Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Wings by Aprilynne Pike

Laurel was mesmerized, staring at the pale things with wide eyes. They were terrifyingly beautiful—too beautiful for words.

Laurel turned to the mirror again, her eyes on the hovering petals that floated beside her head. They looked almost like wings.

In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.

This was an absolutely delightful tale! Although not all sugar and spice and all things nice.

Laurel is 15 and is unable to eat most things, quite amusingly she can drink Sprite and canned fruits and syrup. Laurel is a fairy, only she doesn't know it at the beginning of the story, Laurel has been home-schooled all her life and has to start school for real which she finds quite daunting and so enter love interest, David.

This is a love story with a fairy twist, Laurel finds a bump on her back which seems to grow and grow and she manages to cover it up until one day a big flower blooms out of her and that is not all a little love triangle develops enter another Faerie called Tamani, David and Tamani are as different to each other as you could get.

This was a really easy to follow book, apparently its aimed at the 'Twilight' set but, its lighter than that and personally I'm not a massive Twilight fan and think Stephenie Meyers books are slightly over-rated but, this was different it’s a really nice faerie tale but, in a way different to other faerie based books I've read (ie. Melissa Marr and O R Melling), apparently it’s the first of a 4 book series so will definitely be reading the rest.

I've also heard this is to be made into a film which might be good until I heard the lead role was to be played by Miley Cyrus! Never mind. Also interesting as its Aprilynne's first book, methinks Ms Meyer has more to do with this book than just the quote on the cover.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

SYNOPSIS Rule #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries.

Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty—especially if they learn of her Sight—and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens.

Rule #2: Don't speak to invisible faeries.

Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.

Rule #1: Don't ever attract their attention.

But it's too late. Keenan is the Summer King who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. He is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost—regardless of her plans or desires.

Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; her life; everything.

Faerie intrigue, mortal love, and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in Melissa Marr's stunning 21st century faery tale.


This was brilliant if you love any fiction about faeries then read it, read it, read it!

A YA fiction book yes but, I loved it as you can probably tell even though it was brilliant Aislinn was just an OK central character I didn't dislike her but, I didn't have a big connection with her I found the sub-characters more fascinating and for me they made the story.Keenan (Summer king) and Donia (Winter Girl) were for me more interesting. Keenans character really develops through the book whereas Aislinn I don't know she just seems to meander through.

Keenan seems not too likeable at first but, as I say his character does develop and I wanted to read more on him than anyone else, the book is at the basics about a Summer King looking for his Queen and he thinks he has found her in Aislinn but, Aislinn just wants to avoid faeries so it makes for an interesting quest.

This was a very well written story despite me not warming to Aislinn it really doesn't matter there is so much going on and never a boring moment and once you've read this you will look at carnivals in a different light and just wonder ...

Monday, 15 February 2010

Confessions of a Pagan Nun by Kate Horsley

Cloistered in a stone cell at the monastery of Saint Brigit, a sixth-century Irish nun secretly records the memories of her Pagan youth, interrupting her assigned task of transcribing Augustine and Patrick. She also writes of her fiercely independent mother, whose skill with healing plants and inner strength she inherited. She writes of her druid teacher, the brusque but magnetic Giannon, who first introduced her to the mysteries of written language. But disturbing events at the cloister keep intervening. As the monastery is rent by vague and fantastic accusations, Gwynneve's words become the one force that can save her from annihilation.


Quite a short book by my usual standards but, not one word was wasted, this was fantastic!

The pagan nun is Gwynneve and living in 6th century Ireland and in what is known as a Clochan, this is the building pictured on the cover. The clochan is at a monastery of St Brigit and is at the time of the Pagan-Christian conversion. Its so fascinating a Pagan nun seems so strange yet the book doesn't seem to shout that one is better than the other like you would think it would.

Gwynneve was raised as a Pagan but, it is after her mother dies that she converts to being a nun. This is not a happy book but, is also thought provoking too - read it if your Pagan, read it if your Christian in fact read it if your not religious at all.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Her Mothers Daughter by Julianne Lee

A new novel of sixteent-century royalty from the author of A Question of Guilt

Her name was Mary Tudor. First of the Tudor queens, she has gone down in history as Bloody Mary. But does she deserve her vicious reputation?

