I’m participating in The Library Looter & Anniek’s Library Blogtober challenge!
I’m currently reading ‘Wicked Saints’ by Emily A. Duncan. It’s part of Spookathon, and I’m still working through it. It’s an enjoyable tale, since I love stories involving dark magic and complicated social dynamics!
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.
A prince in danger must decide who to trust.
A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.
Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.
In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy..
Last year I was reading ‘Daughters of the Lake’ by Wendy Webb. I was in the mood to read something paranormal for October, and when I read the sypnosis for Webb’s book in the Kindle First Reads section at the time, I was immediately interested. Stories that involve paranormal activity always intrigue me. I was hooked after reading the first few chapters! It had everything I was searching for in a story: mystery, suspense, and eerie tie-ins to the past. I haven’t read Wendy Webb’s other works, but I plan to!
Synopsis (from Goodreads): After the end of her marriage, Kate Granger has retreated to her parents’ home on Lake Superior to pull herself together—only to discover the body of a murdered woman washed into the shallows. Tucked in the folds of the woman’s curiously vintage gown is an infant, as cold and at peace as its mother. No one can identify the woman. Except for Kate. She’s seen her before. In her dreams… One hundred years ago, a love story ended in tragedy, its mysteries left unsolved. It’s time for the lake to give up its secrets. As each mystery unravels, it pulls Kate deeper into the eddy of a haunting folktale that has been handed down in whispers over generations. Now, it’s Kate’s turn to listen. As the drowned woman reaches out from the grave, Kate reaches back. They must come together, if only in dreams, to right the sinister wrongs of the past.
What stories were you reading at this time last year?
Note: I’m participating in The Library Looter and Anniek’s Library Blogtober Challenge.
Characters with lively personalities always make a book enjoyable to read, and that includes those with bad luck!
The following characters have a reputation of bad luck following them:
Deya: The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane
In the beginning of book, we find Deya casted out of her community due to giving birth to twins. What follows throughout the novel is a string of hardships, and reveals who in Deya’s village shows compassion in times of severe conflict.
Neville Longbottom: Harry Potterseries
Neville Longbottom is Harry Potter’s unlucky Gryffindor housemate, at least throughout the first half of the series! Fortunately his misfortunes wane as the books progress.
Mike Hayes: Our Kind of Cruelty
Mike Hayes is only trying to play along with the sensual ‘cat and mouse’ game he and his girlfriend Verity carry on in the long term. It doesn’t matter if she no longer wants to be with him! Our Kind of Cruelty shows Mike getting in one mishap after another, building up to a chilling plot twist!
Note: I’m taking part in The Library Looter & Anniek’s Library Blogtober Challenge.
Synopsis (from Goodreads): In the waning days of the Ottoman Empire, a young Orthodox Jewish woman in the holy city of Jerusalem is expected to marry and produce many sons to help hasten the Messiah’s arrival. While the feisty Esther Kaminsky understands her obligations, her artistic talent inspires her to secretly explore worlds outside her religion, to dream of studying in Paris and to believe that God has a special destiny for her. When tragedy strikes her family, Esther views it as a warning from an angry God and suppresses her desires in order to become an obedient “Jerusalem maiden.”
But when a surprising opportunity forces itself on to her preordained path, Esther finds her beliefs clashing dangerously with the passions she has staved off her entire life forcing her to confront the most difficult and damning question of all. To whom must she be true, God or herself?
My Review: I read Jerusalem Maiden as part of this month’s reading group selection for my local library. This story was very enlightening and riveting, documenting life during Jerusalem towards the end of the Ottoman Empire through the eyes of Esther Kaminsky. Being 11 years old, Esther is destined to marry and produce many sons to hasten the arrival of the Messiah, a woman great gift to her community. Esther has other wishes in her life that don’t involve marriage (such as her budding interest as an artist), yet she struggles between these hidden loves ans her devotion to God, while keeping true her religious precepts.
Esther goes through an eye-opening journey as she experiences many joys and sorrows with her friends and family, as she and her close friend lives through the shock of betrothal, and the life-altering events that changes each girl’s life afterward. Along her growth is a mentor from the unlikeliest of places: her art teacher Mlle. Thibeax, who believes in Esther’s artistic gift and presents her with an offer to experience another country, outside her sheltered life in her community. Throughout the novel Esther experiences flashes of growth and risk-taking, matched only by life challenges so severe, Esther sums up these moments as true tests from God in her journey.
Jerusalem Maiden holds so much history about life in the waning years of the Ottoman Empire, and I was so captivated in learning about Esther’s community’s way of life under the Orthodox Jewish customs. It’s also eye-opening to learn about a woman’s role in a community: a woman reaches her coming-of-age moment upon marriage, and everything she prepares for in life builds up to nurturing the male members of her community. Seeing Esther challenge these social constructs in life makes you wonder how far she’ll go to achieve her own personal happiness while seeking that harmony in her faith.
If you enjoy reading a stories that tell a story of rich cultural and religious history, then you will love this story!