Sunday, December 2, 2012

Mailbox Monday

It's time once again for Mailbox Monday, a weekly meme created for bloggers to share the books that arrived in their home over the previous week.  Mailbox Monday is a travelling meme and is being hosted in the month of December by Suko's Notebook.   

A fair number of new books made their way into my home this past week, helped, in large part, by the Cyber Monday e-book deals I just had to take advantage of. 




Received for Review:

Mistress to the Crown by Isolde Martin

The day Lord Hastings came into her husband’s store, Elizabeth saw the opportunity she had waited twelve years for — a way to separate herself once and for all from her dull, impotent husband, William Shore. The handsome stranger presented not only the chance to partake in the dance of desire, but legal counsel to annul her 12-year marriage.
 


She did not, however, foresee her introduction to the King of England, nor her future at his side…and in his bed. From this unlikely alliance, Elizabeth is granted severance from Shore, and finds herself flourishing in the radiance of the King’s admiration. But she soon finds that her new position comes at a terrible price — her family has shunned her, the people of London have labelled her a harlot and the Queen’s family want her to burn in Hell.
 
So long as King Edward and Lord Hastings stay close, Elizabeth is safe. However, her beloved Ned falls ill and Lord Hastings falls out of favour.

Can Elizabeth's wiles keep her out of trouble? Or will they lead her to further trouble...and the hangman's noose?


Master of Verona by David Blixt

Romeo & Juliet is the greatest love story ever told. And every story has a beginning.

A sweeping novel of Renaissance Italy, THE MASTER OF VERONA follows Pietro Alaghieri, eldest son of the poet Dante, as he’s caught up by the charisma and genius of Verona’s ruler, Cangrande della Scala. Pietro risks battles, duels, and murder to impress his new lord. At the heart of the story is an infernal plot against Cangrande’s bastard heir, and the rivalry of two friends over the affections of a girl. That rivalry will sever a friendship, divide a city, and initiate a feud that will someday produce the star-cross’d lovers.

Based on the plays of William Shakespeare, the poetry of Dante, and the history of Italy, THE MASTER OF VERONA is a novel of brutal warfare, lost friendship, and dire conspiracy, combining to create a heart-stoppingly epic journey into the birth of the Renaissance that recalls the best of Bernard Cornwell and Dorothy Dunnett.


My Purchases:

The Passing Bells by Philip Rock

The guns of August are rumbling throughout Europe in the summer of 1914, but war has not yet touched Abingdon Pryory. Here, at the grand home of the Greville family, the parties, dances, and romances play on. Alexandra Greville embarks on her debutante season while brother Charles remains hopelessly in love with the beautiful, untitled Lydia Foxe, knowing that his father, the Earl of Stanmore, will never approve of the match. Downstairs the new servant, Ivy, struggles to adjust to the routines of the well-oiled household staff, as the arrival of American cousin Martin Rilke, a Chicago newspaperman, causes a stir.

But, ultimately, the Great War will not be denied, as what begins for the high-bred Grevilles as a glorious adventure soon takes its toll-shattering the household's tranquillity, crumbling class barriers, and bringing its myriad horrors home.


Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey by The Countess of Carnarvon 

Lady Fiona Carnarvon became the chatelaine of Highclere Castle - the setting of the hit series Downton Abbey - eight years ago. In that time she's become fascinated by the rich history of Highclere, and by the extraordinary people who lived there over the centuries. One person particularly captured Fiona's imagination - Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon. Almina was the illegitimate daughter of banking tycoon Alfred de Rothschild. She was his only daughter and he doted on her. She married the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, at 19, with an enormous dowry. At first, life at Highclere was a dizzying mix of sumptuous banquets for 500 and even the occasional royal visitor. Almina oversaw 80 members of staff - many of whom came from families who had worked at Highclere for generations. But when the First World War broke out, life at Highclere changed forever. History intervened and Almina and the staff of Highclere were thrown into one of the most turbulent times of the last century. Almina was forced to draw on her deepest reserves of courage in order to ensure her family, the staff and the castle survived. This is the remarkable story of a lost time. But Highclere remains and in this book, Fiona weaves Almina's journey and those of her family into the heritage and history of one of England's most exquisite Victorian castles.

