Fools and Mortals by Bernard Cornwell

Bernard Cornwell’s Fools and Mortals is an interesting book that is a bit away from Cornwell’s style. I say a bit because he is known for war drama and Fools and Mortals deals nothing with war. But, it is heavy in drama with a dash of action. The writing is excellent, as usual with Cornwell, with regard to character and plot development. The reader has the usual feelings for Cornwell’s heroines – likability with a dash of unsavoriness. In this case, it is Richard...

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The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

It is a fascinating blend of history, magic and drama with religion, politics and family dynamics thrown in. Arden balances the old world's magic and the new world's religion well, and treats each seriously or at least with a sense of history. The characters have depth and personality even when they are not central focus.

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The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

I found it to be a fascinating and enchanting read/listen; a truly epic tale of life in the north where magic and religion still live side by side. I don't know enough about the Russian fairy tales and legends to know how closely this tracks with them, but I found it engrossing and suspenseful; full of history, family life, religious conflict and fantastical folklore.

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War Cry by Wilbur Smith

Smith's writing is detailed with great descriptions. The character development is excellent. Smith firmly establishes the backgrounds of the antagonists and protagonists. War Cry is a wonderful work of fiction by a master storyteller.

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Their Finest by Lissa Evans

Evans opens a door into the film industry (at least the one back in the 1940s) with her portrayals of actors and those behind the scenes. Her descriptions are full of detail not only of movie making, but also of life in a war-torn city. The plot is light. It has a few twists that keeps the reader interested. A good, quick read.

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The Sun King Conspiracy by Yves Jego and Denis Lepee

The Sun King Conspiracy by Yves Jego and Denis Lepee is an intriguing look at the time of Louis XIV of France. Here is a brief summary of the book: Cardinal Mazarin, the Chief Minister who has governed throughout King Louis’ early years, lies dying. As a fierce power struggle develops to succeed him, a religious brotherhood, guardian of a centuries-old secret, also sees its chance to influence events. Gabriel de Pontbriand, an aspiring actor employed as secretary to Moliere, becomes...

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The Wicked City by Beatriz Williams

Although Williams' novels have a bit more sex than I like (any mention of it is a bit more than my preference not because of prudishness, but I like action more than sexual relationships), she spins an awesome story. The story is believable even if it has a dash of the supernatural. It is not boring or predictable.

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