Posts Tagged With: historical

book review | The Age of Vikings by Anders Winroth

the age of the vikings anders winroth book coverAuthor: Anders Winroth
Title: The Age of Vikings
Series: –
Genre: History; Vikings
Pages: 320
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I’ve picked up “The Age of Vikings” by Anders Winroth after AC: Valhalla came out, and it’s one of the two history books I have on the topic. Can’t vouch for all facts in this, but there’s a lot of good and interesting stuff anyway.

About the Book: Book ranges all through what author calls Viking Age, as far as it can be traced, and in good detail, comparing stories, myths, tales, and what found evidence there is, paints a picture of how they came to be such a prominent force; what they gave to world, what they took from it, and what’s left of it all today.

My Opinion: This is pretty good, a fairly wide take on the topic, from farming to traditions, to values, to runes, to decor. Interesting and easy read.

A 4 out of 5, good starter book, just keep an open mind to learn beyond it. Or beyond what you have learned before it.

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Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, Historical Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Gilded Cage by K.J. Charles | 2

gilded cage kj charles book review historical romanceAuthor: K.J. Charles
Title: Gilded Cage
Series: Lillywhite Boys 2
Genre: Historical Romance; Mystery
Pages: 248
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Oh how I miss just reading one K.J. Charles book after another. Lillywhite boys is one of my favorite series too, so “Gilded Cage“, second book in it, was a treat.

About the Book: Templeton Lane, one of the Lillywhite Boys, notorious jewelry thief, is obsessed with opals. So when news spread of an exceptional piece out there, he can’t contain himself. But solo job went awry as soon as it began, in the eerily quiet house, with a dead man on the floor. Now Templeton is wanted for murder he didn’t commit, and there’s only one person on earth who might both believe him, and help him.

My Opinion: Opals, Templeton’s love for them, are so well described, that now even I want one or two. The story is cleverly written, with detective Lazarus, a former con artist herself, navigating intrigues, secrets, plots, and seemingly everyone’s feelings. To add to that there’s a whole bunch of lovable characters.

If you got this far, I probably don’t need to sell you on another KJC book. Go take yourself a treat, I give it a 5 out of 5.

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Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Books: Other Fiction, Books: Romance, Historical Fiction Books, historical romance, LGBTQ+ Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Detroit: An American Autopsy by Charlie LeDuff

charlie leduff detroit an american autopsy we are aliveAuthor: Charlie LeDuff
Title: Detroit: An American Autopsy
Series: –
Genre: History; Memoir
Pages: 304
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Digging into my nonfiction folder I’ve discovered “Detroit: An American Autopsy” by Charlie LeDuff. And it’s a very fine memoir.

About the Book: This is a memoir of a journalist and his city. Passionate, angry, full of determined home. Hope that something can be done, and determination to do all he can, as a journalist, knocking on all the doors, ringing all the damned bells, to reach someone, anyone, to help the living people in Detroit. A city where fires never cease for arson is cheaper than a movie. Where people rarely call the cops, and cops, in return, rarely come.

My Opinion: I know nothing of the Detroit as it is today, but if even half the good people described in this book got to something, I’m sure it’s a beautiful place to be. Author describes the crimes, the life, life and death in Detroit, the constant fires, and unreported bodies. And the good people within that do everything they can, people who don’t take life for granted, and try their best to get the most from it not just for themselves, but their family, their neighbor. You can feel the beating heart in these dark stories.

It’s a very fine piece. Probably not for everyone, but I can give a solid 5 out of 5.

Categories: 5-5, Biographies, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, Historical Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

diversity |”Unfit to Print” by K.J. Charles

2Author: K.J. Charles
Title: Unfit to Print
Series: –
Genre: Historical, LGBT Literature
Pages: 145
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

You know, this book almost smells of noir detectives, fancy suits, cigars, and private-eyes. It isn’t that, but the vibes were very right.

About: Vikram Pandey is a lawyer doing a lot of pro bono work for people to whom not everyone cares to ever help: immigrants. He goes out of his way to find missing people, help those who found themselves in need to sell themselves or their services, and is honestly distraught whenever he finds them dead.

