Down the TBR Hole #6

Happy Easter weekend everyone! I hope you are all having a nice relaxing and book filled long weekend.

Down the TBR Hole was the brain child of Lost In A Story. The idea is to reduce the length of your Goodreads TBR.

How it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads want to read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added
  • Take the first 5 or 10 books.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go

The list is now at 484, lets see if we can shrink it a little bit more.

1. Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind

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In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, appears in Richard Cypher’s forest sanctuary seeking help . . . and more.

His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence. In a dark age it takes courage to live, and more than mere courage to challenge those who hold dominion, Richard and Kahlan must take up that challenge or become the next victims. Beyond awaits a bewitching land where even the best of their hearts could betray them. Yet, Richard fears nothing so much as what secrets his sword might reveal about his own soul. Falling in love would destroy them—for reasons Richard can’t imagine and Kahlan dare not say.

In their darkest hour, hunted relentlessly, tormented by treachery and loss, Kahlan calls upon Richard to reach beyond his sword—to invoke within himself something more noble. Neither knows that the rules of battle have just changed . . . or that their time has run out.

This is the beginning. One book. One Rule. Witness the birth of a legend.

This book has been on my list since 2014 and to be honest I really do not think I will read it. Terry Goodkind books tend to put me off to be honest because they seem to always be on the long side.

GO

2. Sylvia’s Lovers by Elizabeth Gaskell

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A very powerfully moving novel of a young woman caught between the attractions of two very different men, Sylvia’s Lovers is set in the 1790s in an English seaside town. England is at war with France, and press-gangs wreak havoc by seizing young men for service. One of their victims is a whaling harpooner named Charley Kinraid, whose charm and vivacity have captured the heart of Sylvia Robson. But Sylvia’s devoted cousin, Philip Hepburn, hopes to marry her himself and, in order to win her, deliberately withholds crucial information—with devastating consequences.
The introduction discusses the novel’s historical and geographical authenticity, as well as its innovative treatment of gender and human relationships

I think over time I have put all of Gaskell’s books on my TBR. I do plan on reading them all so I will keep this one on the list, I also really like the blurb.

KEEP

3. The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot

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Brought up at Dorlcote Mill, Maggie Tulliver worships her brother Tom and is desperate to win the approval of her parents, but her passionate, wayward nature and her fierce intelligence bring her into constant conflict with her family. As she reaches adulthood, the clash between their expectations and her desires is painfully played out as she finds herself torn between her relationships with three very different men: her proud and stubborn brother, a close friend who is also the son of her family’s worst enemy, and a charismatic but dangerous suitor. With its poignant portrayal of sibling relationships, The Mill on the Floss is considered George Eliot’s most autobiographical novel; it is also one of her most powerful and moving.

This has been sat on my bookshelf for ages! I really should read it, for now it will stay on the list.

KEEP

4. The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

264When Isabel Archer, a beautiful, spirited American, is brought to Europe by her wealthy Aunt Touchett, it is expected that she will soon marry. But Isabel, resolved to determine her own fate, does not hesitate to turn down two eligible suitors. She then finds herself irresistibly drawn to Gilbert Osmond, who, beneath his veneer of charm and cultivation, is cruelty itself. A story of intense poignancy, Isabel’s tale of love and betrayal still resonates with modern audiences.

 

 

 

 

I’m not a fan of Henry James to be honest and have struggled in the past to get into his books. Therefore this book will be coming off the list.

GO

5. The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

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In a fit of drunken anger, Michael Henchard sells his wife and baby daughter for five guineas at a country fair. Over the course of the following years, he manages to establish himself as a respected and prosperous pillar of the community of Casterbridge, but behind his success there always lurk the shameful secret of his past and a personality prone to self-destructive pride and temper. Subtitled ‘A Story of a Man of Character’, Hardy’s powerful and sympathetic study of the heroic but deeply flawed Henchard is also an intensely dramatic work, tragically played out against the vivid backdrop of a close-knit Dorsetshire town.

 

 

 

I have read a lot of Hardy’s books and I think he is brilliant so this definitely stays on the list.

