- Non Fiction
Reviews by Lou Reading
Internationally bestselling author Philippa Gregory brings the tumult and intrigue of The Wars of the Roses to vivid life through the women of the House of Lancaster and the House of York, beginning with the story of Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen. A woman who won the love of a king and ascended to royalty by virtue of her beauty, Elizabeth fought tenaciously for the success of her family -- her daughter who would one day unite the warring dynasties, and her two sons whose eventual fate has confounded historians for centuries: the Princes in the Tower. An active player in the power struggles that surrounded her, she made hard and courageous choices, always trying to protect those whom she loved. Informed by impeccable research and framed by her inimitable storytelling skills, Philippa Gregory gives an unforgettable voice to an extraordinary woman at the heart of a devastating conflict.
This is the first book I've read by Philippa Gregory and definately will be reading more by her, for a historical novel her writing style is easy to read and got through this book very quickly, The story flows beautifully with a fast pace and she does not linger on small detail, which in one way is quite refreshing.
This story is set at the end of the 'War of the Roses' and if you know your history you know how things end but you still are entranced to find out anyway.
This is the story of Elizabeth Woodville who became queen to Edward IV in much controversy, and her power struggle for her family. There is elements of witchcraft in this tale too with the story of Melusina who her family is said to descend from. I found this a nice addition to what could have been a mere account. This book really makes you think that it might have been better to be a lowly peasent than caught up in this terrible war of Royalty!
Blood feuds and back stabbing, turncoats and witch craft make this a hard book to put down.
Percy is a half-blood - the son of a Greek God. He spends his time fighting with swords, battling monsters with friends and generally trying to stay alive. Now Zeus, God of the Sky, thinks Percy has stolen his lightning bolt - and making Zeus angry is a very bad idea. Can Percy find the lightning bolt before a fully-fledged war of the Gods erupts?
Exciting and fun for young readers.
Desperate for something to read I grabbed this out my sons room, I thoroughly enjoyed the film and had read good reviews for this book so I settled down ready something to enjoy. Now the plot does differ a fair bit from the film but that's not surprising, there were extra dimensions and characters in the book that wasn't included in the film but for me it didn't detract from either.
It's well written and caters to it's young adult audience with good explainations about some of the ancient greek gods and their interwound relationships, the characters are fun and thought out, for children just getting into more adult size books, this is a good start, only took me a couple days to get through. So for something exciting and educational at the same time, I would recommend this to any young reader.
In the city of Imardin, where those who wield magic wield power, a young street-girl, adopted by the Magician's Guild, finds herself at the centre of a terrible plot that may destroy the entire world ...Sonea has learned much at the magicians’ guild and the other novices now treat her with a grudging respect. But she cannot forget what she witnessed in the High Lord’s underground room - or his warning that the realm’s ancient enemy is growing in power once more. As Sonea learns more, she begins to doubt her guildmaster’s word. Could the truth really be as terrifying as Akkarin claims, or is he trying to trick her into assisting in some unspeakably dark scheme?
Sorry to finish this book - so good!
The High Lord is the last book in this trilogy and I was so looking forward to reading this and was not dissapointed at all, such a great book and a fantastic ending in this series.
Canavan created such an intertesting and understanding world, her writing style flows well, the characters are well rounded, I am a bit sad to be saying goodbye to these characters but I found out there is a prequel to this trilogy which I shall be reading very soon! (The Magician's Apprentice)
If you enjoy your fantasy novels, do give Trudi Canavans books a read, they are epic in their content but not pretentious in giving you a worlds history lesson at the same time.
We join Sonea in the Magicians Guild a year later than the previous book, under the watchful guise of the High Lord, a black magician who she fears and happens to be apprenticed too and lives with, we know that this book is going to be centered around him, title gives that away but this is now what you want to read after the previous books, have those earlier questions asked.
A war does come to Kyralia and the guild is unprepared to say the least, are they as strong as they thought they were? Not at all.
