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Our Lady Of The Dunes

I really like the writing. How it is complete and full, all the while the tale is rather literary. And the ending was something that rather surprised me.

I really like this slow development of the story as it slowly escalates, and also talks about the war which was happening. What Jessica hopes to become reality, is of course peace. All the while the entire place strangely never attracted me much.

Although Jessica is a realistic character, she is about as arrogant and as intelligent as any teenager. But the truth is, is that I could not really relate with her. Although there are some moments where she did manage to get to me, most of the time I spent it as a distant reader.

What was surprising to me was the ending. Really, although there were so many moments where it was hinting that it might not go down well. Such as the time where they manage to find a boy, who may be wanted by the camp. And really, it’s 1942, what can you expect at the time can be guessed through the time and what is happening.

But it really didn’t hit me at all, since I didn’t really like Jessica or Sophie or really any of the characters. Just that Jessica seems to know quite a lot about the world and various things. So, yeah, I did on some level like this book but I really couldn’t connect with the characters at all.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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Pillars Of Avalon

I think that this book has the dialogue written best to its time. It took me a great deal of time to get used to the dialogue, but it was easy with the writing filling everything in. If it had been written to the era, I would have been completely lost. Or that I would spend a lot of time guessing continuously.

The style works very well as it is a tale, set in England in the newly settled Newfoundland, and she eventually built a legacy there. Although this book shows the ordeals she goes through before she becomes an entrepreneur and helps to take over her husband’s business. I do find it strangely easy to relate to her.

The writing was brilliant, although the characters at best relatable but nothing really outstanding about them. Apart from the fact that Sara often was rather brilliant and talented, and helped her own husband. Was there with him regardless of the time nothing else really did stand out about them.

And this tale is as much of David’s as it is Sara’s. Going through their countless times of being cheated by the King to being wrongly accused by another. Well, this entire book explores that narrative living through a turbulent time(where an actual monarch lost his head because of it.)

Most importantly, this book is rather unique and quite true to its time. Written in a way that really attracted me to it, and also really let me related to it. And well at the end of it, Sara goes back and works hard to continue her husband’s legacy, and the title reveals that. And that no matter what, she doesn’t actually consider leaving him. She stays by him no matter how hopeless it seems, and does seem hopeful and at times possessing intelligence instead of waiting for something to happen.

Well, it is one of immense tragedy for most part. Especially when it comes to how her husband eventually meets his end, and had horrendous luck, he’s by no means bad. Just met all the wrong people, and stuck by the wrong one. I really feel nothing but sympathy for the man.

Overall, I really like this book for what it tells. And that it tries to stay true to the time yet is immensely easy to read, you won’t end up wondering continuously what the story is telling you. My verdict: recommended.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Queen Of Trial And Sorrow

I never felt more addicted to a real historical character. Although not as controversial as some people but her life made for one heck of a story. And it is true, from the moment she becomes Queen, she was unlikely. Yet, she managed to hang on.

I really got sucked into the work, immersed in its world and complicated legacies. Most importantly, I became an avid fan of this period of history from the moment I read this book. I preciously only knew about the Tudors, not much other than that.

But I loved this, as Elizabeth had a great deal of story. From becoming queen when she was widowed, and at the same time went back to her own house. To when she lost her sons, whose death till these days remains a mystery. And her emotions with all of it, touched me particularly. The author was insanely skilled in making a likeable character, she may have made some horrible mistakes with horrible repercussions. Also, the way she dealt with some strange things. She was a Queen in an age where she probably would be the last suitable contender for it. And the way she had to deal with her sons death, which is still something of great speculation till this day.

And I think her story was well narrated, crafted even. As she gets herself involved in political intrigue, and dealing with it. To maintain her standing, also to advance her own family. As well as protecting her own children. What she does clearly is interesting, and she does have faith even if the bleakest of times.

Well she may not have had a lot of influence, nor did she have a large hand in politics. But she was sound, and some level I found her sensible. The way she handled her husband’s affair, knowing full well that it was best not to do anything. Since she could survive, she had so many children to depend on.

