review: Penelope’s Daughter

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Penelope’s Daughter by Laurel Corona In this novel The Odyssey is retold through the eyes of a character Homer never imagined–the daughter Odysseus didn’t know he had. If you know the original story, which, sadly I’ve never read the epic poem in its entirety (we skimmed it in English class), you’ll notice Penelope has no daughter. Of course, this is… Read more »

review: Finding Emilie

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Finding Emilie by Laurel Corona Set in the decades leading up to the French Revolution, this is a story of two women: Emilie du Chatelet, the love of the famed French writer and philosopher Voltaire, and the daughter she died giving birth to, Stanislas-Adelaide (known in this story as Lili). Shorter chapters are set throughout the book to give us… Read more »

review: The Scarlet Lion

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review: The Scarlet Lion by Elizabeth Chadwick Being the sequel to The Greatest Knight, this novel covers the life of William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke from 1197 to shortly after his death in 1219. While his wife, Isabelle, is busy giving birth to the rest of their ten children, William is settling their estates in Normandy and trying to step… Read more »

review: Lady of the English

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Lady of the English by Elizabeth Chadwick When his only son perished in a shipwreck, Henry I was forced to look elsewhere for England’s next monarch. Marrying a much younger woman did not produce another heir and so he began to weigh his other options: his nephew (son of his sister)–weak and already surrounded by factions–or his daughter, the strong… Read more »

review: The Greatest Knight

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The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick The Greatest Knight, set during a time when tournaments were the rage and war an unfortunate reality, spans the life and times of a humble knight who truly lived by the knight’s code of chivalry. A favorite in the tourney, he quickly made a name for himself and came to the notice of Eleanor… Read more »

review: The Royals

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The Royals: The Lives and Loves of the British Monarchs by Leslie Carroll Book Description: Since the Middle Ages, the lavish world of the English monarchy has fascinated the public. The Royals: The Lives and Loves of the British Monarchs uncovers the most colorful characters ever to wear the crown, from William the Conqueror, the Norman duke who invaded and… Read more »

review: Royal Romances

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Royal Romances: Titillating Tales of Passion and Power in the Palaces of Europe by Leslie Carroll Leslie Carroll’s fourth “Royal” book covers twelve monarchs and their great loves. Chronicling many that aren’t found in the other books, and some simply from a different angle, Royal Romances is all about love matches. Beginning with the 15th Century French King, Charles VII… Read more »

review: Royal Pains

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Royal Pains: A Rogue’s Gallery of Brats, Brutes, and Bad Seeds by Leslie Carroll Spanning from the 12th century to the 20th century, a dozen royals–bad in their own special way–are chronicled in this collection of misdeeds, brutality, and (more often than not) insanity. A run-down of the contenders includes such personages as (the given) England’s King John, (the infamous)… Read more »

review: Royal Affairs

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Royal Affairs by Leslie Carroll I read and loved Notorious Royal Marriages earlier this year and immediately went out and purchased its predecessor: Royal Affairs. This compendium of facts and figures on the other women (or men) in the lives of the British royals is just as fast-paced and witty, though with an eye-opening look at the other side of… Read more »

review: Notorious Royal Marriages by Leslie Carroll

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Notorious Royal Marriages by Leslie Carroll In my mind there is a subgenre in the history and biography sections of the bookstore which contains collections of non-fiction tidbits and anecdotes. Notorious Royal Marriages is one such book, and it resides on my bookshelf beside Eleanor Herman’s books and the Uppity Women series. While the latter are more humorous takes on… Read more »

review: Roses Have Thorns by Sandra Byrd

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Roses Have Thorns by Sandra Byrd In the entourage of Swedish Princess Cecelia, Elin von Snakenborg arrives in Elizabethan England after a harrowing months-long voyage, unsure about her future when she finds her dowry and her fiancés affections usurped. However dim her prospects, she shines at court with her quick wit and unflagging devotion to her mistress—qualities not lost on… Read more »

review: Alexa by Eleanor Burford

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Alexa by Eleanor Burford This is the first Eleanor Burford novel I have been able to purchase, due to scarcity and cost, and I am happy to report that not only do I own such a rare novel, but I really enjoyed reading it as well! I didn’t know what to expect with this book, because it’s an earlier work… Read more »