Friday, January 22, 2016

The Follies of the King (Plantagenet Saga #8) by Jean Plaidy

Review:

Follies of the King (Plantagenet Saga) Paperback - February 1, 2008 - Jean PlaidyThe Follies of the King deals with the reign of Edward II, who inherited his father's looks, but is as unlike him as possible in any other way.

Preferring the company of men to that of women and the merry sides of life to the matters of the state from an early age, Edward II marries Isabella, a beautiful daughter of Philip IV of France, but neglects her in favour of his lovers Piers Gaveston and Hugh le Despenser.

Utterly humiliated, Isabella bids her time, comforted only by the admiration of her people while she plots vengeance, counting on people's ever-growing dissatisfaction with their king and their hate for his male friends.

Yet, when Isabella finally manages to enact her revenge, in the end I couldn't help but feel sorry for Edward. Deposed and imprisoned, he finally recognises the mistakes he made by turning a blind eye to the world around him, admitting he was an unworthy king not made for ruling, before he meets a horribly cruel tragic end.

The Follies of the King is a suspenseful story, full of twists and intrigue and has thus definitely kept my interest in reading the rest of the saga. I will take a break from it for a while, but I am already looking forward to reading the next instalment, dealing with the reign of Edward III.

Originaly posted on my Booklikes blog.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Ant-Man (2015)

Ant Man Movie Poster
DIRECTOR: Peyton Reed; CAST: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lily…

SUMMARY (from IMDB)Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, cat burglar Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

MY THOUGHTS:

I have a terrible misconception when it comes to Marvel movies (although by now I should have learned to know better), namely that they are either cartoons for kids or stupid action, neither of which is true, of course. Ant-Man is no exception, and I am yet again wondering why I haven’t bothered to watch it sooner. But better late than never.

Ant-Man is a most of all an entertaining film with great visuals, but it also offers some food for thought by seamlessly incorporating a few hard truths about human existence and nature.

I was floored by the cast’s amazing performances, especially because I’m a noob who doesn’t check the cast list before watching, and just seeing Michael Douglas was like a punch in the gut – in a good way. Also, I absolutely loved the minor appearances of Peggy Carter and Sam Wilson.

Finally, Ant-Man was nicely tied up with the wider Marvel’s cinematic universe with the little allusions to CATWS and Age of Ultron and with the final bonus scene that reminded me of what is to come in Captain America: Civil War (as in death by feels, that's what.)


RECOMMENDATION: Overall, Ant-Man is a fun, highly enjoyable film, and a must-see if you are a fan of sci-fi. 



Friday, January 08, 2016

The Hammer of the Scots (Plantagenet Saga #7) by Jean Plaidy

Review:


The Hammer of the Scots  - Jean PlaidyThe Hammer of the Scots depicts the rule of Edward I, who considers himself to be – and, for the most part, is – a stern, but just king, even if he brutally punishes his enemies in accordance with his belief in instilling respect through fear.

Thus, Edward I proves himself to be a great king, who brings not only order to England, but also subdues Wales and brings it under the English rule, while he fails to do the same with Scotland.

Taking after his father, he is a devoted husband to both of his Queens and a loving father. His children are his pride and joy, the exceptions being sometimes over-temperate Joanna and, above all, his heir, prince Edward. However, unlike his ancestors, he understands the needs of the people and brings the end to the over-the-top extravagance of the Court from the past, slipping perhaps only now and then when indulging his many beloved daughters.

As usually, in The Hammer of the Scots Jean Plaidy manages to give a fairly accurate historical account, while letting the reader get a stunning glimpse into the reasoning and sentiments of her characters, from Edward I to his children and his enemies, of which the most intriguing to me was that written from the point of view of William Wallace.

The Hammer of the Scots was a compelling book, even if it took me ages to read it, and I am looking forward to the next instalment in the series, dealing with the rule of a much different man than Edward I, his son Edward II.

Cross-posted from my Booklikes blog.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Bout of Books 15.0 Day 2 Challenge

BoB ButtonI'm participating in Bout of Books 15 and I really like today's challenge which is a bookish 'Would You Rather, hosted by Lori at Writing My Own Fairy Tale.

As it's too long to do it on twitter without me feeling spammy and the lack o G+ formatting options made me nope away from there, I'm doing it here after all. ;)

Here are the questions:

Would you rather:
Lend books to someone who dog-ears pages or to someone who reads with cheesy Cheetos fingers?

Preferably neither, but I could stomach dog-eared books much much more easily. 

Would you rather:
Be able to meet one character of your choice or meet one author of your choice?

An author.

Would you rather:
Never be allowed in a book store again or never be allowed in a library again?

I'd rather never be allowed into a book store again, since libraries are a greater source of reading material for those of who can't afford to buy every book we want to read anyway. 

Would you rather:
Have to choose one of your favorite characters to die in their book or have to pick one of your favorite couples to break up in their book?

I'd rather have to pick one of my favourite couples to break up in their book, because I can still imagine that didn't happen. Well, I can imagine the not dying, too, so... imagination is everything. A character can die or a couple can break up in their book, but I can always 'write' and alternate ending in my head. ;)

Would you rather:
Be required to read Twilight once a year for the rest of your life or The Scarlet Letter once a year for the rest of your life?

The Scarlet Letter, since it is much shorter than Twilight and would thus allow me more reading time for other, new-to-me books.

Friday, January 01, 2016

2016 Reading

Keeping up with the principle from last year to keep hobbies just that: hobbies, I am not really challenging myself to anything, but this will be the place where I keep the records of my reading in 2016 together with rereads and things GR challenge doesn't record, like parts of volumes and such.

MY READING:

Books are listed in order of reading (with the level of strangeness, see my rating system); those reviewed are linked to their reviews and also listed under Book Reviews tab.
  1. The Hammer of the Scots (Plantagenet Saga #7) by Jean Plaidy - (3.5)
  2. The Follies of the King (Plantagenet Saga #8) by Jean Plaidy - (3.5)
  3. Blood Rose Angel by Liza Perrat (4)
  4. Captive Prince (The Captive Prince #1) by C. S. Pascat (4)
  5. Prince’s Gambit (The Captive Prince #2) by C. S. Pacat (5)
  6. Kings Rising (The Captive Prince #3) by C. S. Pacat (5)
  7. Green but for a Season (Captive Prince short stories #1) by C. S. Pacat (4)
  8. Love and Intrigue by Friedrich Schiller (3)
  9. The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer (4)
  10. Labyrinth of Stone by TA Moore (4)
  11. Ill-fated Rose by Liza Perrat (3)
  12. Beyond Shame (Beyond #1) by Kit Rocha (4)

Books I Read in 2015
Books I Read in 2014
Books I Read in 2013
Books I Read in 2012
Books I Read in 2011
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