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Tristan and Iseult
Tristan and Iseult
Price: 1.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good retelling of a classic love story, 9 Aug 2013
At first I found that the simple, almost brisk sentences came out a bit wooden but after a few paragraphs the style really started to flow and I started to enjoy it, a lot.

Tristan and Iseult captures the time and essence of the story I know and love really well.

The book is written from both Tristan and Iseult's point of views - each having alternative chapters - which I thought would annoy me but it actually turned out to be really great. This way Iseult is able to show us in the very beginning how revolting Morholt, her husband-to-be really is, which kind of helps us realise later why she agrees to marry King Mark when she is clearly in love with Tristan- his Nephew and chosen heir to the throne. Going from something so bad to something 'safe' can't be too bad after all can it?

I did wish that the two characters had more distinct voices though, as they both sounded the same in my head and I had to constantly remind myself whose chapter it was. However, Smith builds up the lust and romance between Tristan and Iseult beautifully. I was absolutely hooked and invested in the story which is probably why I got so angry that Tristan encouraged her to marry Mark in the first place...I mean, the King loves him, all he had to do was say! I'm not sure I was totally convinced that he did it due to his guilt of the King's son Rufus' death. But hey ho.

Alas, King Mark and Iseult are married and clearly everyone, apart from the King is miserable. The King in fact just seems to swan off a lot on King-like business leaving Tristan and Iseult alone with a million will they-won't they moments which was INFURIATING to say the least. Not in a bad way. In a I have to keep reading way.

And then. THEN, we skip to 20 years ahead...are you s***t!ng me J.D Smith?

Anyway (deep breaths), without giving too much away, this is a pretty different retelling than the Suttcliff version and I do think it lacked a certain proportion of passion and excitement due to some choices Smith made with the material but I don't mean that to sound so bad.

It is a quick, enjoyable read that has captured the essence of the medieval, Celtic folklore that the story originated from, whilst also creating more contemporary feel to it.

This review was originally posted on Lipsyy Lost and found: [...]

by Sarah Pinborough
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 6.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Snow White Tale for Adults, 9 Aug 2013
This review is from: Poison (Hardcover)
I was really excited about Poison. I love fairy tales, I love retelling of fairy tales and this being an 'adult' version of Snow White appealed to me. Not to mention how awesome the cover is. Basically, I set myself up for a massive let down didn't I? Damn, not again.

I didn't hate Poison, but I didn't love it either. Which makes me sad because it's too pretty to get rid of.

We start with Lilith, Snow's step-mother who we expect to be evil but she's just kind of sad. As is traditional, she's jealous of Snow White's beauty and charm but also of how free and wild she is. Snow White is out partying with the dwarves and getting drunk whilst poor old Lilith is stuck in her castle being a lady. I'm not sure if we're supposed to feel sorry for her with this new back story but it didn't really work for me.

Snow White herself is fun. She drinks the Dwarves under the table and basically just does what she likes but I didn't feel any investment in her or her well being. I was glad the huntsman didn't kill her but not because I liked her but because I liked him. And the Prince...don't even get me started on him. What a waste of space he turned out to be.

I did like some elements of Poison though. I liked that no one was quite what they seem, and definitely not what you'd expect them to be, Pinborough did a good job in that sense. And I liked that Snow White was just a normal girl. A normal beer-drinking, curvy girl who has family issues. But on the other hand, that realism took away a lot of magic from the story which is a shame. I guess you can't have the best of both worlds.

I also liked that Pinborough took elements from different fairy tales and integrated them into this one story. Apart from the Aladdin part...really, what was the point in that??

Overall, I think Poison is a great idea in theory but just didn't quite work, for me. Pinborough could have really taken ownership of the source material but it was just a bit too thin to really get your teeth into. I think I'll give the next book, Charm a go just to see if she manages to do this...I still live in hope.

Plus, they really are very very pretty books.

This review was originally posted on Lipsyy Lost and found: [...]

The Serpent's Head - Revenge
The Serpent's Head - Revenge
Price: 2.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling Read, 21 May 2012
I'm not gonna lie, I was a bit dubious going into this book as politics is really not my thing and it was introduced to me as a Political Thriller. But, who doesn't like a thriller- one out of two aint bad, right?

And I'm so glad I gave it a go!

Malins unravels an intricate story of terrorism, religion,and war, based from all around the world but thankfully it doesn't get bogged down in too much detail or jargon. The story manages to unfold mysteriously yet at a fast pace which makes it a joy to read.

It seems that Malin is a master of creating a good hook, every now and then he produces a line with such huge impact, as if he's saying 'just in case you were thinking of giving up'(which incidentally, I wasn't) such as, "They were young. They were happy. They had five days to live." This line at the end of the first chapter is what told me that the Serpent's Head is more thriller and less political, economical comment. Which works for me!

And then,when the son and daughter of two very powerful people are killed in a terrorist attack, it immediately becomes clear that actually, this is more a tale of personal revenge than anything else and the developing war between Christianity and Islam seems almost supplementary.

It's an exciting, suprisingly easy read with a cliffhanger ending that will leave you wanting more.

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