KEEP

Well a few more have left the list and it is now down to 482. Slowly but surely the list is getting smaller.

Lady Book Dragon.

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Down the TBR Hole #5

Back again!

I hope you have all had a good weekend, full of books and relaxation.

Down the TBR Hole was the brain child of Lost In A Story. The idea is to reduce the length of your Goodreads TBR.

How it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads want to read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added
  • Take the first 5 or 10 books.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go

The TBR is currently at 486, lets see if we can get that to shrink a little.

1. Middlemarch by George Eliot

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Taking place in the years leading up to the First Reform Bill of 1832, Middlemarch explores nearly every subject of concern to modern life: art, religion, science, politics, self, society, human relationships. Among her characters are some of the most remarkable portraits in English literature: Dorothea Brooke, the heroine, idealistic but naive; Rosamond Vincy, beautiful and egoistic: Edward Casaubon, the dry-as-dust scholar: Tertius Lydgate, the brilliant but morally-flawed physician: the passionate artist Will Ladislaw: and Fred Vincey and Mary Garth, childhood sweethearts whose charming courtship is one of the many humorous elements in the novel’s rich comic vein.

 

I tried to read this book many years ago and to be honest I gave up. However, I do plan on giving this book another go as I now have a better copy as the copy I tried to read previously had extremely small print.

KEEP

 

2. Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell

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This is Elizabeth Gaskell’s first novel, a widely acclaimed work based on the actual murder, in 1831, of a progressive mill owner. It follows Mary Barton, daughter of a man implicated in the murder, through her adolescence, when she suffers the advances of the mill owner, and later through
love and marriage. Set in Manchester, between 1837-42, it paints a powerful and moving picture of working-class life in Victorian England.

 

 

 

 

Another book I own and ashamed to say I have not read yet. I will keep this book on the list, I have been a bit lax recently on reading the classics so I will put this on my classic list to get reading.

KEEP

 

3. I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

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Nine of us came here. We look like you. We talk like you. We live among you. But we are not you. We can do things you dream of doing. We have powers you dream of having. We are stronger and faster than anything you have ever seen. We are the superheroes you worship in movies and comic books–but we are real.

Our plan was to grow, and train, and become strong, and become one, and fight them. But they found us and started hunting us first. Now all of us are running. Spending our lives in shadows, in places where no one would look, blending in. We have lived among you without you knowing.

But they know.

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They killed them all.

I am Number Four.

I am next.

I remember seeing the film of this in the cinema and thinking I must read this book so it went straight on the list. However, I am no closer to reading it and to be honest feel like I might have out grown the story so I will take this one-off the list.

GO

 

4. The Warden by Anthony Trollope

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The Warden centers on Mr. Harding, a clergyman of great personal integrity who is nevertheless in possession of an income from a charity far in excess of the sum devoted to the purposes of the foundation. On discovering this, young John Bold turns his reforming zeal to exposing what he regards as an abuse of privilege, despite the fact that he is in love with Mr. Harding’s daughter Eleanor. It was a highly topical novel (a case regarding the misapplication of church funds was the scandalous subject of contemporary debate), but like other great Victorian novelists, Trollope uses the specific case to explore and illuminate the universal complexities of human motivation and social morality

 

I’m not entirely sure why I chose this book by Trollope as he wrote so many, there are a lot to choose from. I do not actually own this book so I think I will also remove it off the list.

GO

 

5. Daniel Deronda by George Eliot

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George Eliot’s final novel and her most ambitious work, Daniel Deronda contrasts the moral laxity of the British aristocracy with the dedicated fervor of Jewish nationalists. Crushed by a loveless marriage to the cruel and arrogant Grandcourt, Gwendolen Harleth seeks salvation in the deeply spiritual and altruistic Daniel Deronda. But Deronda, profoundly affected by the discovery of his Jewish ancestry, is ultimately too committed to his own cultural awakening to save Gwendolen from despair.

 

 

 

 

I love the sound of this book so it definitely stays on the list and I will be buying a copy soon. Very excited to read this book.

