Friday, August 10, 2018

Book Review - Challenge Update - August 10, 2018

I finished up 2 books over the last week.  The first was Lud-In-The-Mist by Hope Mirrless.

Book Summary:  Lud-in-the-Mist, the capital city of the small country Dorimare, is a port at the confluence of two rivers, the Dapple and the Dawl. The Dapple has its origin beyond the Debatable Hills to the west of Lud-in-the-Mist, in Fairyland. In the days of Duke Aubrey, some centuries earlier, fairy things had been looked upon with reverence, and fairy fruit was brought down the Dapple and enjoyed by the people of Dorimare. But after Duke Aubrey had been expelled from Dorimare by the burghers, the eating of fairy fruit came to be regarded as a crime, and anything related to Fairyland was unspeakable. Now, when his son Ranulph is believed to have eaten fairy fruit, Nathaniel Chanticleer, the mayor of Lud-in-the-Mist, finds himself looking into old mysteries in order to save his son and the people of his city. 

My Review:  I loved this little book.  Beautifully written, lovely language and a story about the power of the love for your child (as well as yourself).  There are echos of Tolkien in this book - things like the Bracegirdle's, and a bit of a Hobbiton feel to Dorimare. Another one recommended by my dad that I probably should have read years ago but am really glad I've read it now. 

Next up was A Book of Air and Shadows by Michael Gruber. 

Book Summary: An intellectual property lawyer is at the center of a deadly conspiracy and a chase to find a priceless treasure involving William Shakespeare. As he awaits a killer—or killers—unknown, Jake writes an account of the events that led to this deadly endgame, a frantic chase that began with a fire in an antiquarian bookstore.

A distinguished Shakespearean scholar found tortured to death . . . 

A lost manuscript and its secrets buried for centuries . . . 

An encrypted map that leads to incalculable wealth . 

My Review:  I wanted to like this book a lot.  A historical mystery around finding old letters that tantalizingly lead to the possibility of a missing play by William Shakespeare sounded like a brilliant plot.  Sadly, while this was an okay book, it wasn't a great one.  It could have used an editor with a stronger pen for sure - by the middle third of the book, it was wallowing along in too much character development and digressing plot lines that didn't advance the story.  Probably a read for folks who like Dan Brown - it felt a lot like his writing, but for other folks looking for a great historical mystery, probably not. 

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