Reviews tagged "historical"

 

The Twelfth Enchantment by David Liss

I really wanted to like this book: it’s a Regency-era fantasy (Corsets! Advantageous matches! Industrialization! Magic!) with Romantic poets in it. Not only does it have Lord Byron (who seems to be especially beloved of SF authors everywhere for some reason), but it also has William Blake, who really is an even better SF fit […]

0

The Magicians and Mrs. Quent by Galen Becket

A fun idea gets a mediocre treatment in this fantasy-adventure-meets-19th-century-manners novel. The author sets his story — involving several central characters trying to stay one step ahead of the bad guys so that the bad guys can’t destroy the world — in a milieu which, he hopes, invokes the England of Austen and Bronte. Ivy, […]

0

Territory by Emma Bull

I will admit that as I read the first couple chapters of this book, I was less than enthusiastic about it. I thought it was going to be a bit dull, or at least extremely confusing. However, it’s been months since I finished reading it, and it’s still on my mind (hence this review). Instead […]

0

Lavinia by Ursula K. Le Guin

As an amateur scholar who is passionate about classical literature, I approached this book with a combination of interest and trepidation. Since Lavinia is basically a non-entity in Vergil’s Aeneid, a retelling of the story from her perspective could go any number of directions, many of them not particularly appealing. But far from being disappointed, […]

0

Snow by Tracy Lynn

In this fairly conventional retelling of Snow White, ‘Snow’ is Jessica, the daughter of a duke in a corner of Wales, assumedly in the mid- to late-nineteenth century. When her wicked stepmother, convinced that she needs to eat Jessica’s heart in order to have a child, tries to have her killed, Jessica makes a run […]

0

The Year of the Warrior by Lars Walker

In this book, part of which was previously published under the title Erling’s Word, Aillil, an Irish slave brought to serve the Vikings around the year 1000 A.D., tells the story of his years of service in Norway. Aillil was a failure as a monk, but suddenly he finds his freedom — not to mention […]

0

The Stress of Her Regard by Tim Powers

One of the main pleasures about Tim Powers’ books is the pleasingly baroque sentences that result when you attempt to summarize their premises. The Stress of Her Regard, for instance, is based on the idea that vampires are really succubi, who are really the nephelim from Genesis, who are really silicon-based lifeforms, who are also […]

0

The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope

When her younger sister Alicia angers Queen Mary, Kate Sutton has to bear the brunt of the Queen’s anger. She is dismissed from her place as lady-in-waiting to Princess Elizabeth and exiled to a remote castle called the Perilous Gard, in the keeping of Sir Geoffrey Heron. As Kate explores the castle, she meets Christopher […]

0

The Hollow Kingdom by Clare B. Dunkle

Newly orphaned Kate Winslow and her younger sister Emily have been sent to live with their guardian at the old family estate of Hallow Hill. Kate soon finds, however, that the local legends of goblins are terrifyingly real. By ancient tradition, the goblin king always kidnaps his wife; and Marak, the latest king, has chosen […]

0

The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers

Words like “uniquely bizarre” are practically clichés when it comes to describing Tim Powers’ books, but they are no less true for that — and, as always, fully applicable to this enjoyable, zany novel about time travel. And Lord Byron, and ancient Egyptian gods, and a body-stealing werewolf, and kas, and a terrifyingly villainous deformed […]

0