Author: William Goldman
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Date: October 1999
A tale of true love and high adventure, pirates, princesses, giants, miracles, fencing, and a frightening assortment of wild beasts — The Princess Bride is a modern storytelling classic.
As Florin and Guilder teeter on the verge of war, the reluctant Princess Buttercup is devastated by the loss of her true love, kidnapped by a mercenary and his henchmen, rescued by a pirate, forced to marry Prince Humperdinck, and rescued once again by the very crew who absconded with her in the first place. In the course of this dazzling adventure, she’ll meet Vizzini — the criminal philosopher who’ll do anything for a bag of gold; Fezzik — the gentle giant; Inigo — the Spaniard whose steel thirsts for revenge; and Count Rugen — the evil mastermind behind it all. Foiling all their plans and jumping into their stories is Westley, Princess Buttercup’s one true love and a very good friend of a very dangerous pirate.
I always say that I’m not going to see a movie until I read the book, but this one was definitely a classic and one that I was recommended and pulled in to see by a lot of my friends. To be honest, I didn’t even realise the source material was a book.
I have to say that unlike most book-to-movie adaptations, this one was remarkably close to the source material. I guess I should have expected it because the writer, William Goldman is a screenwriter by trade and he also did the script for the movie. And the movie isn’t a classic by chance. It’s a tale of love and adventure, humour and fantasy. It has sword fights and giants and princesses and poison. It’s has machine that actually sucks the life out of its victims. It also has one of the best movie catchphrases of all time. I did and always will love this story.
What I do have to say about the book in particular is the way the author starts telling the actual story. He’s writing as a caricature of himself whose favourite story as a child was The Princess Bride by S. Morgenstern, from the fictional country of Florin. He finally tracks down a copy to give to his own son to discover that his father only read him the ‘good bits’, leaving out the tedious history and customs that made the book three times as long and three times as dull. He decides to write an abridged version and have that published instead, which is the story we all know and love.
I think this plot device is bizzare, but it works. I absolutely love the little inserts. The story flows very much like someone is telling you it, which goes against the ‘show don’t tell’ mantra that most good books have. It feels the author himself is actually reading you this story in bed, with all the dialogue he adds himself, the quirks and the even how it ends. I have to say that I enjoyed it a lot and it left me smiling long after I put it down.
Author: Trudi Canavan
Series: The Traitor Spy Trilogy #3
Date: August 2012
Buy the Book • Goodreads
Events are building to a climax in Sachaka as Lorkin returns from his exile with the Traitor rebels. The Traitor Queen has given Lorkin the huge task of brokering an alliance between his people and the Traitors. Lorkin has also had to become a feared black magician in order to harness the power of an entirely new kind of gemstone magic. This knowledge could transform the Guild of Magicians - or make Lorkin an outcast forever.
The Traitor Spy trilogy, which began with The Ambassador's Mission and The Rogue, is the new series set in the world of the international bestselling Black Magician trilogy.
Trudi Canavan is one of my all time favourite authors. She writes really good high fantasy and her Black Magician trilogy is one of my all time favourites. The Traitor Queen is the third and final book in the follow on series, The Traitor Spy Trilogy, set twenty years after the events of Black Magician trilogy and I therefore write this review with quite a lot of sadness that this world and these characters have finally reached their epic conclusion.
The Traitor Queen is nothing less than I expected from Trudi. As it’s the third and final book in the series I really can’t give away anything of the plot without spoiling previous books but I can say that I felt ‘satisfied’ with the ending of this series.
I was happy with how all the various storylines were tied up nicely, I very much enjoyed the ‘edge of your seat’ stuff we got towards the end of the book and whilst I was quite heartbroken at what happened to a couple of the characters, I was not surprised by the direction their storylines ended up taking. Trudi is well known for being ruthless with her characters in relation to who survives and who doesn’t and I don’t think I would want it any other way. Its one of the reasons I love her books. She doesn’t sugar coat.
I also love her ability to mix old characters with the new. Whilst a good part of the storylines of this series revolves around a fair few characters from Black Magician Trilogy, we also get to meet new characters in each of the three books. These characters are added to the plotlines and the already established cast so seamlessly and don’t feel like they are simply stuck in there for the sake of it. They become part of this wonderful fantasy world so effortlessly and I enjoyed getting to know them all.
If you’ve read the previous five books set in this world, then it goes without saying that you need to pick this one up but if you haven’t started any of these yet and you are a fan of high fantasy then I highly suggest you give them a try. They are filled with magic, suspense, schemes and plots and a beautifully written world that plays host to such a diverse and loveable set of characters and I cannot praise Trudi Canavan enough for creating it all and unleashing its awesomeness on us. Five stars well deserved!
Author: J R Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 5
Publisher: Piatkus Books
Published: October 2010
The ruthless and brilliant brother Vishous possesses a destructive curse and a frightening ability to see the future. As a member of the Brotherhood, he has no interest in love or emotion, only the battle with the Lessening Society. But when a mortal injury puts him in the care of a human surgeon, Dr. Jane Whitcomb compels him to reveal his inner pain and taste true pleasure for the first time-until a destiny he didn’t choose takes him into a future that does not include her…
Another fantastic installment to the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.