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war. This is not that world.

Ar student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is--and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. Forhope. But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?


I also bought the following e-books:

  • Penmarric by Susan Howatch 
  • The Grand Tour: or the Purloined Coronation Regalia by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer;
  • The Mislaid Magician: or Ten Years After by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer;
  • Jalna by Mazo de la Roche;
  • Barbara Hambly's Darwarth series; and
  • Patricia C. Wrede's Lyra series.





29 comments:

  1. Two friends just finished The Passing Bells and gave it raves. Can't wait to see what you think of it!

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    1. I'm very happy to hear that. As soon as my schedule allows it I'll definitely be picking this one up.

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  2. I'm reading The Passing Bells now after seeing it reviewed over at Historical Tapestries. It's engrossing in that wonderful old fashioned epic way.

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    1. I'm very happy to hear that. I can't wait to dive right into it.

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  3. Hope you enjoy the Downton Abbey book. I found it really interesting.

    Kimberlee
    http://girllostinabook.blogspot.com

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    1. I'm looking forward to it. Glad to hear you thought it was a good read.

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  4. Have you already read the Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Wrede and Stevermer? Its the first in the trilogy. My friend recommended it to me, and I really enjoyed it. I just finished Days of Blood and Starlight, and its just as good as the first.

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    1. I haven't read it yet, but do own it so that is why it wasn't one of my purchases. I've read great things about the series so I'll make a point to read at least the first book next year.

      I still have to read Daughter of Smoke and Bone :-)

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  5. I read an Isolde Martin novel many years ago. Her new one sounds very good. Enjoy your new books!

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  6. Putting The Passing Bells on my wishlist. It sounds fabulous! Have a wonderful week and enjoy your new books!

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  7. All of these looks great! The Passing Bells looks really good.

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    1. Based on the comments here, it seems this one appeals to a lot of people.

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  8. These books sound good, enjoy!

    http://tributebooksmama.blogspot.com/2012/12/mailbox-monday.html

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  9. Glad you had fun on Cyber Monday! Enjoy your books!

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  10. I loved Master of Verona when I read it a few years ago!

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    1. I love it so far, Marg. Wonderfully vivid descriptions and great characters. I'll be reviewing it, as part of a David Blixt blog tour, next Monday.

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  11. Mistress to the Crown sounds very good. I've heard lot of good about Laini Taylor's books but haven't read any yet. Enjoy your new reads!

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    1. I have to admit I still haven't read the first Laini Taylor book, which is sitting on my shelf just waiting to be picked up.

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  12. Mistress to the Crown and The Passing Bells look good. Are you on the tour for Passing Bells?

    ENJOY all your reads.

    My Mailbox Monday link is below....hope you can stop by to also see my review of THE SECRET KEEPER

    AND

    A review and E-book giveaway of MURDER TAKES TIME

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My Mailbox Monday

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    1. I'm not on the tour for The Passing Bells, I picked the book up when I was at the bookstore on the weekend.

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  13. Replies
    1. Looks like quite a few nice historical novels - enjoy.

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  14. I hear Days of Blood and Starlight is amazing and I can't wait to read it myself. Hope you enjoy all your new reads!

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  15. Thanks for stopping by - Master of Verona sounds like an interesting read.

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  16. They all look good, especially Mistress to the Crown. I love a good historical. Happy reading :)

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  17. I've been seeing Days of Blood and Starlight all over the place this week and it's a constant reminder that I still haven't read Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I hope to get to it soon. Great books!

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  18. What a great list of books! I would really like to read Master of Verona.

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  19. "Penmarric" is one of the books from forever ago that made me interested in the family saga. It's a great book which I think you'll love.

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