The way I think the story introduced and immersed me in a world which I barely knew, and made it readable relatable. Her narration goes until the death of her own sons and eventually a little bit when her life did get a bit better when her daughter chose to marry Henry Tudor.

And I think that the story ended well, middle ground, she lived out the rest of her days peacefully, but so filled with sorrow. She lost most of her sons, but had her daughters for company went from a widow to a Queen and eventually a mistress. At the end of the day, she got back what she had, but lost a lot as well. The title is incredibly fitting, and I have to say, I was absorbed in this story.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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Jepp, Who Defied the Stars 

This was a really a tale where it hooked me, with little trouble at all, it did all the work to make me interested in it. Jepp’s story, begins at an inn, slowly moving to the court and eventually finding out who he is. 

And what a set of twist it had, the way almost all of it slowly builds Jepp before revealing more about his life. His background and even who he was. This story slowly went with Jepp, who was a really interesting and good character from the very beginning. His fascination with his identity, which get sidelined because of him entering the court. 

Then, he starts to know more about the court. And at the end, his entire background was within the court itself. Which is a really nice thing, to come full circle and come together. 

As for the two girls that takes up Jepp’s life, Lia and Magdalene are very different. Lia wanted to be free, even if it meant she died. But if she died free, it was even better for her. As for Magdalene, she was an interesting character, with the knowledge and talents which I really like. She is someone who I really can like, and see why Jepp liked her. She isn’t afraid to admit when she’s wrong, but stands firm on the ground when it’s needed. 

I didn’t think that this was historical fiction at first, eventually I really liked it when at the end all of this characters had a part in history. All of them, had a place in history. Some had bad endings, some had better endings. But I was completely fine with the liberties taken, Magdalene deserved better and Jepp was a really good choice. Tycho, being one of the most accurate astrologers and having an artificial nose was interesting. 

And most importantly, was dealing with Jepp who barely left a name in history. The way he would end his story, is like what I would say perfect. It doesn’t botch up history, but nonetheless creates a happy ending which I enjoy. And I nonetheless prefer. 

For all that Jepp suffered through, all that Jepp been through. I enjoyed the fact that Jepp having moments of doubt and moments where he is firm. That he is a master of his one destiny, and that he is what drives it. Rather than the other way around. 

And the writing, it had to be the reason why I liked it in the first place. It managed to grip me, all the while maintaining this style. The way that it seemed to have been from a long time ago. The way it was simple to read without me ever wondering where it was heading. That takes a lot. 

So, I loved this book. The way everything was handled. Surprisingly, I really did. And if you like a book which deals with fate astrology, and uses actual history, then you should check this out. It is the perfect fit for you. 

Rating: 5 out of 5

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The House Of The Spirits 

It does live up to expectations of a saga. As this story slowly unravels and balances the first person narration and mostly third person narration so incredibly well. The main narrator of the entire story is Esteban, who at times disgust me of the way he thought that Clara was his. And that she should be willing to share everything with him. 

As for Clara, in her own right, she is a strong woman. She would put her foot down and leave him, which she does in this book for her own daughter. The way that she is always so incredibly wise and aware of the world, and how she is portrayed is like a clairvoyant sometimes. Where she doesn’t try to speak. And her abilities really quite magical, and the way it is presented places this book into magical realism. Where sometimes certain events barely have any explanation, and this does pass due to the way Clara appears so incredibly aware. 

As for the family, which they are all rather crazy. Esteban with his obsession with Rosa and became a reason why he married Clara in the first place. Clara with all her abilities yet choosing not to interfere in many of her fates. Blanca, and her eventual life working hard and doing what she likes. All the while giving birth to a daughter. And Jaime and Nicolas, both of which finds their own strange path. Nicolas moving from one point to another without much thought, Jaime and his constant need for helping the poor. 

I really liked how their entire family became part of politics eventually. Such as Esteban running as a conservative, Jaime standing on the opposition side. As for eventually what happens to Alba and her, I would say that another party has come into power and one that is indeed a cruel tyrant. 

