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What Are You Reading? October 2013

For discussions of historical fiction. Threads that do not relate to historical fiction should be started in the Chat forum or elsewhere on the forum, depending on the topic.
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annis
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4585
Joined: August 2008

Post by annis » Wed October 16th, 2013, 6:32 pm

Pagan Lord, by Bernard Cornwell, latest in the Saxon Stories cycle. Will Uhtred actually get his ancestral home, Bebbanburg, back this time, or will he (and we) have to wait for another 4 volumes? :)

This novel covers events recently seen in V.M. Whitworth's Traitors, which is also set around a planned invasion of England led by Cnut Longsword, Cornwell's pagan lord. Edgar Ætheling's alliance with the Danes is a significant feature in James Aitcheson's Splintered Kingdom as well- so we're starting to see quite a few novels set in the turbulent period following King Alfred's death.
Last edited by annis on Wed October 16th, 2013, 6:39 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Nefret
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 2980
Joined: February 2009
Favourite HF book: Welsh Princes trilogy
Preferred HF: The Middle Ages (England), New Kingdom Egypt, Medieval France
Location: Temple of Isis

Post by Nefret » Wed October 16th, 2013, 7:25 pm

The newest Cornwell is out already?
Into battle we ride with Gods by our side
We are strong and not afraid to die
We have an urge to kill and our lust for blood has to be fulfilled
WE´LL FIGHT TILL THE END! And send our enemies straight to Hell!
- "Into Battle"
{Ensiferum}

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sweetpotatoboy
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Posts: 1641
Joined: August 2008
Location: London, UK

Post by sweetpotatoboy » Wed October 16th, 2013, 8:17 pm

[quote=""LadyB""]I'm reading Delilah by Eleanor De Jong.[/quote]

Will be keen to know how you find it. Our book group read her next book, "Jezebel", recently and wasn't too impressed.

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princess garnet
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Joined: August 2008
Location: Maryland

Post by princess garnet » Thu October 17th, 2013, 8:30 pm

Practicing History by Barbara Tuchman (NF)

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3564
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Thu October 17th, 2013, 9:08 pm

I'm reading the Winter Mantle by Elizabeth Chadwick.

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Lisa
Bibliophile
Posts: 1153
Joined: August 2012
Favourite HF book: Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman
Preferred HF: Any time period/location. Timeslip, usually prefer female POV. Also love Gothic melodrama.
Location: Northeast Scotland

Post by Lisa » Fri October 18th, 2013, 2:04 pm

[quote=""sweetpotatoboy""]Will be keen to know how you find it. Our book group read her next book, "Jezebel", recently and wasn't too impressed.[/quote]

I finished Delilah last night. Well, even though I knew what to expect, I found the ending quite shocking! I'm not familiar with the biblical version of the story (just a vague outline, probably from school), so I don't know what has been elaborated on. But that was harsh.

As for the rest of the story, it piqued my interest from the start and was easy to read. The descriptions were good although I detected a bit of 'info-dumping' at times (I really didn't need to know in great detail what every dress of Delilah's looked like). The middle of the story was slower and felt like it was held together by many love scenes one after the other, with certain character actions and thoughts thrown in just to show the reader "look, I haven't forgotten about this very important point!". One character that I thought would be central completely stopped appearing after the first few chapters for no apparent reason. And although I thought the plot was well thought out, with its rationalising of certain events and making the characters seem human, some behaviour I did find odd, like Delilah's family's lax attitude towards their teenage daughter, letting her disappear for days and nights on end and sleep with whoever she wanted.

But overall it was an enjoyable, easy read. I read the first chapter of Jezebel which was included at the end of the book, and it looks like Delilah is the better of the two books – what I read there did not hold my interest at all.

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fljustice
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Location: Brooklyn, NY
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Post by fljustice » Fri October 18th, 2013, 2:57 pm

After a long streak of non-fiction and dithering over my TBR list, I finally settled on Wolf Hall. I had read several OK novels (fine, but not special) and needed something that grabbed me and held me. One hundred pages in and it's doing the trick. :)
Faith L. Justice, Author Website
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sweetpotatoboy
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Location: London, UK

Post by sweetpotatoboy » Fri October 18th, 2013, 3:11 pm

[quote=""LadyB""]I finished Delilah last night. [...]And although I thought the plot was well thought out, with its rationalising of certain events and making the characters seem human, some behaviour I did find odd, like Delilah's family's lax attitude towards their teenage daughter, letting her disappear for days and nights on end and sleep with whoever she wanted.
[/quote]

Thanks for the detailed comments. Yes, it was kind of similar in Jezebel. She behaved somewhat surprisingly freely for a woman of her class and time. At one point, the afternoon after giving birth, she pops down to the market with her maid to buy a few knick-knacks..... To be honest, that's wrong on so many levels.

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emr
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Location: Castilla

Post by emr » Fri October 18th, 2013, 3:37 pm

The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell
"So many books, so little time."
— Frank Zappa

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Brenna
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Location: Delaware

Post by Brenna » Fri October 18th, 2013, 10:02 pm

Bitter Greens. A whole lot of awesomeness here. So glad my momma brought it back from the UK for me.
Brenna

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