Review: The Inheritance Trilogy, by N.K. Jemisin

The Inheritance Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin My rating: 5 of 5 stars It would appear there is a new star in the celestial body of my favourite authors, and that is N.K. Jemisin. Having been impressed with her Broken Earth trilogy, I was curious about her other works, and delved into The Inheritance Trilogy. I am very glad I did. Here is a fantasy unlike any other. Jemisin, who has now received three Hugo Awards,…

Review: The Longest Year

The Longest Year by Daniel Grenier My rating: 2 of 5 stars It is not to be said I give up on a book. Yet there were many times I was sorely tempted to do just that with this finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for French Fiction, by Daniel Grenier. Perhaps that lack is due to the translation. The story Grenier tells is a Methuselah tale, and one which doesn’t bring much new…

Review: The Stone Sky, by N.K. Jemisin

The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin My rating: 4 of 5 stars The conclusion of N.K. Jemisin’s stunning and original trilogy, The Broken Earth perfectly completes in The Stone Sky. I have said it before, and I will say it again, Jemisin has written a remarkable, unique and fascinating world, people by fascinating characters and species, wrapped in flawless and beautiful writing. There is no lag in tension, no meandering exposition. This is storytelling at…

Review: The Obelisk Gate, by N.K. Jemisin

The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin My rating: 4 of 5 stars The second novel in N.K. Jemisin’s The Broken Earth series, The Obelisk Gate expands upon the broken society, world, and characters of her unique and stunningly realized creation. The concepts she deals with by way of unique species and abilities, and the hardships they endure because of those extraordinary characteristics, expand in this second novel, with expertly crafted details which flow seamlessly through…

Review: The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin My rating: 4 of 5 stars This is simply one of the most stunning and original works of speculative fiction I have read in a number of years, and a novel very much worthy of all the accolades it’s received. N.K. Jemisin has created a unique world, peopled with compelling and complex characters, who, although extraordinary, very much pull at the common threads of humanity. It is a novel…

Review:The Borgias: The Hidden History, by G.J. Meyer

The Borgias: The Hidden History by G.J. Meyer My rating: 3 of 5 stars A slog of a book to get through, but certainly a comprehensive history of this infamous family known as the Borgias. Another book you read because you should, and certainly one you should read to dispel all the sensationalism which has gilded this family via steamy film and stage productions. View all my reviews

Review: A History of Milan Under the Sforza

A History of Milan Under the Sforza by Cecilia Mary Ady My rating: 3 of 5 stars If you’re looking for a comprehensive, albeit dry, history of the Sforza, this is the book to study. Every minute detail of their lives, their rise to power, the cultural and political surround has been painstakingly researched, if not particularly engagingly written. Certainly a book one reads because one should. View all my reviews

Review: A Place Called Winter, by Patrick Gale

A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale My rating: 4 of 5 stars Sensitively written, beautiful yet precise prose, seamless environmental detail, and characters who are credible, A Place Called Winter is an historical novel worth a reader’s attention and time. Set in late 19th century Saskatchewan, Patrick Gale chronicles the difficult journey, both psychological and temporal, of Harry Cane (an actual ancestor of the author’s). Cane, who flees England upon threat of exposure and…

Review: The House of Medici, by Christopher Hibbert

The House of Medici: Its Rise and Fall by Christopher Hibbert My rating: 3 of 5 stars Christopher Hibbert has written a comprehensive history of the Medici dynasty, painstakingly researched. It is a fascinating read for anyone interested in this illustrious and often infamous family who influenced princes and kings, religious leaders, artists, scientists and political theorists. They were the patrons of the Illuminati of centuries, and left a legacy which remains to this day….

Cleopatra, Caliban and musings

Have been watching the long (three hours and 12 minutes) 1963 film version of Cleopatra, staring the scintillating and dynamic Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. According to the Wikipedia entry, the film was the only film to be the highest-grossing film of the year, yet still ran at a loss and nearly bankrupted 20th Century Fox. It won four Academy Awards, and was nominated for five more. Despite production and cast problems, it still holds…