Tag Archives: historical fiction

Book review: The Outlander by Gil Adamson (9780061491344)

0061491349.01._SX140_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_This book is not to be confused with Diane Gabaldon’s Outlander.  In fact Adamson’s The Outlander is an amazing and interesting adventure into the Canadian wilderness by newly widowed Mary Boulton who is running from her brothers-in-law because she killed her cruel and unfaithful husband.  The finely written prose about Mary’s quest for peace is very addicting.  So much so I read this book from cover to cover in two days.  The characters are fascinating, mysterious and so real.

I had heard about the many book awards and great reviews this first novel had received and couldn’t wait to read it.  It did not disappoint.  A very unique look at Canada at the turn of the century!


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Book review – Drinkwater: A Sobering Tale About A Medieval Knight by Otto Scamfer (9781438234915)

“It (Alcohol) brings out the devil in some men and takes their soul away,” Emery answered staunchly.  “I’ve seen many a good man ravaged by the drink.”

Winston is a disgraceful alcoholic (or drinkwater) and presumed murderer of his father, Lord Tabor.  Cyrus Everett is Lord Tabor’s bailiff who falsely accuses Winston of murdering his father and almost murders Winston as well.  However, Winston is taken in by an old man, Emery, who nurses him back to health and teaches him how to defend himself with a sword.

The story is predictable showing how Winston learns to stay away from the drink, becomes a knight and plans his revenge against Cyrus who is wreaking havoc on Winston’s family and village.

I normally enjoy medieval tales, but I just did not like the main character and it spoiled the whole story for me.  I found Winston to be a fool, even when he became a knight and I didn’t think he deserved the lordship or the girl he professed to love because I felt that the men who helped him did most of the work for him.

All in all I found the story and the characters to be quite boring.

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Book review: Drums of Autumn (Outlander #4 series) by Diana Gabaldon (9780553714524 – Book on CD)

This is the fourth book in the Outlander series and Claire and Jamie’s new adventures are in the Americas.  They travel with Ian Murray (Jamie’s nephew) to North Carolina where they meet Jamie’s Aunt Jocasta at River Run.  Even though Aunt Jocasta wants to leave Jamie her estate, he prefers to settle at Fraser’s Ridge which it is more secluded and something he can call his own .  Of course, Claire and Jamie  run into Indians and bears on the way and meet interesting characters as well.

In addition to Claire and Jamie’s story, Brianna (Claire and Jamie’s daughter) and Roger Wakefield MacKenzie (distant ancestor of Dougal MacKenzie and Gilles Duncan) join the adventures by doing some time travel themselves.  Brianna goes back on her own from the 1970’s to the 1770’s to warn Claire and Jamie about a historical fact that she finds out and Roger discovers where Brianna has gone and and follows her.

Of course I love this series, but I thought the whole Jamie/Roger misunderstanding and the search for him took too long.  However, that won’t stop me from continuing on to the next in the series, The Fiery Cross.  As always, Davina Porter is a fantastic narrator and I recommend trying out the books on CD.  They are excellent!

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Book review: A Land Beyond Ravens by Kathleen Cunningham Guler (9780966037166)

In Britain’s Dark Ages, Marcus ap Iorwerth is a master spy and swordmaster who manipulates kings, warlords and the church to keep his family and his people safe as well as saving Britain as a whole.

Claerwen, Marcus’s wife, has the sight and what she sees haunts her every day as  she  tries to decipher the dreams before it’s too late.

This is the fourth book in the Macsen’s Treasure series and my first book from Kathleen Cunningham Guler.  Though it is true I was able to pick up the book and get the gist of Marcus ap Iorwerth and Claerwen’s story, I think I would have preferred to read the series from the beginning.  This would have allowed me to get to know the characters much better and truly understand what they were going through.

With that being said, I found this to be a thoroughly researched and intriguing book about the rise of King Arthur told by the people around him.  The pronunciation guide/glossary at the beginning was also very helpful for the many Welsh names and phrases.  The book is available at Amazon.

Thank you to Kathleen Cunningham Guler, Review Direct and Bardsong Press for giving me the opportunity to review this book.

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Book review: The Last Estate by Conor Bowman (9781579622039)

Christian was heir to the oldest winery in Gigondas, France.  He lost his brother, Eugene, in the war and his ruthless and unfeeling father is grudgingly leaving the vineyard to Christian at the expense of Christian’s freedom and peace of mind.  At his mother’s insistence, Christian will graduate from school before helping his father with the vineyard, but little did anyone know that his favorite teacher and secret love, Miss Vivienne Pleyben, would change his destiny forever.

This is a love story that lasts through time, adversity and hardship.  I read this fairly short book in one sitting.  The writing is lyrical and the story simple and Mr. Bowman captures the essence of the characters and their will to survive.

Thank you to Mr. Bowman, The Permanent Press and especially Early Reviewers for giving me the opportunity to review this book.

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Book review: Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon (0385335970-Book on CD)

This wonderful story continues.  I admit I was a little leery about the beginning because it started in the 1960’s with Claire’s present life and was too slow in my opinion, but when it returned to Claire and Jamie’s adventures, I felt at ease once again.

If you really want to feel the experience, get the book on CD (33 of them).  Davina Porter’s mastery of the accents is superb!

On to Voyager for me! (on CD of course)

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Book review: Lion’s Pride by Debbie Jordan (1432703307)

It’s been a long time since I have read a great Western and Lion’s Pride fills the void.

Sheriff Paco Alaniz is investigating the murder of Don Santiago Castillo de Leon who is a wealthy and cruel land owner in Arizona with lots of enemies.  The Don’s wife Dona Margarita is now free of his abuse which Father Ramon (who is in love with Dona Margarita ) has kept secret for many years.  Will Father Ramon’s guilt tear him apart?

Some of the renegade Mormon polygamists, headed by Prosper Hanson,are rebelling and Prosper’s enemy, Jacob Strong, has returned the same day of the Don’s murder to take something that belongs to Prosper.  Will Jacob find out the secrets that his wife and former love have hidden from him for years?  Will Prosper follow through with his threats?

Will Sheriff Alaniz find the murderer before the rogue mountain lion does it for him?

This story captures you from the start with the well-developed characters and the great Western theme.

Thank you to Ms. Jordan and PR by the Book for giving me the opportunity to review this book.

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