Historical Fiction

A Woman of Substance
A Woman of Substance Reviews

Review: I didn't finish this book. I gave it about 150 pages,and it showed no signs of getting any better. If anything, the writing got more redundant and florid. Everything is over described, the characters are flat, and they seem to just randomly feel and think things that are completely unconnected from the plot, such as it is. Dorothy Parker once said about a book that it should not be put aside lightly, rather, thrown with great force. Amen. Read more

The Far Pavilions
The Far Pavilions Reviews

Review: Actually 2.5★ - I liked it well enough to keep reading for more than two months, but in the end it was just too damn long (my ebook edition ended on p1289).

This is the story of Ashton Pelham-Martyn, born to British parents in India in the mid 1800s, but brought up as the son of an Indian Hindu widow. As a child he meets the Princess, Anjuli, and they form a bond, which becomes key to the plot later on (many, many, many pages later...)

Some would say that this is a romance novel, b... Read more

The Master
The Master Reviews

Review: It's pretty audacious to make Henry James the hero of your book. Tóibín starts by showing us this deeply closeted, repressed guy: this is the Henry James we know. But then: he goes deeper, writing him as not just closeted but a coward, a selfish guy, and you're like whoa, hey. And then he goes even deeper and shows the terrible damage he's inflicted on everyone around him through his cowardice and selfishness, and you realize Tóibín hasn't made James the hero of his book; he's made him the villa... Read more

Q
Q Reviews

Review: Q, ossia “Qoèlet”, ignota spia del cardinale Carafa che provoca una dietro l’altra, attraverso sotterfugi e tradimenti, tutte le sconfitte del nostro appassionato riformatore religioso, fino alla resa dei conti finale...

...Difficile separarsi dalle pagine, percorse da intrighi, eresie, processi, battaglie, discussioni teologiche e conflitti ideologici....Tensioni tra poteri e alternative politiche, sociali, morali.

Un romanzo storico che ripercorre avvenimenti che hanno cambiato l... Read more

El siglo de las luces
El siglo de las luces Reviews

Review: Read it in Spanish - a fascinating portrayal of life during the chaotic political period that followed the French Revolution, as seen through the eyes of Esteban, whom we first meet as a very young man brought up in Havana Cuba in the 1790's and belonging to a comfortable urban upper middle-class native-born white family (i.e "criollos" in Spanish). His interests in the writings of precursors to the Revolution, plus a variety of circumstances led to his travels first to Europe, then to the islan... Read more

The Black Dahlia
The Black Dahlia Reviews

Review: Wow.

Spare, but never threadbare prose with flashes of lyricism, but not self indulgently so (I'm looking at you, Chandler) (kidding, I love old Ray) (but still). Razor sharp descriptions, characters you detach from like falling out of reality into a mere dream. And dark, unflinching in its tour among horrors, and able to somehow make the heavy-handed bits work. And not utterly devoid of light and hope.

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Leaving Cold Sassy: The Unfinished Sequel to Cold Sassy Tree
Leaving Cold Sassy: The Unfinished Sequel to Cold Sassy Tree Reviews

Review: I really liked this--having loved the original book. But there just wasn't enough of it written before Ms.Burns died. Just a few chapters and some sketchy notes. Too bad. Read more

Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot
Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot Reviews

Review: I wonder what's so natural about the pairing of Jane Austen-esque Regency romantic comedy and magic -- because this book reminded me incredibly of Mary Robinette Kowal's Shades of Milk and Honey, or a lighter/fluffier Susanna Clarke. (In fact, I might follow this up with my long-awaited JS&MN reread, maybe?) Or even Gail Carriger's Soulless, though that one's in the Victorian era; also an appropriate comparison, considering I noticed on GR just now that Carriger cites this as one of her favo... Read more

El ladrón de tumbas
El ladrón de tumbas Reviews

Review: Si te gusta el antiguo Egipto,como era su vida, dioses , rituales, puede que te llame la atención y te guste . Lo malo que tanto la trama de los personajes, su desarrollo es muy, muy lento, se hace muy tedioso (o al menos para mi). Me esperaba algo más Read more

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