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HS9 "Wyvern" (Essex, UK)

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Jamaica Inn [DVD]
Jamaica Inn [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jessica Brown Findlay

3.0 out of 5 stars Almost true to the book and very pretty, 17 Mar. 2016
This review is from: Jamaica Inn [DVD] (DVD)
I enjoyed watching this new interpretation of Du Maurier's classic novel and a few points were changed to make it more palatable to modern eyes. The setting was spot on and the filming spent much of the time on the dramatic landscapes. Beautiful, it really makes me want to visit the area again and I'm sure it will help tourism. Now back to the story... Well, the actors were well cast and did excellent jobs. DO put the subtitles on as the sound is poor, I mean REALLY poor and much of the lines are mumbled without any clarity. I loved that The relationship between Mary and Jem was portrayed so well and Jamaica Inn was incredibly dank and eerie, but the whole smuggling/wrecking storyline seemed muted and I do feel that this was because the cinematography was focused 100% on landscapes and not people.


Wulfsuna (The Wolf Spear Saga Book 1)
Wulfsuna (The Wolf Spear Saga Book 1)
Price: £4.79

4.0 out of 5 stars Dark Ages Brought to Light in Epic Glory, 16 Mar. 2016
E S Moxon brings the dark ages to life through her vivid descriptions of both people and place. As Rome has pulled out of Britain, there is a massive power vacuum and the remaining tribes are left to battle it out for power, life and land. Wulfsuna follows Lord Wulfgar and his attempts to establish a home for his tribe, a split family of Saxons who must fight Angles and Picts to establish their home. Moxon weaves an epic tale of Lord Wulfgar's struggles, loves and loss.

When I was sent a copy of the book to read and review, I first read a few pages to get a feel for the writing before dedicating myself to the full read and I knew immediately that it was going to be a thrilling book. The descriptions are highly vivid and take the reader into the heat of battle and whilst reading I kept thinking 'HBO drama, HBO drama' mainly because it was so vivid and I expect it would make an excellent TV series (as long as the director sticks to the historical detail that Moxon has detailed so accurately well). I'm personally not that into battle scenes and the book had many of them, but I did feel that they were integral to the story and illustrated exactly how much turmoil there was during the era without a clear leader or land borders. What I loved reading most was the bewitching seer who is cast out of her village and who fate weaves into Lord Wulfgar's arms. Her point-of-view and story held my interest and I would have loved to have the entire book seen from her eyes, she was such a enthralling character.

If you love epic battles, Dark Age Britain, Saxons and beer wagons (has to be said, I'll dream forever of a beer wagon), then this book is for you! It is the first in a series, giving fans something to look forward to when the next book is released. A beautiful historical fiction for an era often ignored by conventional histories.


To Be a Queen
To Be a Queen
by Annie Whitehead
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Epic Tale, 23 Jan. 2016
This review is from: To Be a Queen (Paperback)
Annie Whitehead has boldly delved into a little known era and brought to life one of it's shadow legends; the daughter of Alfred the Great who learned to rule in her own right. As Whitehead points out in her forward, England at this time, was not one nation but several. Her main character, Aethelflaed, whom she nicknames, Teasel, starts as a child having grown up in Mercia (one of England's kingdoms) though she is the daughter of a 'West Saxon'. The two nations, North (Mercia) and South (Wessex) are meant to be allies against the Vikings but end up having a very rough alliance and there are many unnecessary skirmishes and in fighting. In the book, Whitehead has her main character, Teasel, bring the two kingdoms to solidarity through support of both her father (king of Wessex) and husband (king of Mercia).

The story is epic and told in beautiful detail. Annie Whitehead has done her research, but she at no time 'info drops' on the reader. There are language and heritage guides at the back of the book, but reading the story, I found it easy to pick up Saxon words as Whitehead introduced them. She brings to life not only the era but the individuals that are often glossed over in history.

As the book starts with Aethelflaed as a child in Mercia, continues with her childhood in Wessex, then follows her life as she grows before finally becoming first the wife of a great leader, then a leader herself, and then her death... well, it's a long tale. For those who want to dive into the past and live every moment surrounded with that era, this book is the one. For those wanting a good story, this will fit the bill too. However, be warned, there are some slow scenes where we get to know Teasel and her family well, and the made up romance between Teasel and one of her husband's trusted warriors slowed the story down more in my opinion. Even so, I enjoyed reading To Be a Queen and highly recommend it to readers of Anglo-Saxon history and historic fiction.


