The Vatican Princess

I actually had a few people who seemed to be interested in this particular book. So I have finally sat down and wrote about this book. It’s been great to be able about this book in more detail.

The Vatican Princess: A Novel of Lucrezia Borgia:By C.W.Gortner

the vatican princess

*I just want to start this review off by writing that is purely based on my personal opinion. I have not been paid by anyone or any company to write this*

Too this day in modern History, Lucrezia Borgia, is one of the world’s most famous villainesses. Whether or not that’s completely justified, we will probably never be able to prove. Accused on incest, murder and poison vixen, luring men to their deaths. But what she just an unwilling pawn in her families games?

The biggest reason that I enjoyed this book was because, in the beginning at least. I really enjoyed the way that Gortner wrote Lucrezia, I absolutely believe that she was sweet and innocent. Someone who just wanted to love her family and their environment and just to basically be left alone. I felt like Gortner did Lucrezia Borgia a lot of justice with her character. She is written like a complete sweetheart. In other shows and books I’ve read of Lucrezia, they have written and given into the Myth of Miss Lucrezia Borgia.

Even with her rumoured romantic relationship with her brother, Cesare. A lot of other shows and books write like she enjoyed the incestuous relationship. Whereas with this book it’s written like Lucrezia, although not 100% without feelings, she has issues with it. This becomes even more apparent after Lucrezia begins to realise that Cesare is probably more obsessed with her, rather than in love with her. She does really her adore and treasure her husband in this book, Alfonso of Aragon. Which is probably a reason behind his murder by her brother.

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This is where my happy part of the review ends.

As soon as the book gets to about halfway through, it just seems to get real dark really quickly and seems to be purely for shock value. Rather than based on anything factual, and it really disturbed me. I think because I have a basic understanding of what the Borgia’s did. There was just one part that sincerely shocked me and then it put me off of the rest of the book.

I don’t mind a shock in a book, when it’s necessary, but I felt like the shock in this book was completely unnecessary. There was no proof of what was written even took place. Which I get to some extent that a lot on the Borgias are based on other people’s perspective, rather than actual fact. But I feel like, at least try. Don’t just write something completely horrible and shocking, just for the sake of it. Especially even when no one has heard this “myth” before.

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What Alice Forgot Review

I have not done a review for such a long time! I don’t think I’m going to be doing it the way I usually do either. I just really want to write what I thought, my likes and dislikes. I guess, in that way this isn’t really a review, it’s just some of my thoughts.

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Book Breakdown:

Imagine finding yourself, flat on the floor, in the middle of gym, complete strangers around you. Completely terrified you ask for someone to ring your loving, newly married, husband… Just too find out that you are getting divorced, have three children and have completely forgotten the last 10 years.

This is what has happened to Alice.

Positive Personal Perspective:

I thought that with a book that was about forgetting, I thought that I might become confused with the constant coming and back forth as (I thought) she might remember. I didn’t feel like I was getting confused at all. It’s one of those books written from the perspective of a couple of characters, and those can usually get quiet confusing, but I didn’t feel like that (until the ending).

Negative Personal Perspective:

I have to say I really did enjoy this book. The ending, I have to be honest, I got really confused  It almost felt like “Gotta finish this somehow” and then…I just became confused, I had to go back and reread what I had already read. I thought that somehow that there was just a huge tonne of characters being mixed up, or that I had somehow missed out an entire chapter. Turns out, it wasn’t, it was just the ending.
In hindsight, what lead up to the ending of the book, made the ending, make sense. I just don’t really read books going “I hope to have to reread this in case something doesn’t make sense, straight away”. It might be me being fussy, I like being able to understand straight away.

The End

However, apart from that one complaint, the rest of it was absolutely fantastic! It was a book that made me think, if something similar happened to you, would you want to even remember the last 10 years of your life? Despite everything you might miss, would it make you much more less bitter? Would it help you give a new lease to your life? Would it make you look at your current life a little different, and would you change just, a little on the inside. Would you decide to live your dreams from years ago? Every time I’d finish reading it a bit more, I would have all these questions in my mind, about my own life

The Song of Achilles

The Song of Achilles

“The Songs of Achilles” – Madeline Miller

The Breakdown:

Another Madeline Miller classic novel of her interpretation of an Ancient Greece tale.