This was gripping, enjoyable and the swiftest 659 pages I got through.
Jack is five. He lives with his Ma. They live in a single, locked room. They don’t have the key. Jack and Ma are prisoners.
Got me reading again.
I was going through a lull with books, nothing was keeping my interest, a book was taking forever to get through, until I was told to try this and I was not dissapointed in the slightest.
About a mother and son who live in the one room, you know something is not quite right but cant work out what (as the story is told through the yes and voice of a five year old child) and as the story unfolds it is quite shocking an idea to grasp.
Not one to give spoilers but if you want something gripping, a book you will stay up late and read, a book to actually say 'YES!' too then try this, you will not be dissapointed.
The second volume in a fabulous new trilogy of magic, intrigue and breathtaking epic adventure from the author of THE MAGICIANS' GUILD
I was so looking forward to reading the next instalment in this trilogy and must say I wasn't dissapointed at all. This was such an engrossing tale that I whipped through it, Trudi Canavans writing style is easy to read, flows well despite needing a glossary for certain words but in all honesty you easily understand her descriptions.
The story continues effortlessly from the first book, 'The Magicians Guild' and follows the life of Sonea as she starts her training as a novice in the guild. She is not welcome and the new novices in her class make this perfectly clear, a classmate called Reign is her tormentor but in a bizarre way could also be her best teacher.
Like the first, the story is not rushed and the characters and relationships develop slowly thoughout the book. I started this book with a preconcieved way that it would develop and I was wrong, it didn't go that way at all which is always a change, can't wait to read the third installment 'The High Lord'.
The night Dr David Henry delivers his wife's twins is a night that will haunt five lives for ever. For though David's son is a healthy boy, his daughter has Down's syndrome. And, in a shocking act of betrayal whose consequences only time will reveal, he tells his wife their daughter died while secretly entrusting her care to a nurse.
One time only
It took me a very long time to get going with this book, it didn't really grab me at all. The story is set in the 60's where a doctors wife gives birth to twins, the girl (Phoebe) has Down's syndrome, he gives her away and tells his wife she was still born. Only the person he gave her too ended up keeping Phoebe and raising her as her own. This all happens right at the beginning and the rest of the story is about their lives and how they deal with these huge secrets.
There was so much room for a good story here that I felt the author missed out some, I wanted to hear more about Phoebe and her struggles growing up in a time where disability was often hushed and hid away, about her mums fight for her rights. It was far too much about the doctor and his wife and their failed marriage, a once only book for me
The first novel in the bestselling Black Magician Trilogy.
The Hunt Is On
After reading Trudi Canavans 'Age of Five' Trilogy I had to go back and read her first trilogy 'The Black Magician Trilogy' and the first book of that series is this one, 'The Magicians' Guild' and after reading it I can't wait to read the next one, such a good book.
This story follows a slum girl named Sonea who discovers after throwing a rock at a group of magicians and that it actually hits one, that she has magical skills too.
In the world created in this book, magicians are a hated by the slum dwellers and feared too. It also works the other way around, there is a distinct class structure to the story and of course a slum dweller is right at the bottom. One of the last people anyone would want to have magical ability.
So a chase begins, the magicians are desperate to find Sonea. She is desperate not to be found and the author could have really sped this up but she doesn't, the hunt is drawn out and for that the story is so much better. The reader is lead to see the magicians as dark and untrustworthy to start with but as the story progresses we see that is not always so and during the chase I found myself hoping she would be caught.
Fantastic ending with a huge twist that leads onto the next book, cant wait.
It would be foolish to think that Michael Morpurgo, author of the award-winning When the Whales Came, could create something that would prove to be anything less than stunning and here, in Kensuke's Kingdom, he certainly proves he has not lost his magic touch.
When Michael is washed up on an island in the Pacific after falling from his parent's yacht, the Peggy Sue, he struggles to survive on his own. But he soon realises there is someone close by, someone who is watching over him and helping him to stay alive. Following a close-run battle between life and death after being stung by a poisonous jelly fish, the mysterious someone--Kensuke--allows Michael into his world and they become friends, teaching and learning from each other, until the day of separation becomes inevitable.
