Tag Archives: historical

2020 Cover Love

If you recall from last year (hehe) I did a series throughout the year called cover love to high new releases and their beautiful covers. Its 2020 and I am still keeping that ball rolling.


Beyond the fact that these books look gorgeous and will look absolutely stunning on my bookshelf, they sound fantastic.

What books are you looking forward to so far this year?

Manga Monday: The Ghost and the Lady by Kazuhiro Fujita

Kodansha Comics
Published Oct. 25, 2016
304 Pages

Deep in London’s Scotland Yard sits an evidence room dedicated to the greatest mysteries of British history. In this “Black Museum” sits a misshapen hunk of lead–two bullets fused together–the key to the untold story of a wartime encounter between Florence Nightingale, the mother of modern nursing, and a supernatural Man in Grey.

The record books show Florence fought for compassion as empires’ petty rivalries threatened to destroy the hopes and lives of common people. But a guest in the Black Museum knows the truth is not so simple, and the famed Lady with the Lamp had a ghastly secret.- Goodreads

I had no idea what to expect with this read as I picked up the book before even checking out the summary.

Its different. The entire paranormal historical plot is different from any manga I have ever read and it is slightly hard to explain. But overall, the man in grey is telling someone his story and why he is where he is at. This story includes Florence Nightingale and it is a interesting twist to her story as she becomes the mother of modern nursing. I would say this manga is romantic but not in the way most people think of it now. It provides a lightness, even though it mentions death and sickness. It isn’t dark, at least for me. But this is also not saying it can’t get dark. The author seems to leave a lot of openness in the world and I am not 100% sure if that is intended.

The story is slow and towards the end of volume one you get to know about the man in grey as opposed to majority of the volume was about Florence. What I liked about this manga beyond its uniqueness, its lightness and feel of romance, is you can take your time reading this and feel like you’re not missing anything. You’re reading a twist on historic events and that is the pull. The man is grey, although can be funny at times, tells the story as if he was speaking with you.

In regards to artwork, it is not typical manga style not even close. It is though detailed and as the story follows very light.

I know this is a fairly short review but its hard to really describe this manga. I liked it though. It is well throughout, full of history, emotional and at times full of giggle moments.


4 Pickles

Impatiently Waiting For: Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough

Dutton Books for Young Readers
TBP: March 6th 2018
304 Pages

A stunning debut novel based on the true story of the iconic painter, Artemisia Gentileschi.

Her mother died when she was twelve, and suddenly Artemisia Gentileschi had a stark choice: a life as a nun in a convent or a life grinding pigment for her father’s paint.

She chose paint.

By the time she was seventeen, Artemisia did more than grind pigment. She was one of Rome’s most talented painters, even if no one knew her name. But Rome in 1610 was a city where men took what they wanted from women, and in the aftermath of rape Artemisia faced another terrible choice: a life of silence or a life of truth, no matter the cost.

He will not consume
my every thought.
I am a painter.
I will paint.

Joy McCullough’s bold novel in verse is a portrait of an artist as a young woman, filled with the soaring highs of creative inspiration and the devastating setbacks of a system built to break her. McCullough weaves Artemisia’s heartbreaking story with the stories of the ancient heroines, Susanna and Judith, who become not only the subjects of two of Artemisia’s most famous paintings but sources of strength as she battles to paint a woman’s timeless truth in the face of unspeakable and all-too-familiar violence.

I will show you
what a woman can do- Goodreads

Impatiently Waiting For: Ivory and Bone (Ivory and Bone #1) by Julie Eshbaugh

HarperTeen To Be Published June 7, 2016 384 Pages
To Be Published June 7, 2016
384 Pages

A prehistoric fantasy—with allusions to Pride and Prejudice.

