Tuesday, September 20, 2016

#Audiobook Review: Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory #historicalfiction #excerpt #BibPleaseReview

No comments:

Title: Three Sisters, Three Queens (The Tudor Court #2)
Philippa Gregory
Publisher: Touchstone (Simon & Schuster)
Release Date: August 9, 2016
Acquired Via:
Personal Collection

“There is only one bond that I trust: between a woman and her sisters. We never take our eyes off each other. In love and in rivalry, we always think of each other.”

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author behind the upcoming Starz original series The White Princess, a gripping new Tudor story featuring King Henry VIII’s sisters Mary and Margaret, along with Katherine of Aragon, vividly revealing the pivotal roles the three queens played in Henry VIII’s kingdom.

When Katherine of Aragon is brought to the Tudor court as a young bride, the oldest princess, Margaret, takes her measure. With one look, each knows the other for a rival, an ally, a pawn, destined—with Margaret’s younger sister Mary—to a sisterhood unique in all the world. The three sisters will become the queens of England, Scotland, and France.

United by family loyalties and affections, the three queens find themselves set against each other. Katherine commands an army against Margaret and kills her husband James IV of Scotland. But Margaret’s boy becomes heir to the Tudor throne when Katherine loses her son. Mary steals the widowed Margaret’s proposed husband, but when Mary is widowed it is her secret marriage for love that is the envy of the others. As they experience betrayals, dangers, loss, and passion, the three sisters find that the only constant in their perilous lives is their special bond, more powerful than any man, even a king.

Audio Excerpt

My Review

Philippa Gregory's books have been - and will continue to be - some of my favorite guilty pleasures. I'm behind on her War of the Roses series, but there was no way that I could pass up one of her Tudor novels. Three Sisters, Three Queens follows the life of Henry the VIII's oldest sister, Margaret Tudor, and it is quite unlike any other Gregory book that I've read.

In most of Gregory's books, the protagonist is extremely likable, and there's a healthy dose of sexytimes. In Three Sisters, Three Queens, Margaret is quite disagreeable, and there are only a few, very brief, sex scenes. Margaret spends the majority of the book obsessed with how her sisters - Katherine of Aragon and Mary Tudor, and their lot in the world. She only seemed to be happy and loving whenever she was better off than them or if they were showering her in gifts. Her love/hate sentiment toward Katherine is one of the biggest recurring themes in the book. It did make the book drag sometimes, but I'm always interested in experiencing a different sort of character - in this case rather unpleasant woman.

Margaret's multiple husbands is also a big deal in Three Sisters, Three Queens. As a Tudor princess early in a new ruling dynasty, she was expected to only marry whomever would be most advantageous to her family. Her first marriage to James IV of Scotland was just that. However, he subsequent marriages were both scandalous because she married for love both times, but divorced Husband #2 (Archibald Douglas) to marry Husband #3 (Henry Stewart). Margaret seeking a divorce coincided with Henry VIII's increasing disinterest in being married to Katherine, and the world was watching to see how everything worked out for her. It is interesting to see that Margaret was able to get her divorce, yet Henry was unable to get the Pope to issue his.

I enjoyed the narration of Three Sisters, Three Queens. Bianca Amato did a great job reading the various parts, and each of the three sisters was distinct from the others. Her depictions of the men did not stand out to me, but they didn't sound goofy. (Believe me when I say that happens all the time.) Honestly, I always looked forward to Margaret receiving a letter from or visiting with Katherine because I loved Amato's accent for her. I would definitely listen to more books that Amato narrates.

Overall, Three Sisters, Three Queens was a fun fictional read, and it led me to read quite a few articles online about Margaret Tudor and her two husbands. I cannot wait until Gregory's next book is released.

- 3/5 Stars -

Pre-Order Links
Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Fishpond
Google Play | iTunes | Kobo

Friday, September 9, 2016

Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake #yalit #AroundTheWorldARCTours @epicreads #BibPleaseReview

No comments:

Title: Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1)
Kendare Blake
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours

Fans of acclaimed author Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood will devour her latest novel, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose...it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.

My Review

I'm at a bit of a loss about Three Dark Crowns. I love Kendare Blake, and her writing is good enough that this book did not *feel* like Anna Dressed in Blood or the Greek gods series. (The name escapes me, sorry.) That's a pretty major accomplishment. Here's my issue: Three Dark Crowns had me at the edge of my seat from the time I started reading it, but the ending was a little disappointing.

Let me explain.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Early Review: The Continent by Keira Drake #yalit #AroundTheWorldARCTours #BibPleaseReview

No comments:

Title: The Continent (The Continent #1)
Keira Drake
Publisher: Harlequin Teen (Harlequin)
Release Date: January 3, 2017
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours

Get swept away in the majesty and danger of Keira Drake’s sparkling debut fantasy novel The Continent.

For her sixteenth birthday, Vaela Sun receives the most coveted gift in all the Spire—a trip to the Continent. It seems an unlikely destination for a holiday: a cold, desolate land where two “uncivilized” nations remain perpetually at war. Most citizens tour the Continent to see the spectacle and violence of battle—a thing long vanished in the Spire. For Vaela—a smart and talented apprentice cartographer—it is an opportunity to improve upon the maps she’s drawn of this vast, frozen land.

But an idyllic aerial exploration is not to be had: the realities of war are made clear in a bloody battle seen from the heli-plane during the tour, leaving Vaela forever changed. And when a tragic accident leaves her stranded on the Continent, she has no illusions about the true nature of the danger she faces. Starving, alone, and lost in the middle of a war zone, Vaela must try to find a way home—but first, she must survive.

Engaging with questions of social responsibility, the nature of peace and violence, and the value (and danger) of nationalism, Drake’s debut is as thought-provoking as it is fast-paced and surprising, a heart-pounding and heartbreaking story of strength and survival.

My Review

It has been a long time since I've read a book before there was even a cover. Hell, it's been a long time since I've read a physical book. (Audiobooks have been my jam since Life has gone crazy.) But this book. This. The Continent . It reminded me of why I'm a reader. I got adventure and escape from the unpleasantness and monotony around me. I got to hang out with a tough girl named Vaela Sun who should get the Survivor of the Decade award.

There's NOTHING better than finding a book to make you fall in love with books again. The Continent rekindled that romance.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Where Did Everybody Go?

Hi, guys - Kayla here. I'm sure you've noticed a lack of activity over here on the blog. I've been having some health issues going on since last year, and it's been difficult to get into a reading mood or be consistent enough for reviews. I'm also battling a lack of internet availability where I live. (In case you were wondering, it is the very worst. We survive on phone data. *shudders*)

I was trying to do more than I actually could do, so I got really behind and let quite a few of you down. I did some soul searching to see if blogging was even something that I wanted to do anymore, and I have to tell you, it still calls for me. Anywho, I'm going to slowly try to get back in action and meet all of my obligations.

Thanks for sticking around and stay tuned for exciting things to come!