Morpurgo here spins a yarn which gently captures the adventurous elements one would expect from a desert-island tale, but the real strength lies in the poignant and subtle observations of friendship, trust and, ultimately, humanity.
Beautifully illustrated by Michael Foreman, Kensuke's Kingdom is a stylish, deceptively simple and magical book that will effortlessly capture the heart and imagination of anyone who reads it, ensuring that Morpurgo continues to stand tall amid the ranks of classic children's authors. (Ages 9 and over) --Susan Harrison
A Nice Adventure Story
As a child, I always dreamed of adventures, as I guess most of us do and this book really appeals to that side of me and I know it did my 10 year old son too. This is a story of a boy named Michael who falls off his parents boat whilst sailing. He ends up on an island with his dog and after a while realises he is not alone. There is an old man on the island too be he is not very welcoming towards Michael.
The boy wants to be rescued and every attempt he makes the old man (Kensuke) stops it and the story slowy unravels why Kensuke does not want any ships or boats to come to the island.
You might read it as an adult and think some of the situations happen to be a bit far fetched or fall into place too easily but for new independant readers I don't think that's too important, as long as the story gets them interested and reading, not every book has to be gritty and realistic. This is an ideal adventure with a happy ending.
A fabulous Discworld title filled with witches and magic and told in the inimitable Terry Pratchett style, I Shall Wear Midnight is the fourth Discworld title to feature Tiffany and her tiny, fightin’, boozin’ pictsie friends, the Nac Mac Feegle (aka The Wee Free Men).
Terry Pratchett has this wonderful way of making the reader view the world including 'well known phrases' that are used in such a way, they might seem quite bizarre but then seem almost logical, and that is a way is discworld.
We start this story on the chaulk, afer a fair where some drunk father has to 'face the music' after beating his daughter - it seemed like such gritty start to the book that set the mindset of where this was going, we were heading into mob territory, no not your mafia style mob but the lynch mob.
Where do the mobs ideas come from? where does the music start? Well here it starts with some demon that seeps evil thoughts into perceptible people but these are thoughts about witches.
Discworld has an odd feeling towards witches at the moment and Tiffany Aching is slap bang in the middle of it.
An enjoyable read that I couldn't put down at all, It would be ideal though if you knew previous Tiffany Aching stories because there are quite a few references to them but I don't think this would stop your enjoyment of the book at all.
‘Crivens!’ Tiffany Aching put one foot wrong, made just one little mistake . . .And now the spirit of winter is in love with her. He gives her roses and icebergs and showers her with snowflakes, which is tough when you’re thirteen, but also just a little bit . . . cool.And if Tiffany doesn’t work out how to deal with him, there will never be another springtime . . . Crackling with energy and humour, Wintersmith is the third tale in a sequence about Tiffany Aching and the Wee Free Men – the Nac Mac Feegles who are determined to help Tiffany, whether she wants it or not.‘An extraordinary achievement’Books for Keeps‘A characteristically entertaining mix’Sunday Times‘One of the best and one of the funniest English authors alive’ Independent
So funny...one of my faves!
The Wintersmith has to be one of my all time favourite discworld books. It concerns a young witch, Tiffany Aching, that dances with winter who then of course falls in love with her. And there is such a strong link here to classic greek mythology and many ancient tales of love between immortals and a mortal, (even if this one is unrequited,) that appeals to me. I also have a fondness for books which have numerous characters, I like seeing the way they intertwine and of course this book includes the Nac Mac Feegles, which are a kind of scottish pixie folk and that I find hillarious! (tip: dont get too worked up over the glossary for feegle words, just read it with an accent and go with the flow, it'll sink in.)
But the smith of winter is not the only element to turn up in this tale, yes summer is there herself but very jealous, there's a sword weilding, in a way, hero and lots of witches, what more do you need?