Some compare it to the Iliad, but it’s not like that at all. It focused solely on the ancient Greek Hero, Achilles. So do not pick this book up if that’s what you are expecting. Set from Achilles childhood…until…well hopefully there are not spoilers for you…His death. It’s about his friendship with his childhood friend Patroclus on their journey to come to Troy.

Positive: 

This is not really a prequel to Madeline Millers “Circe”, however I felt like it really stood on it’s own. What I personally enjoy most about reading, is when you go read a book and just keep reading it. This is what this books offers. When you write a character growing from child to adult, with all the feelings of a growing human being. You don’t want it to start and stop, you need it to flow, need it to make sense. Madeline Miller is a perfect writer when it comes to this.

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What I have loved about all of Madeline Millers novels is that you can tell she has done the research. Even though she is a modern writer, she still is holding true to the classic stories. The rules and roles of the Gods, but with a twist…I loved the relationship twist that come with it. I have to say that I think it may be my first LGBT romance…Apart from Mangus Bane. I was thinking about it and I don’t think I’ve read a book yet where the main characters are gay. It was a beautiful love story too.

Negative:

The only real negative thing I could say about this book was that I kept expecting it to be “Circe” and it wasn’t. Although I completely enjoyed the book, I felt like it was a little slower than Circe. I actually wish that I read Achilles first, because I was expecting it to be more like Circe. They are both really fantastic books and I love them both. You can tell the difference of writing between them both. There is 6 years between the two and one can tell.

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Peril at End House…The actual review!

First Impressions:

It was really interesting to start off reading this book. I’m not sure that if you remember now but I started these having seen the television series and had not read a single book! I am so grateful for this challenge! One of the first impressions that I got from this book how interesting it is that it’s from the point of Hastings, Poirot’s friend. Which if you’ve seen the tv series you’ll know that the series is not usually told from a third person point of view. It made it interesting to start off with Hastings. It had never even occurred to me that this would be how the book would be written, rather than how the television episode is shown.

Positive Impressions:

Overall I really enjoyed this book. I realised that I hadn’t seen the tv episode of this book either. I’m not even certain that there is an television episode. Still writing by Agatha Christie which is funny and witty. (*On a side note lots of Trump supporters thinking “witty” mean to put down someone’s looks* They should read this book sometime then they’ll understand witty.)

It was also the first book that I read that had both Poirot and Hastings. It was a really interesting perspective. You can read the fondness that Poirot and Hasting have for one another, even with their (actual) witty insults. It’s interesting because as I have mentioned (numerous times) I have never read a book of Agatha Christie’s, I’ve only ever seen the televisions series and movies.  It was a little disconcerting because Poirot seemed to be mean to Hastings but after a little while of reading, you understood better.

Negative Impressions:

I honestly didn’t really find too much wrong with the book. I mean Agatha Christie is a legendary author for a reason. It’s like trying to find something wrong with Beatrix Potter, it’s just not going to happen. The only thing that I did not enjoy and this is probably just the cynical/modern side too me. They are all just too jolly happy when it comes to murder! They find it exciting. It’s just a little odd too me.

Overall Challenge Breakdown:

I absolutely enjoyed this challenge. Coming from someone who had never actually read an Agatha Christie novel but had seen the whole television series and the movies. I started it with a little trepidation that I would not enjoy the books. I am very happy to very wrong on these circumstance. I already have put holds on other Agatha Christie novels through my Library.

Thank you to “This is my truth now” For setting up this challenge!

The Secret Adversary

First Impressions

As I start to read this book, I can’t help but admit a tinge of sadness when I realise that this book has neither Poirot or Miss Marple in it. However, I do feel as though I do actually know the characters Tommy and Tuppence. I have also realised that there is actually a tv series called “Partners in Crime” which are based on Tommy and Tuppence. I am sad though that this is not a Poirot or Miss Marple book though.

