I’m not sure if it’s the elaborate feasts and celebrations, the crazy dresses, the scandalous going-ons, the hands off approach of raising children or the treasonous intrigue but whatever it is I love a good historical fiction full of kings and queens.
Would I recommend it? Even with it’s alternating view points between the two sisters I don’t think it’s quite as good as say something by Phillipa Gregory. But, if you have run out of Gregory’s works this one fits the bill!
This is a story set within Shakespeare’s Macbeth and while you don’t have to be all dorky like me and re-read the play before you read the book, (it’ll stand alone) I’m glad I did.
Would I recommend it? I’d rate this book as intriguing but perhaps not for general consumption. It was good, but it was also hard to like the main character. I love the idea and how the plot is woven through Macbeth, but I’m not sure it would hold the same appeal if I hadn’t re-read the play and enjoyed Shakespeare to begin with. Yeah, I have no idea….
So how about you? Have you read Macbeth, does the book catch your eye like it did mine because of that? How do you feel about Shakespeare?
As for me I own The Yale Shakespeare, it’s so large that when I read anything out of it I end up laying on the floor- I love it!
I like epic fantasy novels and series. I like knowing what happens next… and next… and next. The trouble with this is that authors of epic fantasy’s usually don’t crank out their books one right after another so I’m required to remember what happens in a book for long stretches of time… possibly years. Usually this is where John comes in. I screen books and give him ones I think he’ll like and he remembers everything he reads and can remind me of all the little (and sometimes gigantic) details I have forgotten. Unfortunately after he read A Game of Thrones and possibly the next one or so in this series he quit. He quit reading them because the author makes you care about his characters and then he kills them. Sadly it’s true, the chapters switch character viewpoints among a huge cast and Martin has an uncanny ability to turn you from indifferent, to actively rooting for them right before he offs them.
In any case I couldn’t count on John to remind me what happened in the last books, which was a problem, because this books timeline runs along side the book before (A Feast For Crows) so I actually was trying to remember what happened two books (A Storm of Swords) ago. I read those books in 2004 and 2006 respectively. I can’t remember a book I read last week, asking me to not only remember back to a time before children but to also recall what I read then – not happening.
For the first quarter of the book I was confused, really confused. I recognized names, some events were familiar, I had a couple of “OH YEAH he killed that king” sort of moments but it was pretty bad. By the time I reached the half way point I was mildly confused but had come to terms with the fact that I wasn’t setting this book down, re-reading the last two and coming back to it. Mild confusion and I were getting along fine. The third quarter of the book I was well enough in that most of my confusion was behind me and I was caught up in the story again. Then last quarter arrived and he started killing off all the characters I cared about, threw a few new old ones that I was supposed to remember into the mix and ended it with me wanting to know what happens next.
Would I recommend it? The series isn’t for anyone… the term epic should not be taken lightly… This was a 1,000 page tome and while lots of people died nothing got resolved and it’s the fifth book in the series. On the other hand it’s a pretty darn good story, from what I can remember… If you are brave enough to take them on start with A Game of Thrones.
Have I ever mentioned that I forgot books almost as soon as I read them? These little reviews I write, I do them immediately. Except for this one. It’s been a few days, and 3/4 of the way through my next book the details of this one are getting fuzzy already, so I’ll make it short.
Philippa Gregory is one of my new favorite authors.
Her books are excellent.
You should read them.
This one had lots of battles, traitors and people with the same name.
Would I recommend it? Yes. Look here and here for other books I’ve read by her.
I’m not sure how much there really is to say about the third book in a trilogy, either you are going to read them all or you aren’t. Stopping after number two would be foolish and this one had dragons and love and concludes 5 books worth of material, if you’ve gone this far you better finish!
*This picture was shrunk so as not to hurt your eyes too badly. It’s bad, really bad, I have no idea how to take a picture of a black book with a shiny cover on it, sorry!*
Also to be a tad more technical and less sassy with my comments I thought Robin Hobb did an excellent job of pulling in secrets and plot lines from all over the last five books, unraveling them and then weaving them back up into a very nice final book. Stuff was revisited I never thought to hear mention again and it made for a better ending than I was expecting!
Would I recommend it? Yes. I’ll say it one more time, Start with Assassins Apprentice, and just keep going, they are some pretty dang good books!
This was book two of the Tawny Man trilogy (see this for book one) and it defiantly had a book two sort of feel. Lots of stuff happens, you get thrown a few small bones of plot at the end, but overall not a lot gets resolved. Not my favorite of hers so far but it’s not dulling my impatience while I wait for the next one!
Would I recommend it? Yes. Just be sure to read at least Fool’s Errand first if not the whole Farseer trilogy !
The thing I disliked about reading this book was also what I loved about reading this book. The flipping from first person narrator to omniscient bothered me because the “constant princess” is well, a princess. Really, who wants to know exactly what a young princess is thinking, she was sort of exasperating to say the least. Filled with the intrigue of court life, Spanish politics, romance, religion, consummation and wars it all takes a backseat to watching Catalina Infanta of Spain grow up into Katherine of Aragon Queen of England and that was really well done. I realize that we had to get through the annoying princess stage to get to the end result but that doesn’t’ mean I liked reading it at the time!
Would I recommend it? Yes, but don’t read it first, I’d hate for you to be put off a great author by a silly princess. Read one of her others like The Virgin’s Lover first, then, when you love it come back for this one later.
I love both this authors writing style and her stories! In this book Queen Elizabeth finally takes the throne, what follows are the ins and outs of court, her lover, her suitors, war, trouble with the coin, trouble with the church, plots against the throne, backstabbing, double crossing and those inconvenient wives of ambitious husbands.
Would I recommend it? Yes, and if you like the time period check out some of her others too. The books stand alone if you have a particular one you are interested in such as The Other Boleyn Girl (which I have read and is excellent) but you can start at the beginning of the 16th century with The Constant Princess, (which I have not but I have yet to read a bad book by her-now I have, click title to see what I thought of that one) she has other books as well that I haven’t delved into, yet…