London, 1886. John Gower, a friend of Geoffrey Chaucer, is summoned to investigate a mass murder within city walls. I like this series for its detailed and authentic history as well as a compelling plot. Recommended for fans of Alison Weir’s fiction and non-fiction books, and Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth.
The atmospheric writing of this book draws you into a magical world. Set in medieval Russia, it is both fairy tale and fantasy. Vasya, the main character, was deeply sympathetic. The story was very satisfying and nourished my soul.
For fans of: Fairy tales, historical fantasy, Naomi Novik
Already read it? Try: Uprooted by Naomi Novik, A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Looking for a book to keep you up late? Look no further (and it’s the first in a series!)
Set against the backdrop of the Ottoman Empire during the 15th century, this book re-imagines the infamous Vlad the Impaler as a girl, Lada Dragwlya. The story traces Lada’s rise to power, the grittiness of her life as a young woman struggling with finding power in a world run by men, and her love affair with a powerful future-sultan. In addition to Lada, her brother Radu plays a central role. Lada and her brother Radu are extremely close but the trials of loving the same man (Radu’s closely held secret), and finding a place at court could break them. The book is packed with atmosphere, romance, political subterfuge, and intriguing relationships. I would recommend it for anyone interested in Transylvanian history, the Ottoman Empire, Dracula, and because of the intrigue, subterfuge, and romance…the Game of Thrones series.
A post-apocalyptic novel set in a bleak, ashy world. A story of love (and questionable hope) and the will to go on. Check this out if you liked Stephen King’s The Stand or Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life as We Knew It series.
Set in 1987, this story details the lives of two best friends living in El Paso, Texas. The two Mexican-American boys are Aristotle, who can’t swim, and Dante, who loves art. They become fast friends at the public pool, bonding over their ancient names. As they become closer, they meet the other’s family. Before long, Aristotle finds himself in a car accident, leaving him without use of his legs. At the same time he finds his best friend is moving away to Chicago. Aristotle ages, occasionally receiving letters from his friend that detail his biggest secret, one that could possibly get him killed.