KEEP

 

Only two books to leave the list this week but that has got the total down to 484. Slowly but surely it is shrinking.

I would love to hear if anybody has read any of these books, or if you are also doing the same book tag. Please feel free to drop me a comment.

Lady Book Dragon.

Another New Bookmark

Today was my day off and we went out for the day at Harvington Hall.

We haven’t been to Harvington Hall in a few years so it was nice to visit it again and on such a beautiful day. Harvington Hall is a moated manor with the largest surviving series of priest hides in the country and a rare collection of original Elizabethan wall paintings. Many of the priest hides were designed by Saint Nicholas Owen who was a Jesuit lay brother during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and James I, he was eventually captured and tortured to death in the Tower of London. He was canonised by the Catholic church in 1970.

My favourite part of the house is the chapel. I love the wall paintings in there and found it interesting that it was a symbol closely associated with Catherine of Aragon. This currently links in really well with the book I am reading about Henry VIII and his wives.

After going around the hall and garden and having a lovely lunch we went into the gift shop and I found a very cute bookmark of a wooden donkey.

I just couldn’t resist and had to buy it. I am also quite worried that I am getting a slight bookmark addiction as this is the second bookmark this month! But if they are cute who is complaining?

So here are a few snaps of the Hall and of the cute bookmark. I finished the day by having a nice read in my reading den. The perfect day!

 

p.s we also met a very nice cat!

Lady Book Dragon.

New Bookmark Update

I thought I would give a quick update on the new bookmark I got at Waterstones the other day. I must admit I find it very funny and it works very well with my current read The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon. 

All I need now is a name for my cow bookmark, any suggestions would be gratefully received.

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I also love the fact that the cow has glasses!

All in all great fun and I will be using it regularly but perhaps not when taking the book out of the house because I think it will get in the way when in my handbag.

Sadly there is not a cow bookmark on the Waterstones website but they do have a Jaguar one just click on the link below and you will go to the relevent page on Waterstones:-

Jaguar

Also a quick update on my new reading den. I enjoyed a lovely half hour today curled up in the conservatory reading. It is so nice to enjoy reading using natural light.

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I would love to hear what your favourite reading places are, please drop me a comment.

Happy reading!

Lady Book Dragon

 

 

 

 

Down the TBR Hole #4

Another attempt to whittle down the TBR pile. Sadly reading is not going well at the moment due to work and tiredness but still hoping to make a dent in the TBR pile.

Down the TBR Hole was the brain child of Lost In A Story. The idea is to reduce the length of your Goodreads TBR.

How it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads want to read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added
  • Take the first 5 or 10 books.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go

 

1. A Crown of Swords by Robert Jordan

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The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

Elayne, Aviendha, and Mat come ever closer to the bowl ter’angreal that may reverse the world’s endless heat wave and restore natural weather. Egwene begins to gather all manner of women who can channel–Sea Folk, Windfinders, Wise Ones, and some surprising others. And above all, Rand faces the dread Forsaken Sammael, in the shadows of Shadar Logoth, where the blood-hungry mist, Mashadar, waits for prey.

Another Wheel of Time novel, and sadly I still do not think I will get into reading this series so sadly it will have to go.

GO

 

2. The Path of Daggers by Robert Jordan

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The Seanchan invasion force is in possession of Ebou Dar. Nynaeve, Elayne, and Aviendha head for Caemlyn and Elayne’s rightful throne, but on the way they discover an enemy much worse than the Seanchan.

In Illian, Rand vows to throw the Seanchan back as he did once before. But signs of madness are appearing among the Asha’man.

In Ghealdan, Perrin faces the intrigues of Whitecloaks, Seanchan invaders, the scattered Shaido Aiel, and the Prophet himself. Perrin’s beloved wife, Faile, may pay with her life, and Perrin himself may have to destroy his soul to save her.

Meanwhile the rebel Aes Sedai under their young Amyrlin, Egwene al’Vere, face an army that intends to keep them away from the White Tower. But Egwene is determined to unseat the usurper Elaida and reunite the Aes Sedai. She does not yet understand the price that others—and she herself—will pay.

