Review: The Night Mark by Tiffany Reisz

01ab1 ~Everyone deserves light~

This book…

If you read Tiffany’s The Bourbon Thief, then you’ll recognize a few names and places in this one, but it’s not connected. This story is in a whole other world. The Night Mark has a bit of an Diana Gabaldon feel with a Tiffany twist. Twist is definitely what this does to my heart and soul.

Because the synopsis doesn’t say too much, I won’t say much either. What I will say is that Tiffany Reisz has jumped up another notch in my eyes. This story was pure magic. She creates a world like no other.

I realize time travel isn’t possible, but what if it was? If you were hurting so much would you make the choice to leave this world behind? I was so brokenhearted hearing about Faye’s suffering. There’s been one thing after another with her. I’m surprised she’s still standing. When she discovers a way to be happy, but it’s not in this life, she’s willing to do anything in order to find it and keep it.

This book is about love. This book is about pain. This book is about letting the light in and praying that it heals the soul. If you’re in the mood for an epic romance that will have you twisting in your seat as you read, then I think this book will make you happy. Go in with an open mind and an open heart. And don’t read any spoilers. ūüôā In fact, I think this book will be in my Top 10 of 2017. It was that magical and beautiful.

“You know a man by his heart. You know a lighthouse by its beacon.”

~Melpomene

Buy The Night Mark HERE

Review: Feversong by Karen Marie Moning

01-a The most critical, defining battles we wage in life, we wage alone.

It has taken me almost a week to collect my thoughts on this book. I’m still reeling. Let me start out by saying that this isn’t the final book in the Fever series, but the final one in the Mac/Barrons story line. So savor it and read it slowly. Trust me.

When we left Feverborn, we left screaming. Mac opened herself up to the Sinsar Dubh and we weren’t sure how, or if, she would be able to get out. In Feversong, Mac must take back control and destroy the book, find the Song of Making to also destroy these black holes that seem to be slowly eating up our world, and do all this without getting lost inside herself again. It is an ongoing battle that only she can do. She must forget about her past actions and focus on the future with a clear head.

In the midst of Mac’s issues we have Dani and her quest to find a balance between Jada and Dani. She is there to help destroy the book, of course, but the five year she spent alone in the silvers has changed her, and not for the better. On the outside Dani is hard and uncaring, but if you chip away her layers, you see that she is soft and just wants love. She will fight to the death for it. Watching her grow into herself was beautiful, devastatingly so. I can’t remember watching a character go through so much and come out stronger for it. I am looking forward to see what happens to her. She has had enough heartache to choke on and I know she deserves a happily ever after.

“I love you more eternal than pi.”

As I said this is the final book about Mac and Barrons. Their story comes full circle and it’s crazy when I look back at when they first met. She was so sad and naive, but by the end she knew who she was and was stronger for it. They had their battles but, through it all, their love was the stuff faerie tales. Truly.

“Fire to his ice.
Frost to my flame.
Forever.”

I spent the final 25% of this book with tears in my eyes. Some scenes had them flowing nonstop, while others had me chocking to hold them in. This book was an epic edition to this series. A full range of emotions. You won’t leave untouched. She makes us work for this ending. Grab a comfy blanket, perhaps a box of tissues and leave the world behind as you escape into the world of the fae. You can thank me later.

~Melpomene

Buy Feversong HERE

Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Illustrated Edition

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Even in this age of ebooks, even with my dedication to my Kindle, there’s a place for real, actual books. And this is one of those places.

Simply beautiful. ¬†That’s the only way to describe this newish addition to the Harry Potter family. ¬†I say newish because this first one came out last year with the second volume available now.

Some people will say that an illustrated version of these timeless stories messes it up by putting another person’s visions in our heads. ¬†I disagree. Because chances are, if you are buying these hardcover books for yourself or for a loved one, you’ve already read the original stories multiple times. ¬†And you’ve seen the movies. So for me, these books are just another take on a much loved story. ¬†And they absolutely do justice to the originals.

