November 2018 Wrap Up

Hello!

I am here with November Wrap Up. This month I read a total of 8 books and a total of 3,238 pages.

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Top 5 Authors you’d Like to Write Like

Hi again! it’s been a while so I thought I’d so another Top 5 Wednesday. Today’s topic is the books we’re thankful for. In honour of NaNoWriMo wrapping up, we are discussing some authors we’d like to write like. Whether its their writing style, what genre they write in, or how many books they manage to churn out a year!

Speaking of NaNoWriMo, I am currently participating so hence why this post is late. Sorry!

Top 5 Wednesday was created over on BookTube by the wonderful Laniey at gingerreadslaniey and run by the lovely Sam of Thoughts on Tomes . Also you can check out the Goodreads page for past and future topics.

All the authors are listed in no particular order. And they’re all amazing and highly recommend that you read their work!

 


Sharon Kay Penman

I am in awe of this women’s work! They way she is able to add in all the necessary historical details and settings without getting in the way of her story. Also all her books are massive but don’t feel dragged out or weighed down by the page numbers. Penman’s ability to weave in the history and bring characters to life is something I’d like to achieve in my own work. When reading her books she has me hoping that maybe something different will happen and leaves me devastated it plays out like the history and tragedy ensues.

 


Kirsty Logan

I fell in love with Kirsty Logan’s work from the opening line of The Gracekeepers. Her poses has a poetic beauty and there’s a fairytale whimsy to her worlds that I adore. The way she’s able to mix fairytales with her narrative while given them new life is amazing—especially since I see ‘fairytale inspired’ or ‘fairytale retelling’ and by the book. I am so excited for a new book with is coming out next year. I love the fact that she uses the fairytales and folklore of her Scottish homeland. For me, I would love to be able to write in a lyrical fashion and weave in the folk stories I love.

 


Lani Taylor

Lani Taylor is a new discover for me, I read her Daughter of Smoke and Bone series earlier this and damn this girl can write! The prose is lyrical and her description are poetic. The world she created in this series is stunning and unlike any that I’ve read before and she has this way of uncovering the world and the creatures slowly revealing more each book. She’s found a way to balance a beautiful writing style with engaging and inventive world building and that this why she’s on this list.

 


F. Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald is hands down one of my favourite writers—next year I am hoping to read the rest of his works. His writing is breathtaking and feels effortless. He has a way of creating these deeply profound but succinct character descriptions. The way he built his characters was incredible. They are all deeply flawed human beings who at times frustrate you. His stories aren’t plot driven and it’s his group of very unlike characters that pull you through the narrative. You may not like them but you sure what to know how their lives turned out and if they will pay for their horrid life choices. I hope that I can learn something from his work and be able to create complex and engaging characters.

 


Conn Iggulden

Conn Iggulden’s Wars of the Roses series is amazing—even if he took the Shakespearian approach to my poor Richard. What makes his work so amazing is that he’s able to make these historical figures feel like fully formed people, like what you get in a fantasy or contemporary novel. All the history is there but it seems to unfold from these characters effortlessly so much so that at times I had to remind myself what genre I was reading. I am definitely going to pick up his other series. I’m interested to see what he’s done with The Huns and the Romans. I would love to be able to make historical characters feel like vivid and like they could jump of the page at any moment.

 


That’s all for me. Comment down below and let me know if you’ve read any of these or some of the books you’re thankful for.
Until next time, happy reading!
Dearna

5 Star Book Predictions

Hello!

How are you? Tell me all the things you’re reading!

Today I thought I do something a little different and share with you 5 books I have yet to read but think will be 5 star reads. I’ve been wanting to do this since I saw Mercedes from Mercy’s Bookish Musings video. I think it’s a really interesting exercise in seeing just how well you know your own reading tastes.

So the way this works is that I will share with you 5 books I think will be new favourites and why I think so. Then, once I’ve read them all, I will come back and share my thoughts and rating and see if I was right.

Onto the books!

 

The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth

The Wild Girl

I recently went to the Historical Novel Society of Australasia’s conference and got to hear Kate Forsyth talk — spoiler she was amazing! This book tells the story of Dortchen Wild the wife of Wilhelm Grimm and how she share fairytales with her husband. This sounds like it is going to be a perfect mix of fairytale and history and I can’t wait.

 

The Diviners by Libba Bray

Diviners

I’ve had this book to me recommended so many times by people who I trust so I think I should just get to it. It was everything I love in a book, awesome historical setting, magic, young adult protagonist, with a bit of crime.

 

The Reckoning by Sharon Penman

Reckoning

For me, this might be a safe bet seeing how I have yet to give any Sharon Penman book less than 5 stars. But I thought I’d include it because it is the last in the series and that always worries me a little. This is the third in her Welsh Prince’s trilogy and follows Llewlyn, Prince of Wales who finds himself on a collision course with the feudal realm of Edward I.

 

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride is hands down one of my favourite movies, Westley was my first movie crush. I am hoping the book will also become a favourite. I have high hopes because William Goldman also wrote the screenplay. This story has everything; humour, fencing, fighting, true love, giants, revenge and pirates. What else do you need?

 

The Last Days of Leda Grey by Essie Fox

Leda Grey

This is a book I brought because of the cover and I kept hearing about it. It’s not a period of history that I normally read but was one I saw drawn to after seeing it Historia Magazine. I haven’t hear anything else about this books but I’m excited. It follows silent actress, Leda Grey and her volatile love affair that left her recluse for over half a century.

 

That’s it for me. Comment down below and let me know what books you think will be 5 star reads.
Until next time, happy reading!
Dearna

My Favourite Richard III Novels

Hi all,

Yesterday, 22nd August, was 532nd anniversary of the Battle of Bosworth. It was on this day in 1485 that Henry Tudor defeated and killed Richard III, the last Plantagenet king, and took the English crown.

So I thought I would share with you my favourite Richard III books because:

  1. I adore medieval historical fiction,
  2. The Wars of the Roses are my favourite era hence my blog name and
  3. Richard III is my favourite monarch so much so that I have his motto tattooed.

Now onto the books!

1. The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman

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If I was pushed to pick a favourite novel of all time, this novel would be it. I adore Penman’s writing. For me it’s the perfect mix of research, compelling characters and engrossing scenes.

The Sunne in Splendour follows Richard Plantagenet from his childhood to his untimely death at Bosworth in 1845. Penman strips back the ugly myth of Richard, the vile hunchback king who murdered his nephews, The Princes in the Tower, and redeems him. Richard III might not horrible tyrant Tudor playwright, Shakespeare, wanted us to believe.

Born in the treacherous courts of 15th century England while the Yorks and Lancastrians fight for the crown, Richard was raised in the shadow of his charismatic brother, Edward IV. We see Richard as a loyal man, one who would defend his brother and friends to the death;  as a man who is passionately in love with one women, his queen, Anne Neville. Filled with battles, court politics, 15th century customs and the passion of royalty.

 

2. Ravenspur (Wars of the Roses #4) by Conn Iggulden

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While not my favourite book in the series, mostly because Richard’s character doesn’t stray too far from the Shakespearian depiction, Ravenspur is still a fantastic novel. I thought this one would include this one is particular as it’s the book in the series to have the Battle of Bosworth.

Ravenspur takes place in the final 15 years of The Wars of the Roses. Starting in 1570, we see the Lancastrian’s final play for the throne against Edward IV and his brothers, George Duke of Clarence and Richard Duke of Gloucester. The novel ends with in 1584 with the rise of the Tudor Dynasty.

Iggulden has bring new life into these scheming barons, ruthless queens and ambitious kings. They feel human — living, breathing and real. While reading this series it’s so easy to get swept up in the visceral storytelling that it’s hard to remember all these events actually happened 500 odd years ago. The battle scenes describe the chaos, the fear and pure adrenaline of war, you feel like you’re there.

 

3. The Kingmaker’s Daughter (Cousins’ War #4) by Philippa Gregory

Screen Shot 2017-08-23 at 4.27.48 pm

This was the series, specifically the TV adoption, is what got me hooked on The Wars of the Roses. Promptly after I finished the mini series I tracked down the the books and devoured them.

This series is a made up of companion novels, with most of the narratives over lapping. The Kingmaker’s Daughter narrative play out on the same timeline as The White Queen and The Red Queen. Anne Neville is our protagonist and since she becomes Richard III’s wife this is the novel that focuses on the last Plantagenet king.

We don’t  see the battles like we do the other books, as The Kingmaker’s Daughter has a female protagonist. But we get a different kind of fear — the fear of the noble ladies. They sit out the battles, powerless to stop it but also not knowing if they will be striped of their home and titles once the battle ends.  The best part of this books is the budding romance between Anne and Richard — it’s swoon worthy.

 

That’s all for me. Comment down below and let me know if you’ve read any of these. Also if you have any recommendations. I am always on the lookout for more Wars of the Roses novels. 

Until next time, happy reading!

Dearna

November Book Haul – Part 3

Hi all! I’m here with the final part of my November book haul. As mentioned in my previous November Haul posts (part 1 & part 2) these are all used/ex-library books.

This post will be mostly picture as I don’t much about these apart from what the blurb say. I will link their Goodread pages down below as it will describe the books better than I can! I will include who recommended books and interesting facts randomly.

Some of these books are 2nd, 3rd or even 4th in their series but I’m wanting to read the series so am collecting books where I can. Others I’m just trying to collect an author’s published works.

Now onto the books!

 

 

Goodreads pages

 

 

Goodreads pages

 

 

Goodreads pages

 

 

Goodreads pages

 

That’s all for me for today. Comment down below and let me know if you’ve read any of these and what you thought of them.

Until then, happy reading!

Dearna