Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Last Changeling by Chelsea Pitcher

The Last ChangelingTitle: The Last Changeling 
Author: Chelsea Pitch
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 360
Published: November 8th 2014 by Flux 
ISBN: 9780738740843
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description:  A Kingdom at War . . .  Elora, the young princess of the Dark Faeries, plans to overthrow her tyrannical mother, the Dark Queen, and bring equality to faeriekind. All she has to do is convince her mother’s loathed enemy, the Bright Queen, to join her cause. But the Bright Queen demands an offering first: a human boy who is a “young leader of men.”   A Dark Princess In Disguise . . .  To steal a mortal, Elora must become a mortal—at least, by all appearances. And infiltrating a high school is surprisingly easy. When Elora meets Taylor, the seventeen-year-old who’s plotting to overthrow a ruthless bully, she thinks she’s found her offering . . . until she starts to fall in love.

I Give This ...

I don't particularly like giving negative reviews.  I feel I tend to be very open minded and rarely come across a book that I don't find enjoyable in some small way.  Even rarer still is the book I give up on completely.   With this one, I fought for every page trying to find the small moments.  

I think I struggled with many different aspects of this book.  The fae world being strange and different than typical stories was a little of off putting.  Especially when that world is put together for us piece by little piece.  I also had a  hard time with Elora.  She's trying to overthrow her mother, who is The Dark Queen, plus instigating revolutions in the human world.  You would think this might make her a bad ass.  She just doesn't come across that way and I wasn't buying into it.  I just didn't feel the charisma she seemed to possess.

I did like Taylor and felt the struggle with his own identify and his relationship with his parents was genuine.  I wasn't over the moon about the love at first sight tone his relationship with Elora took.  But, I was expecting it at the same time.    I also liked how the book became about more than just saving the Fae world.  Not many books will attempt to tackle more than one difficult subject in one sitting.

But, in the end, this was a struggle.  It was hard for me to appreciate it for what it was. Maybe next time!


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Brewer's Tale by Karen Brooks

The Brewer's TaleTitle: The Brewer's Tale
Author: Karen Brooks
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 582
Published: October 1st 2014 by Harlequin MIRA
ISBN: 9781743568675
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description: It had been Mother's secret and mine, one passed down through the de Winter women for generations. I would ensure it was kept that way, until I was ready to pass it on. When Anneke Sheldrake is forced to find a way to support her family after her father is lost at sea, she turns to the business by which her mother’s family once prospered: brewing ale. Armed with her Dutch mother’s recipes and a belief that anything would be better than the life her vindictive cousin has offered her, she makes a deal with her father’s aristocratic employer: Anneke has six months to succeed or not only will she lose the house but her family as well.  Through her enterprise and determination, she inadvertently earns herself a deadly enemy. Threatened and held in contempt by those she once called friends, Anneke nonetheless thrives. But on the tail of success, tragedy follows and those closest to her pay the greatest price for her daring. Ashamed, grieving, and bearing a terrible secret, Anneke flees to London, determined to forge her own destiny. Will she be able to escape her past, and those whose only desire is to see her fail? A compelling insight into the brewer’s craft, the strength of women, and the myriad forms love can take. An unforgettable tale of love, treachery and ale in medieval England

I Give This ...

This book took me a long time to read. I would go through spurts were I felt like I was making headway. And then there would be times that I could barely get through a couple pages. Add to the fact that it's hefty at almost 600 pages, and you have a monster of a historical fiction.

All that aside, I did enjoy the book. Anneke's life is not one that I would wish upon anyone. But, she never gave up. She endures her father's death, the ridicule of her cousin, taking up a profession that is considered for men only. All with the church and specific men out to thwart her every move.

I was horrified at the events that lead to her having to move to London. As if losing her father and her way of laugh wasn't hard enough, then she had to endure all that cruelty at the hands of someone else. And life did not get any easier for her in London. I often wondered how much heartache and loss one person could endure. But Anneke is proof that the soul can take it.

Not my typical historical fiction read, but I am glad that I finally got around to this one.



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