So grab these amazing books. ¬†They make great gifts. And it’s okay to gift yourself from time to time!

~Thalia

Buy It Now: ¬†Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

 

Review: From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon

sand This book. Epic, emotional, real, powerful, romantic and moving. Writing a review has me in tears all over again. This book is gonna blow you guys out of the water. It’s been ages since I’ve been fully engulfed in a world that is so real and painful and yet my heart held on to hope. Gah! Buy this beautiful story and read it with a box of tissues, and maybe even a stress ball. ūüôā

I admit I know very little of world history. What snippets I can recall I get from tv or movies. I know what happened in 1943, but yet I only know a little bit. This story opened up a whole new aspect, of this time, that left me speechless and devastated. The last time I read a book of this magnitude was The Bronze Horseman. This book was just as epic. This book transported me to a time in which I cringe when I think of it. The atrocities that happened. The heartache that happened. The overwhelming evil that creeped in and touched everything. My heart hurts with this knowledge.

But with all the pain comes love. Love that held tight and wouldn’t let go. Love so powerful it made me heart race and caused my breath to stop.

Eva and Angelo’s relationship over the years was an all consuming love. No matter what happened, or what situation they found themselves in, in the end it was all about love. If they were terrified, all they had to do was think about each other and they would find a way through it.

“My faith is being drowned by my fear for you.”

I found myself on the edge of my seat quite often. As you can see from my updates, this book knocked me for a loop.

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Oh my gosh. My simple words can’t portray how much this book has left an imprint on me. I think about it almost daily, since I’ve read it. My heart weeps at the loss of a generation but at the same time at the courageousness of the people. And the love. The unyielding love. Read this book.

~Melpomene

Buy From Sand and Ash http://amzn.to/2gM7PWP

Review: The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa

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I love historical fiction, especially World War II era stories. ¬†I’ve read many, ranging from exceptionally good to just so-so to absolutely dreadful. ¬†But I’ve learned from each one of them, a bit of something from history that I was unaware of. ¬†And isn’t that, after all, the point of historical fiction?

Young Hannah’s family isn’t particularly concerned in the year 1939. ¬†Her German family is well to do, after all. ¬†They move in all the best circles and want for nothing. ¬†But things quickly begin to change in Berlin as the Nazis quickly move in and begin to take over. ¬†They find themselves being shunned by those who once welcomed them. ¬†Their possessions no longer belong to them. ¬†And they no longer feel safe. ¬†All because they’re Jewish.

So when her father discovers a possible escape route, he jumps on it. ¬†After much struggle, the family finds themselves aboard the¬†St. Louis,¬†bound for Cuba. ¬†The country has promised safe haven to those escaping Hitler’s Germany. ¬†As the family pulls away from the shores of their homeland, they begin to relax a bit and hope for a happy future. ¬†But things take an unfortunate turn when Cuba suddenly refuses to admit them. ¬†An entire ship full of passengers is stuck in limbo as they await word of their fate.

This is an outstanding debut novel. ¬†It’s clear that the author put much thought and research into this story. ¬†We hear the story from two generations, that of young Hannah and that of her great niece, Anna. ¬†As Anna discovers her past, she helps us to fill in the gaps as well. ¬†An excellent story for fans of historical fiction!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  The German Girl

Review: The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Series #1) by Bernard Cornwell

68527F’ing hell what a book. What in the world am I to read next as I can’t jump into book 2 right away. I need to savour this series and my beloved warrior, Uhtred Ragnarson…

That was all I could write when I finished this book and attempted to do a review. Really…I was just overwhelmed…now it has been several weeks and I still don’t know what to say…

Here is part of a conversation I had with with a mate when she told me she didn’t like historical reads:
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Really isn’t that different than some of the other stuff you’ve read honestly…except some of it is based on fact…King Alfred the great, the Danes and some of the battles…but people are people no matter the time…

Basically a young orphaned boy that discovers what it feels to loved and valued for the first time in the enemy’s camp…later his loyalties are tested time and time again…people want him to be educated, but he just wants to be a warrior…

A quote that won’t leave my mind from the book

‘Touch a harp,’ I said, ‘and it just makes noise, but play it and it makes music.’

