkness, scattered armies raised the cry for war and old gods challenged the new in combats mortal and immortal. And Guinevere encountered her destiny in the fabled dreams of her king. She would reign as High Queen of all Britain, but her most perilous adventure was yet to come…the journey from royal innocent to passionate lover. (Goodreads)
Story starts when Guinevere is a child, the Romans has left and the Saxons are coming. Arthur isn’t King yet and there is no round table. I liked that there’s no dragons, magic or anything like that but it’s more based on fact.
I like that Guinevere is strong and independet who loves horses but the first half of the book was rather boring. It gets better after she mets Arthur. And the time jumps were annoying! I don’t like when time jump happens and it’s not clearly stated and you spend 2 pages wondering what the hell is going on.
This was a good start in a series and I’m curious to see how the story continues and hoping there’s more action in the future!
Published: Poseidon Press (1987)
Source: my own
The Magician’s Apprentice (The Black Magician Trilogy 0.5) by Trudi Canavan
Taking place hundreds of years before the events of “The Magicians’ Guild, The Magician’s Apprentice “is the new novel set in the world of Trudi Canavan’s Black Magician trilogy.
In the remote village of Mandryn, Tessia serves as assistant to her father, the village Healer. Her mother would rather she found a husband. But her life is about to take a very unexpected turn.
When the advances of a visiting Sachakan mage get violent, Tessia unconsciously taps unknown reserves of magic to defend herself. Lord Dakon, the local magician, takes Tessia under his wing as an apprentice.
The hours are long and the work arduous, but soon an exciting new world opens up to her. There are fine clothes and servants and – to Tessia’s delight – regular trips to the great city of Imardin.
However, Tessia is about to discover that her magical gifts bring with them a great deal of responsibility. For a storm is approaching that threatens to tear her world apart. (Goodreads)
Tessia is the village healer’s daughter and has nearly an obsession with healing. After an incident in Lord Dakon’s house She shows that she has magic and her life is gonna change forever. Lord Dakon takes her as his apprentice and his other apprentice, Jayan, is none too happy about it. And soon Kyralia is being invaded by Sachaka, a neighbour country, who gave them their independence.
The other story follows a Sahaka woman named Stara who finds herself married because she has to get pregnant and her sister-in-law’s life depends on it.
I truly enjoyed this book! I loved the relationship between Tessia and Jayan. Jayan is from noble family and first thinks Tessia as simple peasant and is jealous about the time Dakon takes teaching her. I loved how they’re relationship changed with time and develops into friendship.
I thought it was interesting how the magician’s must obtain more power from the apprentice’s and aren’t all powerful once getting to certain level.
The only complain I have is that while I liked Stara and the story, I thought it was quite unnecessary. It was more like two completely different storys. Stara met Jayan and Tessia once for like 3 seconds and that was it. But it was kinda refreshing to move to other story for awhile.
I think it would have helped if I had read her other books before but it can stand as a stand alone.
Published: Orbit (2010)
Source: my own
Glass Houses (The Morganville Vampires 1) by Rachel Caine
It’s a small college town filled with quirky characters. But when the sun goes down, the bad comes out. Because in Morganville, there is an evil that lurks in the darkest shadows—one that will spill out into the bright light of day.
Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation. The popular girls never let her forget just where she ranks on the school’s social scene: somewhere less than zero. And Claire really doesn’t have the right connections—to the undead who run the town.
When Claire heads off campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Hew new roommates don’t show many signs of life. But they’ll have Claire’s back when the town’s deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood.. (Goodreads)
I have to say that I was positively surprised about this book and very much enjoyed this. I’m not usually huge fan og these kinds of books because it’s just too YA for me. At least there was no sparkly vampires or going out in the sun.
I liked Claire but I wished at times that she would have more spirit but I guess time for that comes later on… There was few “omg, he’s so hott” scenes that could have been left out but thankfully there wasn’t many of them. What I didn’t gt why was it such a big deal that Claire was nearly 17 and the boy’s were nearly 19? Not sure if Michael was actually 19 but anyway… I mean it’s still only 2 years. I mean that’s kinda normal and not in “Eww, that’s gross! category.
And I cant believe that the book ended on such an evil cliffhanger! That’s just…wrong! Now I have to read the next book.
Published: Allison & Busby
Source: my own
Angel Time (The Songs of the Seraphim 1) by Anne Rice
The novel opens in the present. At its center: Toby O’Dare—a contract killer of underground fame on assignment to kill once again. A soulless soul, a dead man walking, he lives under a series of aliases—just now: Lucky the Fox—and takes his orders from “The Right Man.”
Into O’Dare’s nightmarish world of lone and lethal missions comes a mysterious stranger, a seraph, who offers him a chance to save rather than destroy lives. O’Dare, who long ago dreamt of being a priest but instead came to embody danger and violence, seizes his chance. Now he is carried back through the ages to thirteenth-century England, to dark realms where accusations of ritual murder have been made against Jews, where children suddenly die or disappear . . . In this primitive setting, O’Dare begins his perilous quest for salvation, a journey of danger and flight, loyalty and betrayal, selflessness and love. (Goodreads)
The first half of the book tells how Toby came to be an assasin. About his childhood in New Orleans with alcoholic mother and little brother and sister after his fathers death. He’s practically taking care of his sisters and running the house and the thing that helps him going through al this is playing a lute. He has great love for historic books about medieval religious stuff and when he was little he dreamed becoming a priest. But all this ends when he comes home and finds his whole family dead. He leaves without leaving a trace behind. Some time after going to New York he meets a man who’s going to change his life and making him come an assasin. He meets an angel on his latest mission and the angel, Malchiah, send him to 13th century England to save a Jewish family.
I had some fears about reading this book because I couldn’t finish the first Christ book. But I’m a huge fan of hers and love all her other books so I had to try. And I’m glad I did. It’s not just about angels, it’s more about a man trying to find himself. While most of the religious stuff went over my head I always love her writing style and how she describes everything. I have no knowledge about Jews in that time period, or much in general, so it’s interesting to learn more.
Published: Knopf Doubleday
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Source: my own
The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant
Alessandra Cecchi is not quite fifteen when her father, a prosperous cloth merchant, brings a young painter back from northern Europe to decorate the chapel walls in the family’s Florentine palazzo. A child of the Renaissance, with a precocious mind and a talent for drawing, Alessandra is intoxicated by the painter’s abilities.
But their burgeoning relationship is interrupted when Alessandra’s parents arrange her marriage to a wealthy, much older man. Meanwhile, Florence is changing, increasingly subject to the growing suppression imposed by the fundamentalist monk Savonarola, who is seizing religious and political control. Alessandra and her native city are caught between the Medici state, with its love of luxury, learning, and dazzling art, and the hellfire preaching and increasing violence of Savonarola’s reactionary followers. Played out against this turbulent backdrop, Alessandra’s married life is a misery, except for the surprising freedom it allows her to pursue her powerful attraction to the young painter and his art. (Goodreads)
I have to say that I wanted to like this more than I did. I don’t know much about Italy and I wish I’d knew more about the things that happened in the book. I didn’t feel connected to the characters and the only one that I wanted to read about was the painter, who isn’t mentioned by name. I did some skipping in the beginning but it did get better towards the end.
Published: Random House (2004)
Source: my own