la_mariane (la_mariane) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Books 26, 27 and 28

26. Le Souper by Jean-Claude Brisville
It's an historical play that I quite enjoyed. It was a quick and interesting read from an historical point fo view. Brisville imagines a conversation between Taleyrand and Fouché after Napoléon looses the battle of Waterloo (let's be clear, this conversation is fictional). Louis XVIII has not yet come back to Paris, the Allies armies are in the capital. Talleyrand and Fouché are trying to come to an accord so that they can each keep what power they had. It paints a cynical portrait of those two controversial historical figures.

27. Horizon by Lois McMaster Bujold
This is the fourth and last novel in the Sharing Knife series. I enjoyed this book, but less than the first ones. I felt that too many characters cropped up without good reasons and I couldn't quite become interested in their fate. And the last confrontation between Fawn (the heroin) and the Malice (a bat-like creature that basically steals the life out of everything) felt like a let-down. Still, I enjoyed the romance aspect of this book and I liked the end : hopeful but not the "all is well and couldn't be better" kind. The Sharing Knife is good fantasy series all the same and I recommend it to those who like fantasy and romance.

28. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
I'm in love with this book. It"s a long and slow read (my copy was about 840 pages) and it's gorgeous. I'm not sure at all I can be coherent about this novel, but I do recommend it. This book is a strange mix of historical novel and fantasy : it's about the magical rebirth of Great Britain during the early 19th century. The best feature of this book was that I really felt that magic was real : Susanna Clarke built this world with a "real" history. There are numerous and long end of page notes that give details about "historical" facts and back-story. And the characters are so well developed. They all have their flaws and strength, and I felt interested in their stories. In the end, I wished this book were longer, which is saying something, since I'm usually an impatient reader, who skips pages just so I can know what happens next.

Tags: fantasy, fiction, historical fiction, hugo winner, play

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