Review – Under Heaven

Under Heaven (Under Heaven, #1)Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay
Synopsis from GoodReads:
It begins simply. Shen Tai, son of an illustrious general serving the Emperor of Kitai, has spent two years honoring the memory of his late father by burying the bones of the dead from both armies at the site of one of his father’s last great battles. In recognition of his labors and his filial piety, an unlikely source has sent him a dangerous gift: 250 Sardian horses.

You give a man one of the famed Sardian horses to reward him greatly. You give him four or five to exalt him above his fellows, propel him towards rank, and earn him jealousy, possibly mortal jealousy. Two hundred and fifty is an unthinkable gift, a gift to overwhelm an emperor.

Wisely, the gift comes with the stipulation that Tai must claim the horses in person. Otherwise he would probably be dead already…

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Review – The Red Tent

The Red TentThe Red Tent by Anita Diamant
Synopsis from GoodReads:
Her name is Dinah. In the Bible, her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters of the Book of Genesis that are about her father, Jacob, and his dozen sons. Told in Dinah’s voice, this novel reveals the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood–the world of the red tent. It begins with the story of her mothers–Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah–the four wives of Jacob. They love Dinah and give her gifts that sustain her through a hard-working youth, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land. Dinah’s story reaches out from a remarkable period of early history and creates an intimate connection with the past. Deeply affecting, The Red Tent combines rich storytelling with a valuable achievement in modern fiction: a new view of biblical women’s society.

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Review – Gorky Park

Gorky Park (Arkady Renko, #1)Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith
Synopsis from GoodReads:
A triple murder in a Moscow amusement center: three corpses found frozen in the snow, faces and fingers missing. Chief homicide investigator Arkady Renko is brilliant, sensitive, honest, and cynical about everything except his profession. To identify the victims and uncover the truth, he must battle the KGB, FBI, and New York police as he performs the impossible–and tries to stay alive doing it.

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Review – This Rough Magic

This Rough Magic (Heirs of Alexandria, #2)This Rough Magic by Mercedes Lackey, Eric Flint, and Dave Freer
Synopsis from GoodReads:
Venice had been thrown into chaos by the scheming of Chernobog, who came within a hair of seizing absolute power, but was thwarted by the guardian Lion-spirit, who awoke to protect his city from the power-mad demon. But the power of the Lion does not extend beyond Venice, and Chernobog has a new ally in the King of Hungary, who has laid siege to the island of Corfu as the first step in his plan to seize control of the Adriatic from Venice. Trapped on the island is the small band of heroes who awoke the Lion and blocked Chernobog’s power grab before. They are far from the Lion’s power to help them, but as Manfred and Erik lead a guerrilla movement to fight the Hungarian invaders, Maria discovers that the ancient magical powers of the island are coming to life again, stirred by the siege. If she can make an alliance with them, she may be able to repel the invaders-but not without paying a bitter personal price. . . .

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Top Ten Tuesday – Ten Good Books That Aren’t Spec-Fic

fd4d4-ttt

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly bookish meme hosted by the broke and the bookish.  Each week, there’s a different topic.  Come up with your list of top ten, post it, and then add to the link at b&b’s masterpost, then bounce around and see other people’s lists.

This week’s theme was Ten Books I Enjoyed Recently (last yearish) That Weren’t My Typical Genre/Type of Book.  So since I normally read speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy), this is everything but.

So, here we go:

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Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Settings

f42df-ttt

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly bookish meme hosted by the broke and the bookish.  Each week, there’s a different topic.  Come up with your list of top ten, post it, and then add to the link at b&b’s masterpost, then bounce around and see other people’s lists.

This week’s theme was Top Ten Historical/Futuristic Settings I’d Love to Read in Books.  I like both, so I did five for each.

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Review: The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman

I started this book back in fall of 2015, but I didn’t get very far.  I ended up loaning my copy out to someone, so that postponed my reading of it, too, so I ended up starting it over again in January and then proceeded to slowly work my way through it over the course of the entire month.

This book counts for the 1920-1939 slot of my When Are You Reading? Challenge.

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When Are You Reading? 2016 Challenge

After quite a bit of thought, I have indeed decided to once again participate in the When Are You Reading? Challenge.  I had fun with it last year and I appreciate the way it broadens my horizons.

when are you reading 2016 final

To see the rules, please go to Sam’s page over here.

The timelines:

Pre-1500: The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
1500-1599: This Rough Magic by Mercedes Lackey, Eric Flint, & Dave Freer
1600-1699: The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands
1700-1799:
1800-1899: Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger
1900-1919:
1920-1939: The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman
1940-1959:
1960-1979: Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith
1980-1999:
2000-Present: The Alpha and His Ace by Ana J. Phoenix
Future: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Here’s hoping I do better this year than last (7/12 read, 5/12 reviews posted).