This one is Vishous’ book. After being told the horrifying news that he has to become the ‘Primale’ of the vampire race (i.e. he is required to mate with the chosen females to ensure the survival of the warrior race) Vishous goes out to take his anger out in a hunt for lessers. Unfortunately, he takes a bullet to the chest and ends up on the operating table of Jane Whitcomb in a human hospital! From thereon the story gets better and better as V’s brother’s bust him out of the hospital before the sun can come up and before the staff notice his weird anatomy! Only problem is, V insists on bringing Jane home with him..!
I LOVED the storyline between V and Jane…it was developed so naturally throughout the book…and certainly wasn’t love at first sight! Jane is one of the stronger female roles of this series and it really was nice to see her take control of the relationship.
Author: Philippa Gregory
Series: The Cousins’ War, Book 3
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: October 2011
Readers first met Jacquetta in The White Queen, as mother of King Edward IV’s commoner queen, Elizabeth Woodville. The Lady of the Rivers is the compelling prelude to this tale and begins with Jacquetta as a young woman of rare beauty possessing the mixed blessing of second sight.
Jacquetta rises swiftly through marriage to the Duke of Bedford, English Regent of France, who introduces her to a mysterious world of learning and alchemy. Yet the Duke shows little interest in his new bride beyond her ability to divine the future, and Jacquetta’s only solace in the great household is the handsome squire Richard Woodville, who is at her side when she is left a wealthy young widow. The two become lovers and marry in secret, eventually returning to England to serve at the court of the young King Henry VI, where Jacquetta becomes a close and loyal friend to his queen, Margaret of Anjou.
The Woodvilles soon occupy a privileged place at the very heart of the Lancaster court, though Jacquetta can sense the growing threat of revolt from the people of England. When the king slips into an inexplicable sleep, the kingdom is divided into the rival camps of Margaret and her untrustworthy advisors and the followers of Richard, Duke of York, who threatens to claim the throne. Jacquetta must navigate a treacherous path along both sides of the battle lines as the safety of her family and the rule of the House of Lancaster hang in the balance.
I wasn’t as excited about this book when I heard about who it would be focused on, especially since the planned fourth book in the series will feature Elizabeth of York and picks up where the first two books in the series left off, chronologically. I thought visiting Jacquetta was a step backwards. However, I found the book as entertaining and educational as all of Gregory’s historical fiction and it was nice to get extra context into all of the relationships and figures involved this turbulent time in English history.
Jacquetta was a refreshingly different heroine. Her focus was not on achieving political power, status or wealth, like so many women of her day. She was handed her Duchess title because of her innocence and heritage and during that fated first marriage learned that fulfilling her desire to be a woman—a passionate wife, loving mother and good friend—was what was ultimately important. She did have power, status and wealth but you always felt that she would’ve traded it all for a quiet life in the country with her family.
Jacquetta and her second husband Richard’s relationship was one of real love and fidelity and lots of children, which was extremely sweet. She married him because she loved him, simple as that. In most historical fiction I’ve read, so many of the relationships are plagued with infidelity and infertility. It adds drama, sure, but after a while I am starting to believe that no one in the 15th and 16th centuries had a normal family dynamic. It was also nice to know that Richard didn’t meet an early death or disability and even though they were apart, they always found their way back to each other.
Today the blog tour for The Last Degree is stopping by, hosted by Full Moon Bites. We have for you today a guest post and giveaway for a copy of the book, so keep reading to enter! Be sure to visit the rest of Dina’s blog tour stops for reviews, playlists, promos, interviews and more!
About THE LAST DEGREE
Title: The Last Degree
Series: The Last Degree, Book 1
Author: Dina Rae
Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime, Paranormal, Political, Suspense, Thriller, Christian
Publisher: Dina Rae
The Last Degree is a fictionalized account of how Freemasons and other secret societies set up the world for takeover. Ancient writings foretell a ‘Shining One’ who emerges as the world’s prophet. A murder of a Most Worshipful mason resembles a secret oath. A cop gets too close to solving the crime. Paranoid preppers go underground, preparing for war.
Headlines such as the Norway massacre, meltdown of the European Union, unscrupulous media, animal die-offs, Middle Eastern unrest, and U.S. shrinking power make the plot relevant to present day. This book is an ode to Christians, Birthers, 2012ers, Truthers, preppers, and/or other conspiracy junkies who enjoy Dan Brown, Jesse Ventura, Brad Meltzer, Alex Jones, Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye.
Buy the book on Amazon for $1.99. The book will also be FREE 27th – 28th September!
Check out The Last Degree Prequel as well — Be Paranoid Be Prepared!
We are featuring a Guest Post by Dina Rae here on the blog today. Dina Rae’s The Last Degree uses preppers as her main protagonists of the story.