This time a missing fella leads him straight to a bookstore where his childhood friend works. It’s one of the bookstores that sell filth if you ask right: a forbidden romance novel, an accommodating picture or two. Gil Lawless got here through hardships and horrible experiences that began when he himself went missing. Vikram then thought him dead, so a blow after a blow, his day is getting worse. For on top of this all, Gil seems to be aware of the missing lad. He might even suspect him to be connected to one already dead. But he doesn’t feel much need to help, no. Nobody helped him, after all.

Mine: Oh wow, okay, I really liked this one. A dangerous investigation in KJC’s style, really worked well, since she’s not afraid to hurt her characters. So the fear you feel reading is very real: that damn ax might just land where it was aimed at. I really like this kind of a complex but not messy and absolutely sensible detective story. On top of that, if I didn’t sell this to you yet: there’s a very mean kitty cat named Satan.

A great short little book for a quick rest. Damn how I missed me a good detective, I didn’t even realize. 5 out of 5, for sure.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Detective Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dracul by Dacre Stoker

1Author: Dacre Stoker
Title: Dracul
Series: –
Genre: Gothic, Historical
Pages: 512
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I’m a little overwhelmed. “Dracul” by Dacre Stoker definitely made me re-think all the books about vampire Dracula that I’ve ever read. And it got me real interested in Bram Stoker himself, so I hope to find books on the man, not just articles online that I’ve read extensively for hours after finishing this.

About: The book, at least at the start of it, is a loosely biographical on Bram Stoker. He was a very sickly child, bedridden. At age seven he almost died of fever, saved in a wicked dream by their mysterious nanna Ellen Crone. After he woke up, strong, and even able to get up, all healed and cured, everyone denied any help from Ellen, and claimed he was cured by his uncle and his leeches. Only his sister Matilda believed him. To add to the mystery, nanny herself packed up and disappeared without a word or anyone noticing, leaving kids on a wild investigation full of nightmares and more questions than answers, up until they had to abandon the cold trail. Nanna Ellen was gone for good. But only a few decades later Matilda spotted her in the streets of France, not aged a day, and the nightmares began again.

Mine: The whole search for Ellen Crone reminded me of Kostova’s “Historian“, and annoyed me to no end. There’s a lot of clue following, and a lot of nonsense too, like memories where you can look upon something from a different angle. What’s next, you open a locked door and know what’s behind it, all in a hypnotic memory? Dracul was a very childish and childishly stubborn idiot too, clever in his ways, but making no sense in his actions. There’s a lot of the “you’ll learn to love me” action that bothered me to no end too. And then the whole book was redeemed by author’s final word, which again makes me wonder: is the joke that had to be explained to be funny – really funny?

I will give this book a 4 out of 5, merely because it made me think and research things on my own. Anything that can evoke action or emotion in you in a book – is a well made thing. But honestly, make sure you love gothic classics, and that you don’t mind Kostova’s “Historian“, before picking this one up.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Dracula, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, General, Gothic Books, Historical Fiction Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Queer Trade by K.J. Charles | Rag and Bone 0.5

1.jpgAuthor: K.J. Charles
Title: A Queer Trade
Series: Rag and Bone 0.5
Genre: Romance, Historical
Pages: 59
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Yes, I have full intentions of getting through whole of K.J. Charles bibliography. I was also told that Rag and Bone series are set in the same world as Magpie Lord. So I started at the beginning, with “A Queer Trade“.

About: Crispin is a magician. An apprentice to an old and powerful warlock, who died a couple days ago. Yet the fact has only reached him today, which means he’s already in a lot of trouble. For the family who owns the house is getting ready to flip all they can. They crammed what books seemed important into a tiny little office, and were in a great progress of selling everything else away. They had no intentions on waiting for Crispin, after all, he should’ve known, somehow, that his master is going to die. So, for instance, papers with weird scribbles on the floor got sold to waste vendors. And waste vendors would then sell those to the market sellers, who will then proceed to wrap you produce in those papers. I invite you to imagine the dread that washed over Crispin at this realization: say, you bought a gutted, dead fish, and brought it home wrapped in a blood written spell paper that reanimates dead things… Yes. Chaos erupts, and magical police gets informed, and Crispin is indeed in one hell-ton of trouble.