For the same reason as above, this one is on the go list.

GO

 

3. Winter’s Heart by Robert Jordan

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Rand is on the run with Min, and in Cairhein, Cadsuane is trying to figure out where he is headed. Rand’s destination is, in fact, one she has never considered.

Mazrim Taim, leader of the Black Tower, is revealed to be a liar. But what is he up to?

Faile, with the Aiel Maidens, Bain and Chiad, and her companions, Queen Alliandre and Morgase, is prisoner of Savanna’s sept.

Perrin is desperately searching for Faile. With Elyas Machera, Berelain, the Prophet and a very mixed “army” of disparate forces, he is moving through country rife with bandits and roving Seanchan. The Forsaken are ever more present, and united, and the man called Slayer stalks Tel’aran’rhiod and the wolfdream.

In Ebou Dar, the Seanchan princess known as Daughter of the Nine Moons arrives–and Mat, who had been recuperating in the Tarasin Palace, is introduced to her. Will the marriage that has been foretold come about?

There are neither beginnings or endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it is a beginning….

It would appear I have the whole series on the TBR list so this will take a while to remove them all. At least my TBR list will be drastically smaller at the end of it.

GO

 

4. Knife of Dreams by Robert Jordan

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The dead are walking, men die impossible deaths, and it seems as though reality itself has become unstable: All are signs of the imminence of Tarmon Gai’don, the Last Battle, when Rand al’Thor, the Dragon Reborn, must confront the Dark One as humanity’s only hope. But Rand dares not fight until he possesses all the surviving seals on the Dark One’s prison and has dealt with the Seanchan, who threaten to overrun all nations this side of the Aryth Ocean and increasingly seem too entrenched to be fought off. But his attempt to make a truce with the Seanchan is shadowed by treachery that may cost him everything. Whatever the price, though, he must have that truce. And he faces other dangers.

The winds of time have become a storm, and things that everyone believes are fixed in place forever are changing before their eyes. Even the White Tower itself is no longer a place of safety. Now Rand, Perrin and Mat, Egwene and Elayne, Nynaeve and Lan, and even Loial, must ride those storm winds, or the Dark One will triumph.

GO

 

5. Crossroads of Twilight by Robert Jordan

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In the tenth book of The Wheel of Time from the New York Times#1 bestselling author Robert Jordan, the world and the characters stand at a crossroads, and the world approaches twilight, when the power of the Shadow grows stronger.

Fleeing from Ebou Dar with the kidnapped Daughter of the Nine Moons, whom he is fated to marry, Mat Cauthon learns that he can neither keep her nor let her go, not in safety for either of them, for both the Shadow and the might of the Seanchan Empire are in deadly pursuit.

Perrin Aybara seeks to free his wife, Faile, a captive of the Shaido, but his only hope may be an alliance with the enemy. Can he remain true to his friend Rand and to himself? For his love of Faile, Perrin is willing to sell his soul.

At Tar Valon, Egwene al’Vere, the young Amyrlin of the rebel Aes Sedai, lays siege to the heart of Aes Sedai power, but she must win quickly, with as little bloodshed as possible, for unless the Aes Sedai are reunited, only the male Asha’man will remain to defend the world against the Dark One, and nothing can hold the Asha’man themselves back from total power except the Aes Sedai and a unified White Tower.

In Andor, Elayne Trakland fights for the Lion Throne that is hers by right, but enemies and Darkfriends surround her, plotting her destruction. If she fails, Andor may fall to the Shadow, and the Dragon Reborn with it.

Rand al’Thor, the Dragon Reborn himself, has cleansed the Dark One’s taint from the male half of the True Source, and everything has changed. Yet nothing has, for only men who can channel believe that saidin is clean again, and a man who can channel is still hated and feared-even one prophesied to save the world. Now, Rand must gamble again, with himself at stake, and he cannot be sure which of his allies are really enemies.

