Posts Tagged ‘Historical Fiction’

A CLASH OF KINGS by George R R Martin is 969 pages in Paperback length. This is #2 in A Song Of Fire And Ice Series.

Brief Description:

A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. And from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war. It is a tale in which brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside. Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, victory may go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel…and the coldest hearts. For when kings clash, the whole land trembles.

 

My Review:

This series will not let you stop reading.  To me that means the writing is so good, you just have to read the next chapter and then the next one.  I was told in the beginning to not become attached to any of the characters as bad things happen.  This is so true.  It does not detract from the book though and in fact I think it make that much better.  Because you are always wondering what will happen next.

The only thing is all the different characters in the book, sometimes becomes a bit much.  They may have minor parts and that is why you don’t really have to remember them.  This book did not really talk much about Rob and what he was up to.  It was more about the other main characters.

This to me had a bit more of the fantasy aspect of it, because there are dragons and wildlings in this one.  It is still historical in nature to me and possibly that is why it holds your interest for the entire span of the book.  The kings and knights are fighting amongst themselves and you never know who will win.

Interesting surprises in this one and I can’t wait to see what happens to Jon Snow, Arrya and Tyrion.  I believe these to be my favorite characters.  Bran is becoming a much more interesting character too and I want to see how he develops into a young man.

I am giving this 5 out of 5 stars.  This is not a book you can put down for a couple of days and then pick back up, you need to keep reading as there are so many characters to keep track of.

THE MAN FROM ST. PETERSBURG by Ken Follett is 305 pages in length in Hardback form. It would be classed as historical fiction with a little mystery thrown in.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION:

In 1914, Germany arms for war and the allies are preparing their defences. Both sides need Russia. The Earl of Walden and Winston Churchill plan a secret Russian alliance, but a man steals into England, intent on leaving his mark on history. Fate catches up with a beautiful woman, a young girl and a star-crossed lover, while the police close in on the man who might bring England to her knees.

MY REVIEW:

I loved this book.  It is very well written and makes you want to keep reading the next page.  This is my second book by Mr. Follett and I want to read everything he has written, as the history lessons are wonderful.  This concerned the time just before WWI was started.  There was a slight mention of Churchill throughout the book.  You didn’t really get to know him in this book, but he was talked about and did make some statements throughout the book.

The characters whether they were good or bad were very likeable.  In a way you could understand their point of view even though it might be radical in nature.  It was also interesting to hear about the Suffragettes and Mrs. Pankhurst the leader of the movement.

I am giving this 5 out of 5 stars as it was very well written.  I enjoyed learning all about the treaty that was made between Russia and England before the start of WWI.  The give and take on both sides to come to the agreement and how people were out to stop that alliance.

 

 

THE BOUNDLESS DEEP by Kate Brallier is 432 pages in length in trade paperback form.

Brief Description:

Philosophers have said that we travel through our lives, past and present, surrounded by the same souls, that we spend each new life trying to mend the hurts we’ve done to one another in the past. In The Boundless Deep, Kate Brallier explores this idea in a combination of strong storytelling and gifted characterization. Grad student Liza has long been plagued by vivid dreams of whaling. Offered the chance to trade her land-locked existence for a summer on Nantucket, the well-preserved heart of New England’s whaling trade, Liza jumps at the chance, eager to see how well her dreams mesh with historical reality. The answer is: all too well. Liza’s dreams become highly sexual; her visions of ship’s captain Obadiah Young grow increasingly intense. At times the past and present mix before her eyes, with automobiles replaced by horse-drawn carriages.Though skeptical of Liza’s claims of a past life, whaling museum curator Adam is drawn to Liza’s intense desire to know the truth-about herself, and about Obadiah, accused of murdering his beautiful, young wife.But Adam isn’t the only man with an interest in Liza-handsome Lucian, whose home Liza is sharing for the season, has designs on her as well.In a single summer, Liza must answer the riddle of her dreams, reunite lovers separated by death, solve a hundred-year-old murder . . . and figure out her heart’s desire.

My Review:

I found this book to be very good.  It had a little history, a little romance,  and a few paranormal features to it.  At times you felt like you were back in Nantucket in the 1800′s.  I found this to be fascinating as the present was combined with the past.  There are very interesting dreams that seemed to reflect what happened in the past and why the dreams kept happening, as if the story needed to be told again and forgiveness given.  This was the most important part of the book for me.

I enjoyed learning about whaling and what the men went through on the seas.  I also found it interesting that they would stay out for years at a time and then come to shore.  I figured it was weeks and not years.

To me this had a literary feel to it even though it clearly was a romance novel.  The words seemed to flow from page to page and I thought it was well written.  This author is an editor of books though, so that might be the reason why.

I am giving this 4 out of 5 stars as it seemed to be a bit long and there was a bit more romance than I like, but that is my personal opinion as I am not much of a romance reader.

WHITE DOVES AR MORNING by James Lee Burke is 305 pages in hardback form. This would be considered historical fiction and was written about the Civil War period.

 

Brief description:

861. Two young Southerners, friends despite their differing political views and backgrounds, enlist in the 18th Louisiana regiment of the Confederate Army: Robert Perry, wealthy and privileged, and irreverent Willie Burke, the son of Irish immigrants, face the trials of battle and find redemption in the love of a passionate and committed abolitionist, Abigail Downing, and in the courageous struggle of Flower Jamison, a beautiful slave. Filled with a cast of unforgettable characters, and penetrating a landscape of shattering Civil War bloodshed as few novels have, this epic from an American literary giant endows readers with the gift of experiencing the past through new eyes, while its timeless prose style–at once luminous and brutal–ensures the legacy of this bloodiest of conflicts will never be lost.
I loved this book and would recommend if you like to read about the Civil War period and like a little grit.  I feel that this was a true depiction of the life and times of all the people in that period.  Not just the Southerners, but the Northerners as well.  I felt moved by some of the words in this book.  To me he writes with words of a poet and very literary in nature.  It is even quite possible you may need a dictionary at times, but if read in the context can surely figure it out.
I have read most of the books that James Lee Burke has written and I think this is one of my favorites.  Very poignant, and left me with a feeling of woe.  I know from reading this book that these were not easy times and everyone worked for what they owned, even those that came from affluent parents.  Because it appears everything was taken from them and they literally had to start over.  A very interesting period in our history.  I am appalled at the conditions of that time and am glad I live in a more tolerant period.
I am giving this 5 out of 5 stars.  I feel that it is one of the best books I have read so far this year.