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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Devil's Kiss by Sarwat Chadda

Devil's Kiss by Sarwat Chadda 5 of 5 stars.

As the youngest and only female member of the Knights Templar, Bilqis Sangreal grew up knowing she wasn't normal. Instead of hanging out at the mall or going on dates, she spends her time training as a warrior in her order's ancient battle against the Unholy.
Billi's cloistered life is blasted apart when her childhood friend, Kay, returns from Jerusalem, gorgeous and with a dangerous chip on his shoulder. He's ready to slide back into Billi's life, but she's met someone new: amber-eyed Mike who seems to understand her like no one else and effortlessly stakes a claim on her heart.
But the Templars are called to battle before Billi can enjoy the thrilling new twist to her life. One of the order's ancient enemies has resurfaced, searching for a treasure the Templars have guarded for almost a thousand years--King Solomon's cursed mirror, a source of unimaginable power. To save the lives of millions, Billi will have to put her heart aside and make sacrifices greater than she could have imagined.

Devil's Kiss is a wonderful book, well written and fast paced, it will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. The characters are believable and real, even if the circumstances are not. Sarwat Chadda did a wonderful job weaving together myths, legends, and Biblical tellings to create a story you could believe in. I would suggest this book to just about anyone.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sphinx's Princess by Esther Friesner

Sphinx's Princess by Esther Friesner 5 of 5 stars.
Her face is a symbol of the glories of ancient Egypt.
Her life was a battlefield of the gods.
Her very name means, "The Beautiful Woman Has Come."
But Nefertiti was far more than just a pretty face...
Nefertiti is a dutiful, docile child, whose only interests, aside from the normal pursuits of a commoner's daughter, are music and dance. But an encounter with a scribe arouses her curious mind, and she cajoles him into secret lessons in the arts of reading and writing. As she enters her teen years, her growing beauty and her developing singing and dancing skills attract attention near and far. And with her aunt, Queen Tiye, summons Nefertiti's family, her life takes an unexpected turn. The strong-willed queen plans to use Nefertiti as a pawn in her desire for power.
Even though she must obey the queen and live in the royal palace at Thebes, Nefertiti's spirit and mind will not rest. She continues to challenge herself, learning how to drive a chariot and hunt with bow and arrow. With control of a kingdom at stake and threats at ever turn, Nefertiti is forced to make choices and stand up for her beliefs in ways she never imagined.

In Sphinx's Princess, Esther Friesner tells the story of yet another beautiful and strong young woman. Nobody's Princess and Nobody's Prize are two of my favorite books, and this one is right up there with them. The characters are believable and interesting. The story is full of action and will make you cheer for the young Nefertiti. The only thing I find funny about Esther Friesner is that in her writing the jerks are always the handsome ones and the heroes are the homely. I guess that's what makes her writing unique. Even while writing about women who are known throughout history for their remarkable beauty she is able to make it seem like a small thing. She shows that strength and character are far more precious than beauty could ever be.

For fans of: Esther Friesner, Mara, Daughter of the Nile, Cleopatra's Daughter

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening by L.J. Smith

The Vampire Diaries by L. J. Smith 4 of 5 stars.
Elena is the school beauty, but she's bored. Until a new boy turns up in her class. Stefan is dark and mysterious - and she's determined to get to know him better. But Elena reminds Stefan of someone from his tragic past, and he's just as determined to resist her. Until a series of attacks in the area terrify the school and town and Stefan, the outsider, is held responsible. Elena is the only one who offers to help and, falling in love with her, Stefan tells her his terrible story. He is a vampire, on the run from his evil brother, Damon, who is also a vampire, but doesn't share Stefan's qualms about drinking human blood. And Damon is the one Stefan suspects of really being behind the recent attacks...Can Elena help prove his innocence - without revealing his secret?

Okay, yes, I don't care much for vampires, blah blah blah. But I have enjoyed watching the new show Vampire Diaries on the CW, so after the major cliff hanger last week I decided to read the book. I was surprised by how much different it was from the t.v. show, though I don't know why I didn't suspect it. It was pretty good though and I enjoyed it more than I expected. I felt it was a fairly short read and the ending was way to abrupt, but it was good. I plan on reading the rest of the books. L. J. Smith's writing is nice and flowing, definitely good at creating suspense.

For fans of: Paranormal, Twilight

Friday, October 9, 2009

Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn

Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn 4 of 5 stars.

Voices of Dragons is a tale of pointless rivalry and self-sacrifice.
Sixty years prior a war between dragons and humans erupted. The dragons came out of hiding during WWII when the vibrations from bombs frightened them. Feeling as though they were under attack they waged war against the humans. Realizing that the dragons and humans were too well-matched, the two races formed a treaty, setting off certain land for the dragons.
When seventeen year old Kay accidentally crosses the border into Dragon she is met by the dragon Artegal. A strange, and secret friendship is formed. When the military begins antagonizing the dragons and war looms on the horizon, Kay and Artegal must unveil their friendship and do whatever it takes to stop the fighting, even when they are watching the other side hurt their loved ones.

Voices of Dragons was a wonderful read! I truly enjoyed it. The characters were well crafted and heartfelt while the world was introduced in a way that wasn't harsh or blunt, but easy to understand and flowing. The plot moved along at a wonderful speed and there was action enough for anyone. The only thing wrong with this book is the ending. It ends rather abruptly in a completely horrible cliff-hanger. There's no doubt about it though, Carrie Vaughn will have to write another one!

For fans of: Inheritance Cycle, Girl in the Arena

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran

Cleopatra's Daughter a novel by Michelle Moran 5 of 5 stars.

The marriage of Marc Antony and Cleopatra is one of the greatest love stories of all time, a tale of unbridled passion with earth-shaking political consequences. Feared and hunted by the powers in Rome, the lovers choose to die by their own hands as the triumphant armies of Antony's vengeful rival, Octavian, sweeps into Egypt. Their orphaned children--ten-year-old twins Selene and Alexander--are taken in chains to Rome. Delivered to the household of Octavian's sister, the siblings cling to each other and to the hope that they will return one day to their rightful place on the throne of Egypt. As they come of age, they are buffeted by the personal ambitions of Octavian's family and court, by the ever-present threat of slave rebellion, and by the longings and desires deep within their own hearts.(From novel)

You will walk in Kleopatra Selene's sandals and see the horrors people of the time were subjected to. You will see the famous character's of this time from several points of view and be made to wonder who was truly horribly and who was simply suffering like the rest of the world. It is a true story that reminds you of the imperfection of humanity and the unfairness of life.

Honest, I don't know quite what to say about this book. It was beautifully and, I presume, accurately written. The story, though, is heart-wrenching to the core. The cruelty of parts of it made me feel honestly sick. It will make you cry and laugh and be glad you read it. It is a wonderful glimpse into what Rome was like during this time. Michelle Moran did a wonderful job with it and I would suggest it to anyone who is a lover of history and doesn't have too weak of a stomach.

For fans of: Michelle Moran, Nobody's Princess, Nobody's Prize, Mara, Daughter of the Nile

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