Review: The Fires of Treason

I seem to be posting book reviews on here a little more regularly than I used to, but don’t expect that to continue! Once I get into the groove of writing my usual stuff again, once in a few months won’t seem so regular, and one of these reviews was meant to go up a long time ago! I expect no more than two or so a year on average. Anyway, this novel is historical fiction, one of those genres I avoid since there’s nothing in particular I like about the genre and I hate the way most people write it, without what I consider even the bare minimum care for the actual facts and mood of the era, but that might be something that’s more often done in a way to offend me in Christian Historical Fiction, which I don’t think this is. Also, while I can’t say I liked Michele’s handling of the historical fiction elements, they were not as center-stage and abhorrent to me as they are sometimes done, and I was mostly able to ignore the fact that it was historical, rather than alternate world (not timeline; I don’t care much for that one either), fiction. And there were one or two places where I rather enjoyed the way Michele’s characters responded to their somewhat historical-setting environments, so it’s not all bad. Anyway, onto the real review!

The Fires of Treason

51u4sk5eopl._sx311_bo1204203200_Author: Michele Quirke

Genre: Historical Fiction

Description:

Princess Elizabeth has always idolized and supported her older brother, but when Greg is accused of treason and banished, her loyalty to him is tested in ways she never could’ve imagined. As she leaves her luxurious lifestyle behind to join him in exile, she must learn to cope with the everyday struggles of the working class, all while keeping her true identity a secret. Facing new hardships and the looming threat of execution, Elizabeth will need to toughen up if she has any chance of surviving outside the palace walls. 

Prince Gregory spent his entire life trying to prove himself worthy of the crown until his banishment releases him of all the pressures and obligations that have chained him down. Although he has no intention of raising an army to defend his birthright, he soon learns that not everyone is content to let him walk away from the throne. With his sister’s safety and well-being to consider, Gregory must make a decision that will change both their lives forever.  Continue reading “Review: The Fires of Treason”

Review: Black Smoke

Black Smoke

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Author: Mckayla Eaton

Genre: Catholic Space Opera

Description:

EVERY SAINT HAS A PAST AND EVERY SINNER HAS A FUTURE—EXCEPT MAYBE THE CREW ON BOARD THE ST. LAURENTIA

Earth is divided between the allure of a spiritual resurgence and the out-of-this-world high of an alien drug. When the spaceship carrying Celestine the VI, the new Pope, is commandeered by a drug lord, he finds himself facing possibly the shortest papacy in history.

Isi Hudson, a young nun on board the ship, is hoping the new planet ahead of her will bring more promise than the one she’s leaving behind, but the mutiny has her facing things about herself she was sure she’d managed to leave behind on Earth.

Being a Knights Hospitaller, life and death situations are nothing new for Srgt. Edmund Hope, but when he’s woken early from cryogenic sleep he expects to be punished for war crimes not tasked with saving the very man destined to excommunicate him. He has to decide quickly whether to save the Pope or join in the mutiny.

Rating: ★★★★

I don’t usually post reviews here (though this isn’t the first, and will probably not be the last) but I really enjoyed Black Smoke by Mckayla Eaton, much more than I expected to since this is Space Opera, and I don’t really like science fiction, so I’m finally getting around to giving her that review I’ve been meaning to for ages! Continue reading “Review: Black Smoke”

Review: A Wilted Willow

I usually do not do reviews on this blog, but I was invited by Julia Witmer to be a part of her A Wilted Willow Blog Tour, and am pleased to accept. Here is her website: Julia Witmer, Author

 

A Wilted Willow: A Land Lost, but Not Forgotten (Revised & Updated Edition)

A Wilted Willow: A Land Lost But Not Forgotten, Fantasy Novel, Julia Witmer

Author: Julia Witmer

Genre: Fantasy

Description:

 

Rating: ★★★★☆ (Not that I’m much of a person for ratings; I prefer to simply say what caught my attention, since not everyone enjoys the same things!)

 

Review:

The character development in A Wilted Willow is good. The characters have distinct personalities, and they act in accord with their personalities; their reactions change in response to their circumstances and experiences, but not in a way that contradicts who they are to begin with, but rather is a development out of that. The plot is simple and direct. It is at the opposite end of the ‘reluctant hero’ trope, and a somewhat odd twist on the ‘chosen one’ trope. Cadmus is often somewhat reluctant, but Mira is anything but reluctant, and if she is chosen, she actively, freely chooses just as strongly. I’ve never before read a novel in which the protagonist is so eager to jump into her adventure, eyes open, before she even knows what is going on, and while experiences and circumstances sometimes get to her, she keeps that eagerness that embraces her adventure, her calling, that runs to and even chooses it for herself. At the same time, her personality is far more adventurous than heroic – or, at least, so it seems to me – but then she finds herself motivated by something that can sustain where even the most adventurous heart might turn back – love, and not primarily romantic love, but love of people for being people and a world for being that world.

There are some parts in A Wilted Willow that I found heart-breakingly sad. I usually don’t mind a fair amount of death and darkness, but for some reason I found this one sadder than usual.

[SPOILER] Something that really caught my attention was how the author handled it when Cadmus’ pet-friend, Ollie, dies. Cadmus is heart-broken over his pet, and he feels bad that he feels so much more strongly over the death of his pet than over the threat to his country, so much so that now he really wants to kill Adelram (that’s the villain), when the threat to his country did not make him feel that way. Julia Witmer does not, however, suggest that Cadmus’ care for Ollie is mis-placed or wrong, but that it is natural and acceptable. [End SPOILER]

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