She was the daughter of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon, and half-sister to Edward VI and Elizabeth I. Mary Tudor's life began as the sweetly innocent, pampered princess of Wales-until the age of eleven when the father she adored cast aside the mother she worshipped and declared Mary a bastard. Only after years of exile did Mary finally rise to the throne alongside the man who, aside from her father, was her greatest love-and her greatest betrayer.

Told by Mary herself and the people around her, this grand-scale novel takes us back to the glittering court of sixteenth-century England, and tells the tragic story of a fascinating, largely misunderstood woman who withstood the treachery and passion around her only to become one of England's most vilified queens.


The beginning of this was rather different in that a group of schoolgirls in the present time conjure up the spirit of Mary Tudor. However, it doesn't detract and just launches the story.

The story does move along fast in places perhaps two fast and skips Mary's life by about 6 years, we are told of the major things that happened in Marys life like her fathers marriage to Anne Boleyn and also to Jane Seymour however, things are just zipoping from one thing to the other too quickly Henry dies, his son is on the throne I think she may have missed out the Sixth wife which seems a little odd as she was a major part of Henry's story.

Now that said if you can overlook these slight niggles (or that may just be me) it is a good read, certainly nowhere near as dire as Susannah Dunn's offerings, those with superior knowledge of the Tudor era may find this book a little irritating as there are some historical inaccuracies but, its not too bad, I don't usually rate books but, I'd say this is about a 3.5/5.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

The Virgin Queen's daughter by Ella March Chase

As captivating now as it was more than four centuries ago, the reign of Elizabeth I—with its scandal, intrigue, and resilience—has sparked the imaginations of generations. In her sweeping historical debut, Ella March Chase explores a thrilling possibility: that the Tudor bloodline did not end with the Virgin Queen.

Tucked away in the country estate of her beloved father, Lord Calverley, young Nell de Lacey feeds her hungry mind with philosophy, language, and studies of science. Her mother, once a devoted lady-in-waiting to Henry VIII’s last wife, Katherine Parr, would rather her daughter stop dabbling in the grand affairs of men and instead prepare for her eventual duties as a wife. She knows all too well what menace lurks in royal courts.

But Nell’s heart yearns for something more, and a chance meeting with Princess Elizabeth, then a prisoner of the Tower of London, pushes her closer toward finding it. Now, years later, Nell’s chance arrives when she is summoned to serve as a lady-in-waiting to the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth. Nell is entranced by the splendor and pageantry of royal life, unaware of the danger and deception that swirls around the monarch and her courtiers.

But a lingering rumor about nine unaccounted for months in the Virgin Queen’s past reignites when the flame-haired Nell—a mirror image of Her Majesty both physically and intellectually—arrives at court. Quickly she catches the eye not only of the cunning Elizabeth, but of those who would see the queen fail. With strong evidence to connect Elizabeth to her newest maid of honor and the politics of England in turmoil, the truth could send Nell and those she loves to the Tower to join in the wretched fates of those who’ve gone before her.

Engrossing and enlightening, The Virgin Queen’s Daughter brings to life one of the greatest mysteries of one of the greatest monarchs. Ella March Chase’s vivid storytelling gives due credence to a daughter who might have been and a mother who never was.

This was a very interesting and enlightening read and based on a rumour that went round before Elizabeth went to the throne. Some may think it is a little far fetched but, I think it is quite plausible that aside as historical fiction books go this was pretty good.

It is 1554 and a 5 year old Elinor de Lacey makes her first visit to London with her parents it is during this visit Elinor de Lacey encounters her first sight of Elizabeth, where she is being held in the Tower for a while during the reign of Mary Tudor.

Elinor de Lacey lives with her parents in the English countryside and after the death of her father Elinor de Lacey travels to London to serve at Elizabeth's court much to her mothers dismay (her adoptive mother).

I won't reveal too much about the storyline and I don't think this book would be for everyone it could be quite controversial, could a future Queen of England really have covered up having a child? The jury is still out for me, the romantic in me would love this story to be true but, I'm not so sure. And it is a good read and makes you wonder if it really was true, this story definitely makes it believable.