Some Veil Did Fall
Some Veil Did Fall
by Kirsty Ferry
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Victorian Whitby timeslip, 18 Jan. 2016
This review is from: Some Veil Did Fall (Paperback)
As per usual with Kirsty Ferry's books, I absolutely fell in love. A beautiful mix of history (Whitby in the Victorian era) and paranormal romance. It is a timeslip novel about a modern couple (Becky and Jon) who find they have more than just a romantic affinity when Jon bumps into Becky at Whitby and buys her a coffee. The two have much in common and the feeling of familiarity is overwhelming. I loved the description of Whitby to start with, but the detail of Jon's photography business and the two souls reconnecting is lovely. But there is another story here. The Victorian couple, Adam and Ella bring their era to life and the way Ferry weaves the stories together is simply beautiful. Well worth a read.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 19, 2016 4:13 PM GMT


The Jezebel's Daughter
The Jezebel's Daughter
Price: £3.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Epic Storytelling at its Best, 28 Oct. 2015
Loreley Jones and her family are sailing from England to start a new life in the Caribbean when their ship runs into a massive storm. Being the only one small enough to fit through a porthole, Loreley saved from the sinking ship, but is swept away as she clings to flotsam while the rest of her family are lost at sea. Loreley's life goes from bad to worse when, upon being washed up on shore, she is taken by brigands to be sold to the local brothel.

As Loreley from an aristocratic family and both young and beautiful, her virginity is auctioned off at a high price to a cruel captain who bids not only for her first night, but to have her as his possession that no other patrons may touch. Loreley's time in the brothel is not all bad, she makes a beautiful connection to a slave woman who looks after her like a daughter. Still mourning the death of her family and old life, Tansy's love and affection toward Loreley is both needed and returned.

Life once again changes for Loreley, she is able to leave her prison after some time there, but instead of going back to her beloved England, she becomes (transforming herself into a boy) part of the crew of a pirate ship and falls deeply in love.

The book is a beautiful depiction of life on the high seas in the Golden Age of piracy, but is well researched and more than a little myth-destroying. I'll not touch on the rest of the book as it will give too much away, but I enjoyed reading every page. It is a romance – there are detailed sex scenes and some rape scenes at the beginning that may make some readers uncomfortable, but I feel the author wrote as both her genre and the story needed to make the narration real and lead the book forward. The vivid description of island Voodoo was excellent, as was the detailed and believable characters that I immediately identified with. My favourite was Tansy by far, though Ben takes a close second. This book will sweep you away into another time and place and leave you both satisfied and more than a little tear stained.


Dance until Dawn
Dance until Dawn
by Berni Stevens
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Finally - a good vampire read for adults, 28 April 2014
This review is from: Dance until Dawn (Paperback)
I loved reading this book! It was so beautifully dark and well written too (hated the True Blood books). Dancer Ellie is believable and her 'rescuer' Will is both frightening and alluring. You'll be thirsting for more!


Plight of the Rhino: A Wildlife Anthology by Springbok Publications: Volume 1 (Springbok Publications Wildlife Anthology)
Plight of the Rhino: A Wildlife Anthology by Springbok Publications: Volume 1 (Springbok Publications Wildlife Anthology)
by MR Conrad A Brand
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read for charity, 12 April 2014
A wonderful mix of new and established writers, Plight of the Rhino brings Africa to life through vivid storytelling and poetry. There is something for everyone in this anthology - it's not just Rhino stories, but various animal stories all with Africa at heart. Proceeds go to the Save the Rhino charity, so not only is it an enjoyable read, but it has that extra feel good factor too. Highly recommended.


Save the Date
Save the Date
by Allie Spencer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ideal holiday read!, 11 July 2013
This review is from: Save the Date (Paperback)
I loved Allie Spencer's first novel. I truly didn't think anything else could top it, but Save the Date did just that. Filled with the usual mix of humour, intrigue, and romance, Allie has upped the ante of chick lit yet again. Expect the unexpected in this book and... make sure you have a box of tissues at hand!


Fledgling
Fledgling
by Berni Stevens
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a Vampire Book with Bite!, 3 April 2013
This review is from: Fledgling (Paperback)
I read Fledgeling after having put down the True Blood books and was instantly hooked. Stevens writes with a Gothic flair not seen for some time. The female lead is not a lonely teenager caught up in a romance, but an adult woman whose life is stolen from her by a hit and run driver. But her vampire stalker has other plans and before she truly dies, he turns her.

A dark romance with a twist, this vampire book is for adults only. Finally!


Blog 4 Sports (English and Afrikaans Edition)
Blog 4 Sports (English and Afrikaans Edition)
Price: £1.21

5.0 out of 5 stars A Lovely Read, 3 April 2013
A friend bought this book for me as a fun gift and I loved reading it! It's a series of short stories, three in English and three in Afrikaans (I only read the English ones). The stories are well written, lively and a good laugh. Reading it really brightened up my day.


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