As for the story slowly beginning and ending, it all ends with Alba. And this saga has been quite entertaining really. Such as Clara deciding once and for all leaving, even though they still kept up appearances. Blanca and her affair, Jaime and Nicolas where both their paths diverged so incredibly much. And Alba, who grew up in this ridiculous environment.

So, this is a good book. More in the part that it developed characters over the years, and yet still kept their essence in the way that I could still recognize them. All the while spanning years and years with three generations of the family. And well, this books handles it all well. With how bizarre some of them are, and eventually having Esteban realise that he on some level had faulted. And Blanca deciding to let her first love go, after seeing that he was unwilling to be chained to her. 

And the way Alba views the world at the end. I would say that all this took a lot of work and planning, given how each character eventually had their own role to play and their own role to fulfill. And even seeing Esteban begging on his knees was nice indeed, and the way that he simply wants Alba back is really heartwarming too. 

So this is a family saga, and centered about their entire family and lives. And the way that somehow a lot of things eventually come back to them, and a lot of times there aren’t a lot of answers seeing as how Alba changed, and how mysterious she was at the epilogue. So, I would say that this book is more about the family than anything else. And each character was handled well for me, at least within the Trueban family. 

Rating: 4 out of 5′

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The Joy Luck Club

I have really enjoyed this book, as almost every character had her own story. And well, it was indeed interesting to read really how each ended and began. Also, how much their mothers also influenced them. 

But mostly was how realistic it was to be a woman then in China which was not a good one. And thus makes each story which is narrated, each character here carries a rather big story here, and those back stories are the reason why I also love this story. It really makes each story count and put a lot into the eventual ending. Such as having disagreements, a perfect American woman, a woman who eventually married because of a disaster in her house. 

Then, to a daughter who had so much hopes placed on her to be a genius. A perfect chess genius. I really loved this story for how it was, how each story were so carefully crafted, so detailed that I could feel it really. It just so realistic that my hearts went to them. Though I would have wanted more about the Joy Luck Club, about the main story. It was mostly like reading a back story but barely having any link till the end. 

That is really my only complaint. Otherwise, the characters, the atmosphere, the story is almost perfect. I would say, read this for each character. Where each of them carry a heavy story and a difficult background from the start. 

Rating: 4 out of 5

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The Wind-up Bird Chronicle

I would say that this is one that took me a long time to read, and I did enjoy every bit of it. Every single page was rather different from what I have read. This book indeed goes through a bizarre journey, with so many twists and turns which I could barely even see and understand. Most importantly, is that it made me enjoy this book a lot more than any other. This bizarre set of characters and plot .Ade me curious as to the work is. 

And for once, I do admit that this is quite a different sort of book. One that explores many philosophies, the possibility of abilities and also a lot of sometimes hard to grasp concepts. But to me, this was a refreshing and original work. With the characters each being rather unique, and the villain in a way not a complete villain. His abilities weren’t really known much until the end, or even explained. But whatever I got to me was enough and even sufficient. The rest, well is up to your imagination. 

It really goes a totally different way, and well made me enjoy reading from a completely different light and even really like this form. I do admit that his style cam be rather different, especially here and towards the end where it does get bizarre. But to me, I really enjoyed it. 

From the slow pace and eventually the disappearances of his wife, to May Kasahara, Malta Kano, Creta Kano, Lieutenant Mamiya, Mr Honda, to even Nutmeg and Cinnamon. They were a strange and bizarre cast, and really piqued my interest. Such as the abilities within here, especially evident in Malta KaNo and Nutmeg, a strange and unexplained abilities, Creta Kano. To the mystery of someone who never speaks but has really high IQ. This is bizarre and well, the right kind for me. 

So, I would say pick this book up if you want something new. If you want to see something else rather than the typical explainable book, this really cannot be explained with still a lot left to interpretation. And the ending, quite open and interesting really. So, to me, the most important piece of advice when it comes to picking up this book. 

Just consider whether you want to be thrown into a really bizarre book, one that really makes you think and wonder about the principle of life, and one that will have you questioning several things later. Such as the two worlds, one where it is crossed over, the other still here. And one where there are going to have unexplained abilities and mysteries which are barely even categorized. 

Rating: 5 out of 5