The book itself is beautifully written, it’s so full of what you expect of Agatha Christie, a completely peppy character and a sullen figure. As well as “totally did not see that coming”.

Negative Impressions:

I think my negative impressions of this book are all on myself entirely. When I realised that neither Miss Marple of Poirot were in this book, it honestly did put me off a little. It made it more difficult for myself to read, because I wasn’t really interested in these two characters. There was  nothing wrong with the characters, just that for myself. I was just not interested in it.

Next book:

“The Body in the Library”

If you wish to learn more about the Agatha Christie Reading Marathon, please check This is my truth now – Agatha Christie Marathon

The Murder at the Vicarage

The-Murder-at-the-Vicarage

First Impressions:

It felt like I could honestly hear Geraldine’s McEwan’s “Miss Marple” as the Miss Marple in this book. It was uncanny! It was a very weird feeling, but it also made me feel happy to keep reading it as she was my favourite Miss Marple. Did anyone else feel like that as well?

Positive Impressions

I really enjoyed this classic novel! You can tell why Agatha Christie is one of the greats! I have seen this novel on tv and I still couldn’t remember how the two who “did the murder” how they did it. I did not skip to the end. It is a pretty short novel compared to some around her time and those of time, but it just means it makes good for some who finds reading boring. A little bit more pleasurable. (I don’t, but I would highly recommend this for someone who finds it difficult to read long books).

Negative Impressions

Too be completely honest with you all…I didn’t really have anything bad to say about this book. There was one point where I think they got the names wrong, but it was only once, if it happened. The writing was beautifully written and as I mentioned before, I have seen the tv series. However, I could not remember why and how they did it.

I did not read the ending of the book first.

Next book:

“The Secret Adversary”

If you wish to learn more about the Agatha Christie Reading Marathon, please check This is my truth now – Agatha Christie Marathon

Lady Midnight

*Spoiler Alert – I’m not 100% sure how much I’ll be giving away in this review, but I do discuss things I don’t understand in the book. Which might contain sneaks and peeks at the book.

lady midnight

I have only read one of Cassandra Clare’s series so far “The Infernal Devices“. I absolutely loved the series and I feel so bad that it’s taken me such a long time to get around to reading another one. I feel like I should also point out that I do believe and it is highly suggested that Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunters series are supposed to be read in a certain order which you can find here.

(My personal opinion here) The main players in this particular books are:

Emma Carstairs: a Shadowhunter,

Her parabatai (and “secret love” interest):  Julian Blackthorn,

Mark Blackthorn: who was kidnapped five years ago and now has been returned to the Blackthorn family after being kidnapped by the fairy people.

Breakdown:

The Dark Artifices series is the latest series in Cassandra Clare’s writings. In fact so far in this series there are only two books so far. The final and third chapter of this series should be coming out in fall of 2018. Look out for that!

This series is based around Emma and the murder of her parents from years ago, she did not believe that her parents death was a robbery gone wrong. She believes that there is more to her parents death than meets the eye, probably something even “supernatural”. Emma has been a Shadowhunter for a very long time and after her parents deaths she was then taken to live with the Blackthorn family. The Blackthorn have also lost their parents and live in the Institute with their strange Uncle Arthur.

Emmas parabatai is Julian Blackthorn, the now oldest sibling of the Blackthorn family, since the others were kidnapped or exile. Julian has been taking care of his younger sibling, Livvy, Ty, Dru and Tavvy since he was 12 years old. Julians older half  siblings, Mark and Helen Blackthorn are both half faerie, as their mother was of the faerie people.  Emma’s good friend Cristina also lives with the family and in the institute, she is only there for the year…As sweet as she is, no one really knows that much about her.

*For those who don’t know what a parabatai is, it as a pair of Nephilim warriors who fight together as lifelong partners, bound together by oath, regardless of their gender. Their bond is not reflected only in their closeness and willingness to lay down their lives for one another, but also in oath—one sworn in front of the Council. Parabatai cannot fall in love*

Positive:

I absolutely enjoy this book, can I just start off with.

