black_queen (black_queen) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
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#8-9: Sherry Jones, Stephen Baxter and Terry Pratchett

#8 Sherry Jones: Four Sisters, All Queens. (2012) 5/5
Historical fiction about the four sisters from Savoy, all of whom have become queens: Marguerite – wife of the French King Louis IX; Eleonore – wife of the English King Henry III; Beatrice – wife of Charles, a brother to the French king, who later became king of Sicily, and Sanchia – wife to Richard, a brother to the English king, who later became king of Germany.
I have really enjoyed this book. I thought the atmosphere of the Medieval Europe and of Outremer – the Holy Land was very believable. Also, the characters of the four very different sisters are well written. And I can only sympathize with each woman’s attempt of making her way in the world. Being a queen is not as easy as one might think. Going into a foreign country and forever being called foreigner, no matter what you did for the good of your new country.
Difficult to believe though, that Louis was that crazy – I am now on the lookout for his biography.

#9 Stephen Baxter & Terry Pratchett: The Long Earth (2012) 5/5
I am a fan of Terry Pratchett, and have never read anything by Stephen Baxter. So it is difficult for me to judge ‘who did what’. But then, perhaps, it is a mark of successful collaboration.
On a ‘stepping day’ the humanity suddenly finds out that people can step into parallel Earths. And there are millions of those. At least. And those parallel Earths are basically our Earth, which at some point happened to choose a different path of evolution. No people – just multiple paradises. And so people move out and go exploring and build new frontier towns and do what people usually do.
But Joshua and a former Tibetan Lobsang reincarnated as a super-computer go in search of the end of this new Long Earth. In the process they meet trolls and elves, but not as we know them, and discover a huge and horrible thing which causes those trolls and elves to flee across the worlds.
Not the laugh-out-loud funny of the Discworld novels. But I have enjoyed it tremendously. Wonderful characters, wonderful story… The idea of those multiple parallel worlds itself gives so much food for thought!
And the ending definitely implies a sequel. Can’t wait!
Tags: fantasy, historical fiction, sci-fi
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