I've received quite a few books in my mailbox over the past couple of weeks, here is a sample:
Received for Review
City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte
Once a city of enormous wealth and culture, Prague was home to emperors, alchemists, astronomers, and, as it's whispered, hell portals. When music student Sarah Weston lands a summer job at Prague Castle cataloging Beethoven's manuscripts, she has no idea how dangerous her life is about to become. Prague is a threshold, Sarah is warned, and it is steeped in blood.
Soon after Sarah arrives, strange things begin to happen. She learns that her mentor, who was working at the castle, may not have committed suicide after all. Could his cryptic notes be warnings? As Sarah parses his clues about Beethoven's "Immortal Beloved," she manages to get arrested, to have tantric sex in a public fountain, and to discover a time-warping drug. She also catches the attention of a four-hundred-year-old dwarf, the handsome Prince Max, and a powerful U.S. senator with secrets she will do anything to hide.
City of Dark Magic could be called a rom-com paranormal suspense novel-or it could simply be called one of the most entertaining novels of the year.
Penguin | November 27, 2012
The Raven's Heart by Jesse Blackadder
The Blackadder family has long awaited for the Queen’s return to bring them justice. Alison Blackadder, disguised as a boy from childhood to protect her from the murderous clan that stole their lands, must learn to be a lady-in-waiting to the Queen, building a web of dependence and reward.
Just as the Queen can trust nobody, Alison discovers lies, danger and treachery at every turn.
This sweeping, imaginative and original tale of political intrigue, misplaced loyalty, secret passion, and implacable revenge is based on real characters and events from the reign of Mary Queen of Scots.
Bywater Books | September 11, 2012
Summerset Abbey by T.J. Brown
Rowena Buxton - Sir Philip Buxton raised three girls into beautiful and capable young women in a bohemian household that defied Edwardian tradition. Eldest sister Rowena was taught to value people, not wealth or status. But everything she believes will be tested when Sir Philip dies, and the girls must live under their uncle's guardianship at the vast family estate, Summerset Abbey. Standing up for a beloved family member sequestered to the "underclass" in this privileged new world, and drawn into the Cunning Coterie, an exclusive social circle of aristocratic "rebels," Rowena must decide where her true passions-and loyalties-lie.
Victoria Buxton - Frail in body but filled with an audacious spirit, Victoria secretly dreams of attending university to become a botanist like her father. But this most unladylike wish is not her only secret-Victoria has stumbled upon a family scandal that, if revealed, has the potential to change lives forever. . .
Prudence Tate - Prudence was lovingly brought up alongside Victoria and Rowena, and their bond is as strong as blood. But by birth she is a governess's daughter, and to the lord of Summerset Abbey, that makes her a commoner who must take her true place in society-as lady's maid to her beloved "sisters." But Pru doesn't belong in the downstairs world of the household staff any more than she belongs upstairs with the Buxton girls. And when a young lord catches her eye, she begins to wonder if she'll ever truly carve out a place for herself at Summerset Abbey.
Gallery Books | January 15, 2013
The Water Witch by Juliet Dark
After casting out a dark spirit, Callie McFay, a professor of gothic literature, has at last restored a semblance of calm to her rambling Victorian house. But in the nearby thicket of the honeysuckle forest, and in the currents of the rushing Undine stream, more trouble is stirring. . . .
The enchanted town of Fairwick's dazzling mix of mythical creatures has come under siege from the Grove: a sinister group of witches determined to banish the fey back to their ancestral land. With factions turning on one another, all are cruelly forced to take sides. Callie's grandmother, a prominent Grove member, demands her granddaughter's compliance, but half-witch/half-fey Callie can hardly betray her friends and colleagues at the college. To stave off disaster, Callie enlists Duncan Laird, an alluring seductive academic who cultivates her vast magical potential, but to what end? Deeply conflicted, Callie struggles to save her beloved Fairwick, dangerously pushing her extraordinary powers to the limit-risking all, even the needs of her own passionate heart.
Random House Publishing Group | February 12, 2013
The Shadow Prince by Terence Morgan
The Year After by Martin Davis
DECEMBER 1919. Tom Allen, uncomfortable in London after five years in uniform, receives an invitation to spend Christmas at Hannesford Court.
It's almost as if nothing has changed. Cards in the library after dinner. The Boxing Day shoot. The New Year ball. Margot.
But Tom hasn't forgotten the professor. A strange meeting in Germany has raised a question in his mind: in all his visits to Hannesford before the War, all those years observing the glittering life of its owners, how much did he ever really see?
The Malice of Fortune by Michael Ennis
A sweeping, intense historical thriller starring two of the great minds of Renaissance Italy: Niccolò Machiavelli and Leonardo da Vinci. Based on a real historical mystery, and involving serial murder and a gruesome cat and mouse game at the highest levels of the Church -- it was the era of the infamous Borgias -- The Malice of Fortune is a delicious treat for fans of Umberto Eco, Sarah Dunant, and Elizabeth Kostova.
This brilliant novel is an epic tale exploring the backdrop of the most controversial work of the Italian Renaissance, The Prince. Here, Niccolò Machiavelli, the great "scientist" of human behaviour becomes, in effect, the first criminal profiler, while his contemporary and sometime colleague, the erratic genius Leonardo da Vinci, brings his observational powers to the increasingly desperate hunt for a brilliant, terrifying serial murderer. Their foil and partner is the exquisite Damiata, scholar and courtesan. All three know their quarry is someone who holds enormous power, both to tear Italy apart, and destroy each of their most beloved dreams. And every thrilling step is based on historical fact.
That's it for me. What did you get in your mailbox this week?
In Dubious Battle
6 hours ago