Blurb; This is the story of the making of England in the 9th and 10th centuries, the years in which King Alfred the Great, his son and grandson defeated the Danish Vikings who had invaded and occupied three of England’s four kingdoms.
The story is seen through the eyes of Uhtred, a dispossessed nobleman, who is captured as a child by the Danes and then raised by them so that, by the time the Northmen begin their assault on Wessex (Alfred’s kingdom and the last territory in English hands) Uhtred almost thinks of himself as a Dane. He certainly has no love for Alfred, whom he considers a pious weakling and no match for Viking savagery, yet when Alfred unexpectedly defeats the Danes and the Danes themselves turn on Uhtred, he is finally forced to choose sides. By now he is a young man, in love, trained to fight and ready to take his place in the dreaded shield wall. Above all, though, he wishes to recover his father’s land, the enchanting fort of Bebbanburg by the wild northern sea.
This thrilling adventure—based on existing records of Bernard Cornwell’s ancestors—depicts a time when law and order were ripped violently apart by a pagan assault on Christian England, an assault that came very close to destroying England.
My Review; This is one of my friends’ favourite book series’s, so she kindly lent me book one and honestly I thought it wouldn’t be my cup of tea. But I actually really enjoyed it. Historical. War. Ships. Death. Coming of age. The note at the back says it was closely based on true stories with a few fictional characters thrown in. The Danes vs. all of England. A gripping read where we get to see uhtred grow in strength and into a young man with his own family. This surprised me. I liked it. A well-deserved four stars.
Blurb; Renato Cisneros’s great-great-grandmother Nicolasa bore seven children by her priest, raising them alone in nineteenth century Peru. More than a century later, Renato struggles to wring information about his origins out of recalcitrant relatives, whose foibles match the adventures and dalliances of their ancestors. As buried secrets are brought into the light and is bound up with key moments in the development of the Republic of Peru since it won independence.
My Review; This is a serious do not judge a book by its cover book! I devoured just over 100 pages of this in one sitting. It’s a story of finding out about a families past. So it does flick from the past to the future, but it is a beautiful family discovery of past secrets, relationships, and deciet in the past when such things were not accepted. A large family. A happy outcome. A brilliant search into history. Discovering where she came from. We get to learn all her distant relatives’ stories back in the day. Beautifully translated. A well-deserved four stars. I enjoy this one which actually shocked me.
Blurb; Inspired by a haunting true story, a gorgeous and atmospheric novel about the mysterious disappearance of three lighthouse keepers from a remote tower miles from the Cornish coast–and about the wives who were left behind.
What strange fate befell these doomed men? The heavy sea whispers their names. Black rocks roll beneath the surface, drowning ghosts. And out of the swell like a finger of light, the salt-scratched tower stands lonely and magnificent.
It’s New Year’s Eve, 1972, when a boat pulls up to the Maiden Rock lighthouse with relief for the keepers. But no one greets them. When the entrance door, locked from the inside, is battered down, rescuers find an empty tower. A table is laid for a meal not eaten. The Principal Keeper’s weather log describes a storm raging round the tower, but the skies have been clear all week. And the clocks have all stopped at 8:45.
Two decades later, the wives who were left behind are visited by a writer who is determined to find the truth about the men’s disappearance. Moving between the women’s stories and the men’s last weeks together in the lighthouse, long-held secrets surface and truths twist into lies as we piece together what happened, why, and who to believe.
In her riveting and suspenseful novel, Emma Stonex writes a story of isolation and obsession, of reality and illusion, and of what it takes to keep the light burning when all else is swallowed by dark.
My Review; I absolutely loved this book. Devoured the first half then had a baby so it took me a while to finish it but it was always on my mind trying to figure out what happened to these men who seem to have disappeared into thin air from a remote lighthouse. Based off a true story makes it even more real for me. The story is told through each of the different characters. The men aboard the lighthouse and their significance others on land. There was never a concrete answer as to where these men went or being found. A gripping mystery. Lots of tension throughout. Highly recommend. A well deserved four stars from me.
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