Dark Fire by CJ Sansom – A Review

Okay so I must begin with a confession. I started the month reading Jessica Cornwall’s The Serpent Papers. I read the first half but really struggled to get into it. I found the prose difficult to follow and there was a heavy focus on alchemy, without much explanation. The blurb was brilliant, and really made me want to read it. But in reality, I wasn’t enjoying it and life is too short to plod on reading books you don’t enjoy! So, I gave my copy to my boyfriend’s boss and got started on CJ Sansom’s epic sequel to Dissolution.

There is always a worry with sequels that the story will be less enticing, new characters less likeable and that plot lines might be more predictable now you know the protagonist better. None of these apply to the brilliant Shardlake series. Continue reading

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Monarch Series: Catherine the Great

Catherine the Great was born the daughter of a German Prince on 2nd May 1729 and died in 1796 as the Empress of Russia. Catherine’s reign is often referred to as the Golden Age of Russia as she successfully expanded her borders, maintained friendly relations with Europe’s leading powers, encouraged Enlightened thinkers and won strategic battles. Many believe the myth that she died during an intimate moment with a horse which stems from her active sex life,yet she did far more for Russia than produce court gossip…

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I’m feeling Twenty-Twoo

Today I turn 22. And I’m really happyΒ to leave 21 behind.

Everyone claims that 21 is the age to be and it’s the best time of life. I found it quite… stressful. My 21st birthday was brilliant, don’t get me wrong. I wasΒ whisked off to Bath by my boyfriend. We spent the day discovering the Roman Baths and shopping and the night drinking cocktails and eating a fabulous curry before going to sleep at the Hilton. Couldn’t have been more perfect. But all too soon we had to go back to the final semester at University where special subject assignments clashed with the looming dissertation deadline and our spare time was spent working to save money so that we could afford rent somewhere come July.

I guess being 21 is a turning point age. I graduated university with a First Class History degree, I officially moved in with Ryan and upped sticks to a town 21 miles away from where we met and work and got my first full-time post-uni job. Although everything worked out really well, the worrying was awful. I suffered horrific headaches and stressy meltdowns, panicking that I’d have nowhere to live, no money, no career… the list goes on. That was not so much fun. I wouldn’t change anything, apart from maybe wishing I won the lottery or was magically offered my dream job, it’s not a year I want to relive.

Now it is a new year and a new age. 22 isn’t classed a big birthday, but I’m excited. It’s an adult age. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Yes, I’m still crippled by student overdraft debt that just won’t budge and still trying to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life, but now that I can work full time I know it will sort itself out. I don’t have to eagerly await the next student loan instalment. There’s a weird sort of freedom in that. I am super confident that this year holds even better, exciting opportunities. Well, at the very least in the first month of 22, I will have completed a Half Marathon (arghhhh!). I may end up crawling round with a time that a baby would be embarrassed about but I WILL get round. And it’s a pretty cool way to start my ‘adult’ life.

 

Here’s to being 22 – and LOVING it!!!