Posts Categorized: historical

Deception’s Princess: Review

Deception’s Princess: Review

Okay, sure. That cover is just screaming Brave (on purpose I can’t help but think). I can tell you, though, that there really aren’t many similarities between the two. This is straight historical fiction with no more magic in it than a book set in the misty, mythic hills of Iron Age Ireland perhaps cannot help but imbue. Maeve is the youngest daughter of the High King of Ireland and a valued prize for any of the dozens of ambitious lesser kings. Though, clearly, she is not going to resign herself to such a fate without a fight. Maeve’s characterization was a delight to behold. Witty, courageous, and fierce, but with a tenderness and vulnerability as well. She’s talented and capable yet she makes mistakes. She’s fully drawn and one of the realest characters I’ve encountered this year. I loved her. The most enjoyable aspect of this book is watching… Read more »

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Midsummer Romance with Katherine Longshore + giveaway

Midsummer Romance with Katherine Longshore + giveaway

Historical fiction can make the past come alive in a way that a textbook never could. When I first heard that there was a series about the Tudor era, and specifically, books focusing on the women in Henry VIII’s life, I was pretty intrigued. We all know how his wives fared, so to pull that off for a young adult audience is no easy feat! We’re pleased to welcome author Katherine Longshore to The Midnight Garden today as part of the Midsummer Romance Blog Tour. She’s here to talk about Brazen, a hefty book focusing on Mary Howard, Henry VIII’s only daughter-in-law. At the center of it is Henry Fitzroy, the king’s illegitimate son–and in the author’s eyes, he’s no dusty figurehead, but an attractive, vital young man. I bet a lot of young ladies (and men) would have paid more attention in history class if they’d imagined him this… Read more »

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Cuckoo Song: Review

Cuckoo Song: Review

Cuckoo Song is one of those books that I really struggled to find the words for. You know those books that have such an intense amount of complexity, beauty, and feeling? The kind of book that leaves you asking yourself, “How can I do this book justice?” Yes, this is one of those. I was expecting this story to be a creepy, horror-tinged, fantastical mystery. And it is those things. But I was not expecting it to also be a story about the devastating effects of war on both societal and personal levels and of how a family torn apart by grief can come back together again. It’s also somehow lovely. So, so lovely in the midst of such horror.. Imagine you woke up one morning with all memories fractured, able only to grasp at mere pieces of who you are. You went missing from your home last night, found… Read more »

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The Falconer: Review Discussion

The Falconer: Review Discussion

  Being the fantasy loving gals that we are, Kate and I both devoured this one last month. And now here we are to bring our thoughts to you! I’m not normally a huge fan of steampunk or faery stories, but Kate likes both. We ended up enjoying this one just the same, though. Intriguing! Do join us as we discuss the reasons why.     Kim: I rather enjoyed this one. I don’t often go for steampunk, and I really don’t care for faery stories so the fact that I liked this as much as I did should go to show for something. I mean, there are mechanical spiders that will stitch you up. That’s fucking awesome. Kate: I tend to like steampunk as a general rule–not, like, the cosplay or whatever, because it seems exhausting, but I love being able to read historically-set novels that can contain modern… Read more »

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A Mad, Wicked Folly: review

A Mad, Wicked Folly: review

I’m sure you’ve seen this cover making its round in the book community. Even I find it quite catching, and I’ve been known to criticize a YA cover once or twice…or most-times. But that’s beside the point. What I want to say is that I think Sharon Biggs Waller’s A Mad, Wicked Folly deserves popularity. Because, truly, if one’s decision whether or not to read a book is based on synopsis alone this book would’ve been discarded easily. The premise promises drama and opulence to some, monotony and exasperation to others. It promises nothing more than what we’ve all read before: a girl trying to defy her circumstances, a girl with morals, goals, and personality. But they’re always a let down. Not here. Not Victoria Darling. Not Sharon Biggs Waller. A Mad, Wicked Folly is a historical young adult fiction that does its job; it entertains while imparting knowledge. Victoria… Read more »

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Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times: exclusive cover reveal + giveaway!

Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times: exclusive cover reveal + giveaway!

AHHHH. You guys. YOU. GUYS. We’re so excited to be hosting the exclusive cover reveal for Emma Trevayne’s upcoming Middle Grade release Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times, coming from Simon and Schuster BFYR in May 2014. Not only because the book is seriously amazing, but because holy god is this cover BEAUTIFUL. Just look at it. click to see full size This has to be one of the most gorgeous covers I’ve ever seen. It encompasses so much of the story, seeming to reveal it layer by layer as you scroll. Just stunning, and absolutely perfect. Early Synopsis: A boy accidentally travels from his home in Victorian London to an alternate, fairy-populated, steam-clogged version of the city, only to be caught in a web of dangerous politics; his only hope of returning home lies with the legend of an enormous, wish-granting clockwork bird. Add Flights and Chimes and Mysterious… Read more »

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Between Shades of Gray: review

Between Shades of Gray: review

Between Shades of Grayby Ruta Sepetys What else is there to say but echo the sentiment everyone else is expressing for Between Shades of Gray? If you’ve been listening in on all the hype that surrounded this book prior to release, you’d know it focuses on the plight of innocent Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians affected by the Stalin regime during World War II. And if you had been just as denied any knowledge of their struggles, you would have thought, huh? I think it’s a shame that not a sliver of their past is studied in schools (for that is where we go for a thing called History Class), but curriculum is so skewed and selected that young people miss out on very important issues. I remember reading in high school, when on the subject of Stalin, that he took over the countries in the Baltic region…a mention, no more… Read more »

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