GO

 

6. A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

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The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

When Robert Jordan died in 2007, all feared that these concluding scenes would never be written. But working from notes and partials left by Jordan, established fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson stepped in to complete the masterwork. With The Gathering Storm (Book 12) and Towers of Midnight (Book 13) behind him, both of which were # 1 New York Times hardcover bestsellers, Sanderson now re-creates the vision that Robert Jordan left behind.

Edited by Jordan’s widow, who edited all of Jordan’s books, A Memory of Light will delight, enthrall, and deeply satisfy all of Jordan’s legions of readers.

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass.
What was, what will be, and what is,
may yet fall under the Shadow.
Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.

GO

 

7. Angel Time by Anne Rice

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Anne Rice returns to the mesmerizing storytelling that has captivated readers for more than three decades in a tale of unceasing suspense set in time past—a metaphysical thriller about angels and assassins.

The novel opens in the present. At its center: Toby O’Dare—a contract killer of underground fame on assignment to kill once again. A soulless soul, a dead man walking, he lives under a series of aliases—just now: Lucky the Fox—and takes his orders from “The Right Man.”

Into O’Dare’s nightmarish world of lone and lethal missions comes a mysterious stranger, a seraph, who offers him a chance to save rather than destroy lives. O’Dare, who long ago dreamt of being a priest but instead came to embody danger and violence, seizes his chance. Now he is carried back through the ages to thirteenth-century England, to dark realms where accusations of ritual murder have been made against Jews, where children suddenly die or disappear . . . In this primitive setting, O’Dare begins his perilous quest for salvation, a journey of danger and flight, loyalty and betrayal, selflessness and love.

I absolutely love Anne Rice and have read almost all of her Vampire Lestat books so this will definitely be staying on the list.

KEEP

 

8. Last Bus to Woodstock by Colin Dexter

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Beautiful Sylvia Kaye and another young woman had been seen hitching a ride not long before Sylvia’s bludgeoned body is found outside a pub in Woodstock, near Oxford. Morse is sure the other hitchhiker can tell him much of what he needs to know. But his confidence is shaken by the cool inscrutability of the girl he’s certain was Sylvia’s companion on that ill-fated September evening. Shrewd as Morse is, he’s also distracted by the complex scenarios that the murder set in motion among Sylvia’s girlfriends and their Oxford playmates. To grasp the painful truth, and act upon it, requires from Morse the last atom of his professional discipline.

 

 

 

I’ve always wanted to read the Inspector Morse novels so this has to stay on the TBR list as well.

KEEP

 

9. Uncle Silas by Sheridan Le Fanu

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One of the most significant and intriguing Gothic novels of the Victorian period and is enjoyed today as a modern psychological thriller. In UNCLE SILAS (1864) Le Fanu brought up to date Mrs Radcliffe’s earlier tales of virtue imprisoned and menaced by unscrupulous schemers. The narrator, Maud Ruthyn, is a 17 year old orphan left in the care of her fearful uncle, Silas. Together with his boorish son and a sinister French governess, Silas plots to kill Maud and claim her fortune. The novel established Le Fanu as a master of horror fiction.

 

 

 

Another book that I have owned for years but never read, so I will keep it on the list for a little while longer.

KEEP

 

10. Moby Dick or, The Whale by Herman Melville

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So Melville wrote of his masterpiece, one of the greatest works of imagination in literary history. In part, Moby-Dick is the story of an eerily compelling madman pursuing an unholy war against a creature as vast and dangerous and unknowable as the sea itself. But more than just a novel of adventure, more than an encyclopaedia of whaling lore and legend, the book can be seen as part of its author’s lifelong meditation on America. Written with wonderfully redemptive humour, Moby-Dick is also a profound inquiry into character, faith, and the nature of perception.

 

 

 

Another book I ashamed to say I have never read but do own. Therefore it is another book to stay on the list.

KEEP

Wow, I managed to get through ten books today I am very happy. Six books have been removed and four books have stayed, the list is gradually getting smaller.

If you are also doing the Down the TBR Hole then please drop me the link in the comments and I will go and have a read and will give you a follow.

Happy reading everyone.

Lady Book Dragon.