Hunting, gathering, and keeping his family safe—that’s the life seventeen-year-old Kol knows. Then bold, enigmatic Mya arrives from the south with her family, and Kol is captivated. He wants her to like and trust him, but any hopes of impressing her are ruined when he makes a careless—and nearly grave—mistake. However, there’s something more to Mya’s cool disdain…a history wrought with loss that comes to light when another clan arrives. With them is Lo, an enemy from Mya’s past who Mya swears has ulterior motives.

As Kol gets to know Lo, tensions between Mya and Lo escalate until violence erupts. Faced with shattering losses, Kol is forced to question every person he’s trusted. One thing is for sure: this was a war that Mya or Lo—Kol doesn’t know which—had been planning all along– Goodreads

NetGalley Review: The Lost Soul of Lord Badewyn (The Order of the MUSE #3) by Mia Marlowe

Entangled: Select Historical To Be Published Nov. 23, 2015 Ebook
Entangled: Select Historical
To Be Published Nov. 23, 2015

Meg Anthony is an imposter. Born in the poorest part of the city, she was a thief used for her supernatural powers by her Uncle and his nephew for their selfish needs. 

When she is found by the Order of the Muse, she is saved from a life miserable life and is begins training as a lady. But when her Uncle finds out where Meg is at then for her protection, she is sent to Wales under the protection of the mysterious and isolated Badewyn.

Badewyn who is a nephilim, doesn’t want nor believe in love but when Meg arrives at his door he is tempted to change his mind and never let her go.

I didn’t realize that this was book three to the Order of the Muse series. But it really doesn’t matter because as reading it I didn’t feel as if I was missing something. I greatly appreciated this and it showed skill from the author.

So anyway, I liked this book; I thought it was okay. The reason I thought it was “just okay” was because the characters weren’t that memorable for me, although the plot was actually pretty good. Meg didn’t display a true personality after she fell for Badewyn. She was witty and had an “issue” of holding her tongue but it didn’t really last long because everything became about Badewyn, her love for him and his complicated love for her.

It wasn’t an issue of conflict between the two because they had more than enough. I simply wanted her to shine more. It would have made the book perfect. As for Badewyn, he wasn’t what I was expecting and I felt that his change was a bit surprising. He went from a isolated man who didn’t want his feelings to the next page proclaiming his unconditional love. I liked the fact that he knew what he wanted but the change was drastic.

The plot was creative and it kept my attention all the way through. However, it should have been more dramatic. The ending was too easy and that pissed me off because no one should have gotten scotts free. It was too much of a cliche happy ending.

I liked the book but it could have been much much more dramatic considering it was dealing with the supernatural. I’m not exactly sure if I will read the first two books. This book didn’t make me feel as if I was missing something; therefore I may not continue it.

3 Pickles

NetGalley Review: Beastly Bones (Jackaby #2) by William Ritter

Algonquin Young Readers To Be Published Sept. 22, 2015 304 Pages
Algonquin Young Readers
To Be Published Sept. 22, 2015
304 Pages

If you haven’t read the first book, check out my review for it here.

Abigail and Jackaby have just gotten use to each other when they are called upon another supernatural case. 

Their first call comes from a woman who unknowingly has dangerous shape-shifters disguised as kittens for pets but is found the next day dead with a mysterious puncture wound on her neck.

Next they are called to Gad’s Valley, home of police detective Charlie to find newly found dinosaur bones missing and a growing pile of dead bodies. 

No longer just looking for the supernatural but Abigail and Jackaby are looking for a very human culprit. 

Ritter is very good at keeping you interested and then finally giving you exactly what you was looking for. In this book it took a bit longer to actually get to the meat, the pure excitement of the book but when it did it was perfect.

I am not going to get too much into the characters because that was done in my first review and not much has completely changed. But I will add how I loved the fact that Abigail didn’t do what most leading women in these types of books do. I hate the fact that women in fiction and in real life feel that they can’t have it all or both. I really loved the fact that Ritter touched on this and did something great about it. It really won my heart.

I also loved the fact that there was no predictability within this book; even the bigger picture left me surprised. It made me excited for the next read.

