Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Watch the Lady by Elizabeth Fremantle

Penelope Devereux has an interesting position at Elizabeth I's court. Daughter of one of Elizabeth's enemies and cousins, she is also favored due to her stepfather and the Queen's favoritism. As such, she is close to the Queen, but that isn't always a good thing. Politics and family life takes it toll on Penelope and her small family.
I loved this book. Fremantle is an amazing author. I enjoyed seeing life from a woman's point of view, when women were dismissed. I also liked how Penelope defended her family through all things.
Excellent read!
I received a review copy from the publisher. Thank you.

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Burning Land by Bernard Cornwell

After winning a major battle over Harald Bloodhair, Uhtred's joy is stolen from him with Gisela's death in childbirth. Uhtred is devasted and when Gisela's honor is attacked, Uhtred kills the offending brother. Uhtred flees Lundene, leaving behind Alfred's "justice" and his former life.

This installation in the Saxon Tales is by far the hardest to read. Uhtred's life seems to be unraveling and readers can't help but mourn along with him. I did enjoy it and I loved knowing that old Uhtred will be back!
I borrowed this book from the local library. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Sword Song by Bernard Cornwell

Now that Lundene is firmly under Alfred's control though his son in law, Uhtred is in charge of Lundene's defenses. A Dane has risen from the dead and declared that Uhred will be King of Mercia. Uthred now has two choices: ally himself with the Norse brothers and betray Alfred or remain the sole Dane in Alfred's Saxon Court.

The series is becoming far more complex. Uthred is now older and wiser, but he still retains his impulsive nature and belief in fate. Gisela, his wife and mother of his three children, tempers his reactions and provides a good counter weight. Alfred is still Alfred. All of these personalities crash as fate spins their stories. I loved this book. The war scenes are perfect, the twists are amazing and its perfect!

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Lord's of the North by Bernard Cornwell

Uhtred has been tasked by Alfred to assist Guthred, King of Northumbria, in his removal of the Danes. Seeking revenge for Ragnar the Fearless' death and wanting Bebbanburg back, Uhtred is all too happy to help. But Guthred sells Uhtred into slavery and allows the Danes to become powerful. Freed from his bonds, Uthred desires revenge, and love. 

This novel is a bit more tactical and slower than the others. Uhtred faces a lot more challenges, but he proves himself. I enjoyed watching him fall in love. Very good novel.I love these books!
I received this book from my library's digital service, Lib2go. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Pale Horseman by Bernard Cornwell

Uhtred, now tied to Wessex by marriage and debt, is growing restless. Alfred, angry with Uhtred, is leaving him to rot like the ship Uthred used to command. When his old friends show up with one of Alfred's ship, Uhtred convinces the crew to go raiding. They end up Briton territory, fighting with Svein of White Horse. Uhtred brings Iseult, a shadow queen home only to find that Wessex is still not at peace. 

Uhtred is amazing in this novel. I loved seeing him be himself and not what Alfred wants him to be. I admit I also grew to like his supporting cast of Leofric and Iseult. I look forward to the next one.
I got this book from my library's digital service, Lib2go. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Daughter of Sand and Stone by Libbie Hawker

Zenobia, Daughter of Palmyra's most powerful cheiftan, resists marriage, turning down each of her father's carefully selected suitors. After her father's untimely death at enemy hands, she arranges her own marriage to the Roman backed governor of Palmyra, even though he is happily married. Her married life is full of tension, she doesn't love her husband and the first wife hates her. Still she has a son and plots for the future of her City. When her husband dies, Zenobia bat-Zabbai takes up the banner to become Zenobia Augusta.
I was immediately drawn in to Zenobia's world. I loved her fierceness and also loved Zabdas. Hawker does a wonderful job of describing Palmyra without it becoming heavy handed. I did wish that Zenobia could have made different choices, but then she wouldn't have been extraordinary. Very good novel.
I received a review copy from the author. Thank you Libbie.

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Virgin's Spy by Laura Andersen

Stephen Courtenay, much like his father, is unbreakable. He is the perfect candidate for a campaign post in Ireland. However, when he comes back, revenge is always on his mind.
Anabel must continue to play the game of marriage and heir, even as her father, King Phillip, remarries Mary, former Queen of Scots and has two healthy twin sons.
England must also prepare for the coming war with Spain over the control of Ireland. 

I really enjoyed this book. Focusing mainly on Stephen, this book was a mix of action and plot. I enjoyed the foreshadowing, and can't wait to see how this trilogy ends. I can't say enough good things about this trilogy and her writing!

You can purchase this wonderful book tomorrow!

Thanks to the publisher for a review copy.