 

 

 

New favourite reading room

My new favourite room, as you can probably see is the conservatory. We moved into our house in 2017 and have since pretty much ignored the conservatory. Anyway a few weeks ago we got some furniture and since then I have thoroughly enjoyed curling up on one of the sofas and having a good read.

The lack of a TV in there has been a big help as it is so easy to switch the TV on and reading goes to the wayside. The main appeal is that the furniture is very comfortable and when it is a nice day it is really enjoyable having so much light.

The only problem at the moment is that due to being extremely tired I read a few pages and then go to the land of nod for a while or two hours like earlier. However, I am hoping once I catch up on sleep I will get some serious reading done in this room.

Anyway that is my new reading space, may many a happy book be discovered there.

Happy Reading Everyone!

Lady Book Dragon

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Down the TBR Hole #2

Down the TBR Hole was the brain child of Lost In A Story. The idea is to reduce the length of your Goodreads TBR.

How it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads want to read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added
  • Take the first 5 or 10 books.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

 

Another week to reduce my TBR pile. If I also own the book I remove from the list I am also getting rid of the book either to family and friends or charity.

 

1. The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory

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Spies, poison, and curses surround her…

Is there anyone she can trust?

The Kingmaker’s Daughter is the gripping story of the daughters of the man known as the “Kingmaker,” Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick: the most powerful magnate in fifteenth-century England. Without a son and heir, he uses his daughters, Anne and Isabel as pawns in his political games, and they grow up to be influential players in their own right. In this novel, her first sister story since The Other Boleyn Girl, Philippa Gregory explores the lives of two fascinating young women.

At the court of Edward IV and his beautiful queen, Elizabeth Woodville, Anne grows from a delightful child to become ever more fearful and desperate when her father makes war on his former friends. Married at age fourteen, she is soon left widowed and fatherless, her mother in sanctuary and her sister married to the enemy. Anne manages her own escape by marrying Richard, Duke of Gloucester, but her choice will set her on a collision course with the overwhelming power of the royal family and will cost the lives of those she loves most in the world, including her precious only son, Prince Edward. Ultimately, the kingmaker’s daughter will achieve her father’s greatest ambition.

This will remain on the list because I love Philippa Gregory’s books, seeing it has prompted me to get reading the series.

KEEP

 

2. The Queen’s Fool by Philippa Gregory

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A young woman caught in the rivalry between Queen Mary and her half sister, Elizabeth, must find her true destiny amid treason, poisonous rivalries, loss of faith, and unrequited love.

It is winter, 1553. Pursued by the Inquisition, Hannah Green, a fourteen-year-old Jewish girl, is forced to flee Spain with her father. But Hannah is no ordinary refugee. Her gift of “Sight,” the ability to foresee the future, is priceless in the troubled times of the Tudor court. Hannah is adopted by the glamorous Robert Dudley, the charismatic son of King Edward’s protector, who brings her to court as a “holy fool” for Queen Mary and, ultimately, Queen Elizabeth. Hired as a fool but working as a spy; promised in wedlock but in love with her master; endangered by the laws against heresy, treason, and witchcraft, Hannah must choose between the safe life of a commoner and the dangerous intrigues of the royal family that are inextricably bound up in her own yearnings and desires.

Teeming with vibrant period detail and peopled by characters seamlessly woven into the sweeping tapestry of history, The Queen’s Fool is another rich and emotionally resonant gem from this wonderful storyteller.

In 2013 when these books were added I obviously had a theme going. Another Gregory book that will stay on the list.

KEEP

 

3. The King’s Curse by Philippa Gregory

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The final novel in the Cousins’ War series, the basis for the critically acclaimed Starz miniseries, The White Queen, by #1 New York Times bestselling author and “the queen of royal fiction” (USA TODAY) Philippa Gregory tells the fascinating story of Margaret Pole, cousin to the “White Princess,” Elizabeth of York, and lady-in-waiting to Katherine of Aragon.