Mine: As I was reading, I was dreading this is going to be one of those movie stories, where someone tries to get some kind of an object out of market, but copies just keep appearing. But KJC once again proved she’s very good as steering the plot through all the nooks and crannies, and not take the obvious road. It was a great fun. Made even better by appearance of Esther Gold, Stephen Day’s best friend. Really, love that woman. People should listen to her more, and argue with her less.

I really did enjoy this short little tense adventure with unexpected turn of events. So it gets 5 out of 5 from me, and I’m moving onto the full length book next.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Books: Other Fiction, Historical Fiction Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jordan L. Hawk “Necropolis” | Whyborne & Griffin 4

3Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Title: Necropolis
Series: Whyborne & Griffin 4
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Pages: 200
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Alright, time to continue a bit with Whyborne & Griffin before I forgot all about everything. Especially since these books didn’t fit into my October TBR, and since they are nice, and easy to read. Nothing too big, but not too little either.

About: After a mostly unsuccessful Christmas diner at Whyborne’s family, the couple’s Holiday is cut short by Christine’s hurried telegram explaining nothing at all, but requesting Whyborne to get to Egypt ASAP. Being a great introvert, Whyborne didn’t want to go, and had to be persuaded by Griffin, and a ghoul that attacked him at work. For in Egypt, under the dead scorched sands, something darkness is waking. Something evil, hungry, and very angry. And Christine, unknowingly, is stepping right in the middle of it.

Mine: People getting mad at Whyborne, because they thought he and Christine had a fling worked very well here. Best was Christine’s response when confronted about it: “ew“. These little incidents worked well with otherwise pretty stressful plot with too obvious villains, and too obvious masked heroes. I mean, I understand it’s not the goal of these books to serve you a detective, but… Ah, it don’t matter. The books are well written. The adventure was built in a perfectly smooth pace, with pauses for discussion, regrouping, a little bit of romance, and a little bit of comic relief, that this time came in a shape of a camel who stole Whyborne’s hats. Yes, multiple.

These are very light reads, and so far are fun too. Not utterly captivating, but I can still give it a solid 4 out of 5, and continue in November. Because really, why not? They might not put you on the edge of the chair, but they definitely won’t have you bored!

Categories: 4-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Historical Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ruta Sepetys – Salt to the Sea

25614492How wonderful it is when someone born so far away, living a life across the world, still looks back with care to where their roots are. Be it the World as a whole, nature as mother, or merely a country full of people who know exactly what your name is, and means. “Salt to the Sea” (ISBN 0399160302; 391p.; Goodreads) is the second book by Ruta Sepetys that I have read, and it confirms it: she’s wonderful.

The story is one of fleeing refugees, trapped among the two sides at war, two sides with little to no care of who dies, or who lives, as long as they can secure victory, or avoid defeat. Joana Vilkas is a nurse with consciousness weighted by the fate of her cousin, Lina Vilkas, from the previous book “Between Shades of Gray“. Lina was taken to Siberia, while Joana is running for a ship that’d take her to Germany, where she’d be reunited with her mother. Being a compassionate nurse she soon finds herself in a larger group of people. A wandering boy who just came out of the forest one day, claiming his granny never woke up. An old man, shoemaker, full of hopes, and plenty of positivism to share and spare. A giant woman they call Sorry Eva, for her mind lacks the filter when it comes to saying awful, brutal, and just disrespectful¬†things, adding “sorry” before or after. A blind girl with great sense of people around her. And the two they will soon meet.

Florian is running for his life, shrapnel in his body making it ever harder. He needed to stop, and so the underground bunker he stumbled upon seemed heaven-sent. Inside he didn’t lose a moment assessing the situation. A rowdy Russian soldier. A girl in pink hat, probably not older than his own sister, passed out in terror. Girl, Emilia, woke up to find a corpse staring at her, and her knight, her savior, who shot him. Lifting her own fears, and secrets up, she follows him, as the last good man on Earth.

Their destination is one: get on a ship to Germany. Russians are not only already surrounding the refugees, but are pressing in too. It was wonderful to see what broke people to put their darkest secrets into the hands of others. How among dread, and terror, hope in, and for humanity was born. I give it a firm 5 out of 5 for I could not possibly give it less.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Historical Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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