Monthly Archives: May 2015

Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antionette by Sena Jeter Naslund

Was Marie Antoinette more than frivolousness?Why did this Austrian princess become a hated French queen? She endured an unhappy marriage, conflicting loyalties, and a terrifying revolution. This is the story of Marie Antoinette.

Naslund vividly shows how a sheltered childhood, belief in royal supremacy, and desire for distraction influenced Marie Antoinette. The loyal Princess Lamballe and dashing Count Axel von Fersen are some of the people seen through Marie Antoinette’s eyes. Abundance initially focuses on her reaction to court life and then shows the complex situation leading to the revolution. The terror of the revolution causes a wish, despite history, that Marie Antoinette would survive. Abundance offers a personal view of Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution.

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Other fictional portrayals of Marie Antoinette include Becoming Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey and The Queen’s Confession by Victoria Holt.

Find where truth meets fiction by checking out biographies of Marie Antoinette such as Marie Antoinette: The Journey by Antonia Fraser.


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Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters

When spinster Amelia Peabody rescues young Evelyn Barton-Rhodes she finds friendship and menace. Why are Amelia and Evelyn being stalked by a menacing mummy? Will mysterious events bring Amelia and Evelyn’s travels to a premature and final end?

Amelia is a fun mixture of practicality, compassion, and stubbornness. She happily finds friendship with the kind Evelyn and sparks with the argumentative Emerson. The plot is unique in focusing on odd occurrences rather than murder. Dashes of Egypt’s beauty and the straight-laced Victorian mindset provide an entertaining read. Crocodile on the Sandbank offers a progressive Victorian female protagonist, a fun trip in Egypt, and a fun mystery.

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American Kate Ardleigh refuses to stay out of a murder investigation at an archeology site near her aunt’s home in Death at Bishop’s Keep by Robin Paige.

Lady Julia Grey joins forces with a private inquiry agent to investigate her husband’s death in Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn.

Curious about Egypt’s past? Check out books like The City of Akhenaten and Nefertiti: Amarna and Its People by Barry J. Kemp.

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Emperor Mollusk versus The Sinister Brain by A. Lee Martinez

Compared to conquering Earth, retirement is a let down for the villainous Emperor Mollusk. When a sinister villain tries to wrest Earth away Mollusk refuses to allow it. Can Mollusk save Earth or will he cause its destruction?

This over the top tale includes just about every plot device from old fashioned science fiction. Dinosaur Island, aliens and other parts of old fashioned science fiction create a nonstop series of traps for the mad scientist emperor. Mollusk’s exasperated arguing with warrior Venus cop Zala show he is no redeemed hero but possibly an antihero. Emperor Mollusk offers a humorous take on science fiction plot devices and themes.

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Aliens come to Hollywood to make first contact in Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi.

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The Princes of Ireland by Edward Rutherfurd

‘Dublin’ evokes the mystic Celts, the warrior Vikings, the controversial English. What marks did these groups leave? What tales of ambition and passion could the city’s history hold?

The characters vividly show the progression of Dublin, and Ireland, over the centuries. Celtic ‘Dubh Linn’ is a beautiful spot pulled into conflict, ‘Dyflin’ a Viking port, and Dublin an English territory. The city grows as its citizens seek fortune amidst war, love, and betrayal. Historical figures such as charismatic St. Patrick and cunning Henry II make their mark. The Princes of Ireland shows the history of Dublin and Ireland up to the reign of Henry VIII.

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A wandering storyteller tells tales of Ireland’s history and changes a young boy’s life forever in Ireland by Frank Delaney.

Brian Boru battles the Vikings and becomes one of Ireland’s greatest kings in The Lion of Ireland by Morgan Llywelyn.

Learn more about Ireland’s history by checking books such as Malachy McCourt’s History of Ireland by Malachy McCourt.

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Persona by Genevieve Valentine

In the near future countries conduct politics through their ‘Faces’. Faces are beautiful, compliant, and deceitful. Amazonian Face Suyana Supaki is rare for not being beautiful or compliant. When someone attempts to kill her will her skill at deceit be enough to save her? Faces are a politician/celebrity combination which brings out the underbelly of the public image aspect of politics. Suyana’s ties to the Amazon also bring environmental politics into the story. Her mistrust of her dangerous world brings her close to, and far from, jaded idealistic journalist Daniel Park. The result is a political thriller with conflicted protagonists. Persona is a thriller which offers a near future look at politics of the future. Want other books like Persona?

An algorithm which takes social media group sorting to the next level causes chaos in The Affinities by Robert Charles Wilson.

A woman searches for the secrets of a UN directive which controls the world after her mother is abducted in Agenda 21 by Glenn Beck.

In a near future U.S. southwest water politics get cutthroat in The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi.

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