black_queen (black_queen) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
black_queen
black_queen
50bookchallenge

#32-40

#32 Katherine Addison: "The Goblin Emperor".
Read about this one in GRR Martin's LJ. I really liked the book. The story centers on Maia - a young half-goblin who becomes an emperor after sudden death of the entire ruling family (Splitting Heirs? :) ) Maia has been raised in exile and is entirely unprepared for it. The book is about him discovering friends and enemies and learning to navigate the politics of court. Beautifully written and I enjoyed the fact that the author has obviously gone to some trouble to develop an original language for the Elflands.

#33 Kate Quinn: Mistress of Rome.
An engrossing book. I enjoyed reading it and came to love (or hate) the characters.

#34 James Luceno: Tarkin: Star Wars.
A quick and not particularly memorable read. Tarkin and Vader are practically the good guys here. And they win in the end. Not sure about that. Tarkin is not Thrawn. I do not want him to win. On the other hand, I feel he could have been made much more interesting than this book managed.

#35 Thomas Penn: Winter King: The Dawn of Tudor England
The book is supposed to be about Henry VII, but it appears to be more about his courtiers and his politics than about the man himself. He remains a shadowy secretive figure. There was (of necessity?) a long chapter on the marriage of Katherine of Aragon and Prince Arthur. Katherine herself is portrayed rather differently from what I have seen in her biographies. Rather than being ingenious, careful and wise, she is careless with her money and impolitic with her friends. She is also shown as a bit of an idiot: Ferdinand writes her letters of trivial contents in code just to play up to her vanity, and her confessor has a 'Rasputin-like' hold on her. Not sure I liked the book.

#36 The Book of the Dead
A collection of mummy stories. I liked most of them. Especially "Old Souls" by David Thomas Moore about almost-but-not-quite reincarnation, and "Three Memories of Death" by Will Hill about a funerary priest. Both are beautifully poignant and touching. I also found "Tollund" by Adam Roberts absolutely hilarious. A bog-mummy in Denmark animated by nanomachines from the future... Perfect!

#37 Kerry Greenwood: The Castlemaine Murder (audio)
Another enjoyable adventure for Miss Fisher. I also liked the fact that Lin as well as Chinese customs and culture had a bigger role in this story.

#38 Diana Gabaldon: The Space Between: An Outlander Novella
Joan, Jamie's daughter comes to Paris to become a nun and runs into several old acquaintances of Jamie and Claire.

#39 Cixin Liu: The Three-Body Problem
I am trying to get back into sci-fi again, and this book was on my list. It interested me also, because I enjoy books written by authors coming from outside from British/American culture, and this particular back had many references to the Chinese Cultural Revolution, all carefully explained in translator's notes. I found the premise original and exciting. Unfortunately, the development of it failed to live up to my expectations. And so, even though I know, this is just the first part of the trilogy, I do not think I will go on reading.

#40 Kazuo Ishiguro: The Buried Giant
A wonderfully evocative story from post-Arthurian Britain. The land is covered by mist which makes people forget what happened even just yesterday. An elderly couple set out to visit their son, but on the way discover the source of their mist and decide to banish it, so they might remember their past. A dangerous mission, in many ways.
Beautifully written. I've enjoyed every word of it.
Tags: family saga, fantasy, historical fiction, history, mystery, sci-fi
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