It did reference the other books and what Shadowhunters word meanings are, so you do know what the words mean, as you are going into the book. It made it almost feel like you don’t need to read the other books before this one. (Please do though) The only thing that you would really have to read the other books for is about the attack on one of their Libraries, where a important document was stolen. As well as getting to know the other Shadowhunters as they pop in and out of the book, with a brief history of what their characters achieved.

What I enjoy about Cassandra Clare’s books is that you can get lost in a completely made up world, that makes you feel that this world could actually be possible. It’s why I think her books are so popular, it is fantasy, but ever so close to the real modern world. It’s kind of like Harry Potter and how we, as muggles, cannot actually see the world of Magic, but it’s always there.

Negative:

I always have a hard time picking on the things in a book that I’ve really enjoyed reading. There was one thing that I didn’t really understand and felt like it didn’t really need to be in it. It was right at the end “A Long Conversation”. As I mentioned above, there good be a reason why it was at the end of this particular book, but I felt like it didn’t really need to be there.

It also did bug me a little how I had always assumed that parabatai were supposed to know how the other was feeling at all times. That’s kind of the point of having a parabatai. Somehow though, and when it seems to suit, they completely have no idea how the other feels.

 

 

This or That? #100 … The Finale!

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This or That? #100

This is the final instalment to the awesome’s Bookmark Chronicles questions for This or That? So let’s make it a good one!

This week Bookmark Chronicles (and myself) would like to know?:

What do you value most in a novel?

Quality writing ~ Character development ~ World building ~ Logical endings ~ Relatable characters ~ Real life situations ~ Storytelling

Something else?

(You must pick one)

This is such a hard question, and yet such a good question at the same time. Sometimes a lot of all of those ingredients makes for a great story and can also make for a bad story if they don’t all *mesh*

I am going to have to go with though, the character development. A good character can pull anyone in and it shows at the same time good writing skills. I think that no matter how bad a plot may be or even a bad story-line. A good character who develops over time and can be shown to “human” and relatable, can sometimes all you need to have. How else could you explain stories like Twilight and 50 shades. They have some terrible plots and endings (Twilight is my most hated type ending, where it’s “like a dream” and people just ‘wake up’).

Although it probably sounds like relatable characters, I don’t know how many people can relate to characters all the time, especially Vampires. However I feel like when people grow and change, and it’s written well in a story, people will relate better. Not everyone relate to a “Vampire” but they can relate to the feelings and how they change and how people change with different situations (for example).

This or That #45

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This or That #45

Many of you probably won’t enjoy this question very much but…..which is worse:

Having some of the middle chapters of a novel missing

OR

Missing the first and last chapters

I think having the first and last chapters missing, especially the last chapter would be horrible! Never knowing what the ending was, I love Agatha Christie and you never find out who the killer is until the very end and they always explain how they killed the person and that’s my favourite part of the whole book.

Please remember to check out Bookmark Chronicles

Leaving Time

Generally I don’t actually like writing reviews and such, mainly because I think with my dyslexia I can’t always think of the right words to write and use to make it sound like I know what I’m talking about. I love to read and I am always reading a book, sometimes it’ll take me a week, sometimes it can take me a month or so. I’m usually a fast reader, but I just have to find the time to read.

However, saying that, I just LOVE all of Jodi Picoult books, I have read all of them now am eagerly anticipating her next novel.

At the moment though I have just finished reading Leaving Time. Leaving Time is about the young daughter of Alice Metcalf searching for her missing mother, an accomplished researcher into how elephants grieve and mourn. With the help of both a psychic and a retired police officer, this books takes the most interesting twists and turns. It also looks into how Elephants feel and they grieve and mourn.

It’s what I love most about Jodi Picoult books, there is always a twist that you just do not seem coming, and this one had one of the biggest twists of all! I literally looked up and went “Huh” read on and was happy to discover that I did not see it coming.

Please click this link to find out more about Jodi Picoult and see what other amazing books she has written!
Jodi Picoult Homepage

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Please click picture to learn how to purchase this great read!