The same is true about writing…put letters on a page and you just have words, but written by a gifted writer and true magic can happen….

Once again (never happens enough for me) a book I’ve read that is well deserving of its high ratings…
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That’s what this book was to me…true magic….I am ready to continue on with book 2…let’s be honest…I can’t stop thinking about book 1, even though it’s been near two months…I might as well follow my heart and carry on…

as testament to another quote from the book…

Destiny is everything

Until next time…

Urania xx

The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell

Review: Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman

433075This was my first Penman book. It certainly won’t be my last. This book was brilliant. There are close to 1,000 reviews of the wonderful novel on Goodreads alone…so I won’t go into details about it. I highly doubt if there is anything that I could add to…however, I must share some of the thoughts I had whilst reading it…

This book grabbed me from the very first page. The last 50 pages, I had to keep putting it down. I just couldn’t handle the pain of it all. I was truly upset. Yes, this is a book of fiction…but the events are based on fact. No matter if the Penman invented the words of her own imagination, there has to be some truth in them….there’s no other way that it could have played out (READ. THE. BOOK).

However the whole concept just has me questioning everything I’ve ever known in life. What can I mean by that? Stay with me and I hope to explain….

I’m American, married to a lovely English bloke. As an American I confess, I haven’t learnt much *real* English history. This book must have driven my husband mad, as the first day I asked him dozens of questions. Bless him, he was googling like mad a few times for me. Throughout this entire book, I had my laptop by my side and googled time and time again.

I don’t know how it is for the rest of the world, I can only speak for me…but I was one who dreamed of a knight to come sweep me off of my feet. To *rescue* me. To be a fine lady dressed in layers of clothing.

The reality? Oh dear me. Where does this fantasy come from? Of princes and princesses? Of Kings and Queens? Of Knights and Ladies? The romanticized version of them. Why does it play such a huge part in children’s dreams? The reality is that women, nay, children, both male and female, were mostly used as pawns of war and empty promises of peace. Love did not come into play. Was there really any concept of romantic love throughout history? Or is that simply a modern fantasy that is pushed onto us? Sounds harsh? Look back through time and tell me why this is harsh? Reality is often harsh….Even now, look around you. Do you not see power and wealth still often play a part in “love”.

After reading this book, I have even less faith in religion. Not that I’ve had much faith in the last few years. I’ve always known that religion has been used as a tool and a harsh weapon throughout the ages, but this book really brought home how “ordinary” men used it in horrible ways. What makes the Pope someone to decide life and death over an entire Country? Don’t misunderstand me. This novel doesn’t really focus on those wrongs….they are merely mentioned as a fact of the circumstances that the Kings and the ordinary people dealt with. Entire countries being under interdict, of men in high power being excommunicated numerous times, simply because the Church wanted their way. I don’t care how much you fancy in there being a higher power, religion has been used as a weapon far too many times…ordinary, simple, innocent, GOOD people have been punished and hurt all in the name of that power…

Finally, although this book makes me question the entire concept of romantic love…I have to confess, it also restores my faith in that love a bit….I just can’t help it. Throughout history there HAS been instances when men and women gave up all for it’s name. Kings have laid down their crowns to obtain it. Men and women have died AND killed for it. So now I am so conflicted. I honestly just go round and round with the concept. There is no doubt that the main characters in this novel married as part of a political power play. However, somewhere along the way, they must have fallen in love. The real Joan MUST have felt conflicts in her life. Her father, the King and her husband, the Prince, in constant wars with one another. It does appear that she chose her husband above all she knew and how she was brought up. It is also true that he forgave her in the end. No matter how else I see it, no matter how much I try to weigh up the gains he would have taking her back…well there is no way I can see that they outweigh the losses he might have faced. At the end of the day, romantic love is the only logical reason for him to forgive her….and really….where is the logic of that in the 1200’s?

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it now Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman