10. A Tale of two Cities by Charles Dickens
Summary: The storming of the Bastille...the death carts with their doomed human cargo...the swift drop of the guillotine blade-this is the French Revolution that Charles Dickens vividly captures in his famous work A Tale of Two Cities. With dramatic eloquence, he brings to life a time of terror and treason, a starving people rising in frenzy and hate to overthrow a corrupt and decadent regime. With insight and compassion, he casts his novel of unforgettable scenes with unforgettable characters.
Genre: 19th cenutry, Classic, British literature
Thoughts: Excellent story. I definitely like this so much more than Great Expectations. There were so many unlikeable character in Great Expectations but A Tale of Two Cities is sooooo different. Dr. Manette, Charles Darnay, and Sydney Carton are all fantastic characters in their own right. And Madame Defarge....wow I gotta say for me she's one of those villains that I can't wait until she gets her just desserts. And Sydney Carton....how epically amazing are you!?!?
My one complaint has nothing to do with the story but with the edition I have. I knew nothing about the story except that it takes place during the French Revolution, and Madame Defarge, villianness extraordinaire, is always knitting. (And the first sentence, of course, who doesn't know the opening of this book!?!?) So I found it incredibly annoying that the back cover of the book gives away the ending. Grrr..Damn you Signet Classics!!
Don't get me wrong I still thoroughly enjoyed this book and I don't think it's one of those books where once you know the ending it becomes pointless far from it actually. I'm definitely a Dickens fan.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
11. Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn
Summary: The youth Takeo has been brought up in a remote mountain villiage among the Hidden, a reclusive and spirirtual people who have taught him only the ways of peace. But unbeknownst to him, his father was a celebrated assasin and amemeber of the Tribe, and ancient network of families with extraordinary, preternatural skills. When Takeo's villiage is pillaged, he is rescued and adopted by the mysterious Lord Otori Shigeru. Under the tutelage of Shigeru, he learns that he too possesses the skills of the Tribe. And, with this knowledge, he embarks on a journey that will lead him across the famed nightingale floor-and to his own unimaginable destiny.
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Feudal Japan
Thoughts:This is a very exciting fun read. I recommend this to anyone who is looking for escapism, but smart engaging escapism. There's action, adventure and romance. Though I gotta say the romance between Takeo and Kaede isn't nearly as interesting as the one between Lord Shigeru and Lady Maruyama. Takeo and Kaede are a little too Romeo and Juliet for my liking. Having said that I liked their two stories separately. The book is essentially broken up into two parts. One tells Takeo's story and the other Kaede's story. And then of course the two stories converge when all the character meet. I'm interested in reading the rest of the books in the series and I hope that even though this is definitely Takeo's story that ample time is given to Kaede because she's an interesting character and hopefully won't be relegated to just a love interest.
Rating: 4 out of 5