Regarded as yet another threat to the volatile King Henry VII’s claim to the throne, Margaret Pole, cousin to Elizabeth of York (known as the White Princess) and daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, is married off to a steady and kind Lancaster supporter—Sir Richard Pole. For his loyalty, Sir Richard is entrusted with the governorship of Wales, but Margaret’s contented daily life is changed forever with the arrival of Arthur, the young Prince of Wales, and his beautiful bride, Katherine of Aragon. Margaret soon becomes a trusted advisor and friend to the honeymooning couple, hiding her own royal connections in service to the Tudors.

After the sudden death of Prince Arthur, Katherine leaves for London a widow, and fulfills her deathbed promise to her husband by marrying his brother, Henry VIII. Margaret’s world is turned upside down by the surprising summons to court, where she becomes the chief lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine. But this charmed life of the wealthiest and “holiest” woman in England lasts only until the rise of Anne Boleyn, and the dramatic deterioration of the Tudor court. Margaret has to choose whether her allegiance is to the increasingly tyrannical king, or to her beloved queen; to the religion she loves or the theology which serves the new masters. Caught between the old world and the new, Margaret Pole has to find her own way as she carries the knowledge of an old curse on all the Tudors.

I have this book sat upstairs I actually moved it from downstairs yesterday. Another must read! Oh to have more reading time.

KEEP

 

4. Tuck by Stephen R. Lawhead

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“Pray God our aim is true and each arrow finds its mark.”

King Raven has brought hope to the oppressed people of Wales–and fear to their Norman overlords. Deceived by the self-serving King William and hunted by the treacherous Abbot Hugo and Sheriff de Glanville, Rhi Bran is forced again to take matters into his own hands as King Raven.

Along the way Friar Tuck has been the stalwart supporter of the man behind the legend–bringing Rhi Bran much-needed guidance, wit, and faithful companionship.

Aided by Tuck and his small but determined band of forest-dwelling outlaws, Rhi Bran ignites a rebellion that spreads through the Welsh valleys, forcing the wily monarch to marshal his army and march against little Elfael.

This epic trilogy dares to shatter everything you thought you knew about Robin Hood as Stephen R. Lawhead conjures an ancient past while holding a mirror to contemporary realities. Filled with unforgettable characters, breathtaking suspense, and rousing battle scenes, Stephen R. Lawhead’s masterful retelling of the Robin Hood legend reaches its stunning conclusion in “Tuck.”

I bought the first one in this series at the Greenbelt Festival years ago and I remember readiing it and instantly wanting to read the next ones and so I put them on my TBR pile, being a poor student at the time I couldn’t buy them straight away. However I clearly did nothing about it. To read the next ones in the series I feel I would have to read the first one again and to be honest it is rather long and I don’t think I have the energy so I think I will remove this one from the list.

GO

 

5. Scarlet by Stephen R. Lawhead

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After losing everything he owns, forester Will Scarlet embarks on a search for none other than King Raven, whose exploits have already become legendary. After fulfilling his quest–and proving himself a skilled and loyal companion–Will joins the heroic archer and his men.

Now, however, Will is in prison for a crime he did not commit. His sentence is death by hanging–unless he delivers King Raven and his band of cohorts.

That, of course, he will never do.

Wales is slowly falling under the control of the invading Normans, and King William the Red has given his ruthless barons control of the land. In desperation, the people turn to King Raven and his men for justice and survival in the face of the ever-growing onslaught.

From deep in the forest they form a daring plan for deliverance, knowing that failure means death for them all.

Scarlet continues Stephen R. Lawhead’s riveting saga that began with the novel Hood, which relocated the legend of Robin Hood to the Welsh countryside and its dark forests. Steeped in Celtic mythology and the political intrigue of medieval Britain, Lawhead’s trilogy conjures up an ancient past and holds a mirror to contemporary realities. Prepare for an epic tale that dares to shatter everything you thought you knew about Robin Hood.

For the same reasons as Tuck this book will also be leaving the TBR list.

GO

 

Another 5 books assessed and 2 have been removed. The list has now reduced to 496! This may take a while, I hope the next week to tackle ten books, but today has been too long a day.

Lady Book Dragon.