All posts tagged: Historical Fiction

Author Spotlight: Karen Brooks

I decided to do a series called Author Spotlight, to highlight, well, obviously, my favourite authors—new and old—and to share my excitement for their work with you. First up today is Australian-born author, Karen Brooks. I highly suggest you read her About Page by way of introduction to her, and her writing. Brooks’ first forays into the writing world began squarely in the realms of fantasy, with her YA series The Cassandra Klein Quartet, which was followed up by a succession of YA fantasy titles that I would love to read, at some point. Karen is now writing historical fiction. Not just any kind of historical fiction, she’s reinserting women back into history, placing them squarely at the forefront of periods of upheaval and change where fortunes could be lost and made, in an exciting way. To date, she has written three richly detailed historical novels set in different locales and time periods: THE BREWER’S TALE (2014) “It had been Mother’s secret and mine, one passed down through the de Winter women for generations. I …

Let’s Get Historical Together

Today’s Tuesday and normally I’d be doing the Tuesday Top 5 but as the topic—books I really want to re-read—isn’t relevant, as there are no books I’m that desperate to reread. I’m going to wax lyrically about historical novels I’ve read and loved. You know, just to be different. I know some of you don’t read historical novels and, yes, there was a time when I would have said the same. Then I got bored. And did something about it. I started reading any genre that took my fancy. Any book whose cover grabbed my attention. And, lo and behold, I discovered a whole series of genre I’d never read before, that I liked. Liked a lot. Because, you know, they had great stories, well defined characters, and said something different … i.e., there were no space ships! Moral of this rambling post, take chances, read outside your comfort zone and preferred genre, you’ll be surprised. Regulars to this site will already have seen some of the titles I might have suggested—Salt To The Sea …

Book Review: Salt To The Sea

DETAILS Title: SALT TO THE SEA Author: Ruta Sepetys Publisher: Philomel Books ISBN: 9780399160301 Genre: Historical YA | WWII BACK COVER BLURB World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, many with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer to safety. Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people—adults and children alike—aboard must fight for the same thing: survival. WHAT I THOUGHT This is a wonderfully written story about four young people, ranging in ages and backgrounds, set during World War Two, detailing all the horrors and ravages of war, and its effects on those struggling to survive. Vivid and sometimes, horrific moments punctate the spare prose of …

Book Review: The Phantom Tree

DETAILS Title: THE PHANTOM TREE Author: Nicola Cornick Publisher: Graydon House ISBN: 9781525805998 Genre: Historical | Time Travel BACK COVER BLURB “My name is Mary Seymour and I am the daughter of one queen and the niece of another.” Browsing antiques shops in Wiltshire, Alison Bannister stumbles across a delicate old portrait—supposedly of Anne Boleyn. Except Alison knows better…The woman is Mary Seymour, the daughter of Katherine Parr who was taken to Wolf Hall in 1557 as an unwanted orphan and presumed dead after going missing as a child. The painting is more than just a beautiful object from Alison’s past—it holds the key to her future, unlocking the mystery surrounding Mary’s disappearance, and the enigma of Alison’s son. But Alison’s quest soon takes a dark and foreboding turn, as a meeting place called the Phantom Tree harbours secrets in its shadows… WHAT I THOUGHT THE PHANTOM TREE by Nicola Cornick has a little of everything in it, but far from being an utter mess, it all kind of works—sorta. It helps if you’re already …

Book Haul Happiness

After reading the wonderful review of SALT TO THE SEA by Sophie, yesterday—who gave this one a whopping 6 STARS. I decided to go put this one on my to buy list, and, while at Chapters Indigo, saw that they were offering the hardback for just $6. I mean, come on. SIX BUCKS? So, of course, I ordered it … Along with two other books because, you know, one lone book doesn’t qualify for free shipping. So swooning over my wish list, came up with two other suitable titles. And now, I have three books on the way. SALT TO THE SEA by Ruta Sepetys RESURRECTION BAY by Emma Viskic THE DARK LAKE by Sarah Bailey Oh boy, have I got some great books to read over the coming weeks. What with the four I still have on the coffee table, plus these, I think I’m set for a few weeks of decent reading. At least, that’s the plan. The Dark Lake and Resurrection Bay are both by Australian authors, who I’m on a roll …