Hamnet | Maggie O’Farrell | a review

Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell | KarinaReadsI am sure Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet needs no introduction. This book is brilliant and utterly addictive – I finished it in two sittings. Hament follows Agnes and her family as they come together in a time of terrible grief. By never naming the famous husband the reader is able to focus on the everyday domesticity of 16th Century life and consider how Shakespeare-the-man interacted with others as a husband, son, tutor etc…He is never the focus, Agnes very much is and the author does an excellent job of rooting her and her family in Elizabethan England. It could have been any other family, Continue reading “Hamnet | Maggie O’Farrell | a review”

The Parentations | Kate Mayfield | a review

The Parentations by Kate Mayfield | Karina ReadsLooking for a wonderful blend of historical fiction and the fantastical? Well, look no further. Enter: The Parentations by Kate Mayfield. This epic novel spans the centuries, from Iceland in the 1700s to modern day London, we  follow the sisters Fitzgerald and the Fowler family as their lives intertwine, sharing a deadly secret. A pool hidden deep in Iceland’s volcanic landscape grants those who drink from it eternal life – as long as they take the right dose. Gifted with sips of this magical elixir, our main characters must constantly adapt over the years, enduring the changing cultures and laws of London and the heartbreak near-immortality brings.

‘Immortality is no gift. In the absence of death, true darkness emerges…’

Continue reading “The Parentations | Kate Mayfield | a review”

Bookends | #006

Bruges

Despite being on holiday for most of this week in sunny Bruges, I still managed to get through 3 books! Although I didn’t have as much time during the day to read I did have plenty of time while traveling on the various trains. The Eurostar is fabulous. Bruges was amazingly stunning, it is full of cobbled streets, breath-taking architecture and lovely, kind people. Oh and hundreds of chocolate shops, I even out-chocolated myself which I’d always thought an impossibility. I highly recommend it if you’re inclined to pretty medieval tourist spots. I could totally imagine princesses, knights and dragons roaming the streets. Anyway, onto les livres!

I mentioned last week Continue reading “Bookends | #006”

January Book Haul

January Book Haul | Karina Reads | Bradley Beaulieu, NK Jemisin, Josiah Bancroft, Kate Quinn

I’ve been quite restrained this month, although this doesn’t include my Kindle /Audible purchases… Out of sight, out of mind, right? Onto the books…

Of Sand and Malice Made | Bradley P Beaulieu | #0.5 The Song of the Shattered Sands

I am absolutely loving Twelve Kings by Beaulieu at the moment Continue reading “January Book Haul”

My 2017 Favourites | Book List 1 of 2

I can’t believe it’s this time of year already! This year has flown by and looking back, it hasn’t been the greatest reading year for me. Despite discovering the beauty of audiobooks, and several new genres, not many books stand out as really brilliant. As I browsed my Goodreads Reading Challenge I made a note of the ones I loved and as luck would have it, (as what is a favourites list if it does not contain 10 items?) I ended up with 10 wonderful novels. I thought I’d be able to squeeze them into one post, but alas, as each book came up I got so excited I had to write more. If you would like to check out Book List 2 of 2, you can do here. So, in no particular order here is part one of my favourite reads of 2017… Continue reading “My 2017 Favourites | Book List 1 of 2”

Mid Year Freak Out Book Tag

 

best book you’ve read so far in 2017

Without a doubt, Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier. This is the second book in the Sevenwaters series and I loved everything about it. It was atmospheric, tragic, magical and both upsetting and up-lifting. It is just wonderful.  Continue reading “Mid Year Freak Out Book Tag”

Pellinor Book Tag

Today I am doing the lovely Pippa’s Pellinor Book Tag. She loves the four book fantasy series by Alison Croggon and created this tag to show her appreciation for it and encourage others to pick them up. You can find her original post here over at her blog thelittlebookowl. I really enjoyed thinking about these questions so thanks for the tag! You don’t need to have read any of the books to participate so please give it a go if you fancy it! Continue reading “Pellinor Book Tag”

Autumn Recommendations: Historical Fiction

As an historian, it is no surprise that I love historical fiction. I love how easy it is to learn about the past and the life it gives to well known characters of our past. I particularly enjoy reading about periods I know little about as once I have finished I will go and look up the actual events and learn more. It is safe to say I’m happiest when reading stories set in the past, even when reading fantasy I prefer it to be set in some feudal land. I love Kings and Queens, and battles with swords/axes/arrows, not guns and cannons. Here are a three I have really enjoyed in the past year. Continue reading “Autumn Recommendations: Historical Fiction”

Dominion by CJ Sansom – A Review

This is a guest post by Ryan Webster. He has a blog focusing on Military History, you can check it out here. He’s been reading a wide variety of fiction lately and has very kindly agreed to write up some reviews for you lovely people. 

Dominion by CJ Sansom, Macmillan, 608pp

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

I have been familiar with CJ Sansom’s Shardlake series for some time now, so I was surprised at the direction this novel took. It’s essentially an alternative history spy thriller which is set in Nazi controlled London in the 1950s.

The Second World War did not happen as we know it, and portrays how events might have unfolded if the Third Reich was appeased. The book starts in 1940, with Neville Chamberlain acknowledging his position as Prime Minister is untenable, and a choice has to be made as to who will replace him. The popular candidates are Winston Churchill, a firm believer in Empire and the opposition of Nazi aggression, and the appeaser Lord Halifax. In this story, Churchill grudgingly agrees to work under Halifax in the new cabinet. Fast forward 10 years, and Britain is under an authoritarian government lead by newspaper magnate and Nazi sympathiser Lord Beaverbrook, and Churchill is forced underground as the leader of the Resistance. The Jews are beginning to be deported, there is violence on the streets and there are no elections.

Continue reading “Dominion by CJ Sansom – A Review”

August Wrap Up

 

So August was a great reading month for me, I managed to read seven books though I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep that rate up for the rest of the year! Continue reading “August Wrap Up”