The pace of the novel was a bit slow not too slow where I felt I needed to put the book down but slow enough to notice. I didn’t mind this too much. But what I did mind was the fact that there is still so much missing on Jackaby. I was hoping for most insight on his past. I am sure it is to come but I am wondering how many books before I actually feel as if I know him.

Overall, another great read.

4 Pickles

NetGalley Review: Queen of Tomorrow (Stolen Empire #2) by Sherry D. Ficklin

Clean Teen Publishing To Be Published Oct. 2, 2015
Clean Teen Publishing
To Be Published Oct. 2, 2015

Sophie or now know as Catherine, Grand Duchess of Russia isn’t having what is considered the best time in court. Married to Grand Duke Peter and far away from the Empress, Sophie is getting slightly use to things. 

But with Sophie not producing a heir, Empress is keened to putting another prince on her throne, leaving her caught in the middle of a political battle that not only questions her innocence but also her life.

Running out of options, Sophie does the unthinkable to save her home and new empire.

If you didn’t read the first book check out my review here

Also check out the interview with the author here

Ficklin has a way of keeping a story that you feel doesn’t have much to tell interesting.  This being the second book, I still has issues with Sophie and her views of love/romance. She doesn’t do as much back and forth as she did in the first book, however, I still don’t think she truly know what love is. One moment she wants love and affections from her husband, the next moment she wants it from her lover. It was annoying if not confusing.

What I did love about this book was Sophie’s character development; she still has her heart but she is playing the game very well. I also enjoyed the pace of the novel and the element of unpredictability. There was a lot going on and the author was able to transition extremely smoothly.

Although there was a lot of good in this novel, it wasn’t as great as the first one. There was a heightened excitement in the first one that wasn’t there in this one. This book stalled, not as if the author was reaching to make it exciting, but because this book involved more of Sophie being strategic in regards to her allies and her husband.

Overall, I wished for more excitement and a more emotionally stable Sophie (in regards to her heart).  Oh yeah, Peter is a brat -_- would love to see him grow up slightly and forgive Sophie. Oh and one more thing. . .  cannot stand how the book ended . . . again.

3.5 Pickles

Book Review: Dark Aemilia (A Novel of Shakespeare’s Dark Lady) by Sally O’Reilly

 Picador Published May 27, 2014 448 Pages
Published May 27, 2014
448 Pages

This is the story of Shakespeare’s lady love. 

Aemilia Bassano, the daughter of a Venetian musician and the Queen’s favorite is known for her beauty, love of poetry and her sharp tongue and wit.

The mistress to Lord Hunsdon, Aemilia has been able to live the life of uncomplicated luxury. But when meets William Shakespeare who fuels her passion for words and for true love.

But fate has another plan for Aemilia and her ill-affair with William. Ten years later, her beloved Queen is dying, William hates her, she is married to a lame and she is taking care of her young son Henry.

When Henry gets sick, Aemilia must turn to unconventional methods in order to save her son.

I really enjoyed this book. Before this book, I never heard of Shakespeare’s dark lady so my curiosity peaked. The controversy surrounding Shakespeare is just as good as his plays. But anyway, what I enjoyed about this book was Aemilia herself. She was a woman defined and although she had a role to play she knew the role and played it better than anyone expected.

Her loyalty was something fierce and I respect that in anyone (fiction or nonfiction). Beyond her loyalty I love how realistic she was and how she wasn’t a linear character; she grew and developed into a woman I respect.

I also loved the fact that this book was less about the relationship between Aemilia and Shakespeare and more about Aemilia.

I love the attention to detail the author created. The scenery was perfect; you can tell that the author did some research to create this setting.

However despite the great story-line, character development and perfect focus this book was way too long . . . by like 300 pages too long.  Also the ending although, for a lack of better term, correct in

Overall, I enjoyed this book, but the length despite all the good qualities, made me lose focus and put the book down.

3.5 Pickles