Sunday, April 16, 2017

And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini


Abdullah and his sister Pari are inseparable. The two share a very close bond after losing their mother at a young age. Their father takes them on a journey in to a larger Afghan town where they meet up with their uncle who works for a rich husband and wife. Pari is handed over to this couple, and Abdullah never sees his sister again. This book tells us the story of various people who have a degree or two of separation from Abdullah and Pari.

The book starts off riveting. We learn about Pari being sold to this couple, and how his uncle's life plays out. Then the stories get further and further away from Abdullah and Pari until at the end, they eventually make their way back. The start and ending were great, the rest felt like filler and got to the point where I was struggling to figure out who the characters were and how they were connected.

Unfortunately I think this is the weakest of Hosseini's books. But I haven't given up on him because of how much I liked the others. If/when he puts out another book I'll read it.

First Line: "So, then."


Friday, April 14, 2017

Mississippi Blood by Greg Iles


In the third and final book of the Natchez trilogy, we hope to finally learn the truth about what happened the night Viola Turner died. The trilogy focuses around Dr. Cage's son Penn trying to clear his father's name and learning about all the klan activity that occurred in the town back in the 60s. Some of these dangerous men are still alive and don't want the truth to come out. This book focuses on Dr. Cage's trial (finally!) and the aftermath of Penn's loss.

We know the characters by this point, so this really is a story-driven novel in wrapping up all the loose ends. The full trial of Dr. Cage being tried for Viola's murder plays out. It includes his lawyer not objecting to any evidence being entered and then some jaw-dropping surprises at the end.

This was one of the best trials I've read in a book. There were twists and turns. You wondered what the defense was trying to do, and why they were hiding their motives from Penn. There was so much suspense!

If you haven't read the first two books, you cannot pick this one up by itself and expect to understand what's going on. But trust me, this series is worth the time investment. It's a fantastic series and ends with a bang.

Thanks to TLC Book Tours for letting me be a part of this tour. You should definitely consider purchasing this book! Buy from HarperCollins

First Line: "Grief is the most solitary emotion; it makes islands of us all."

About the Author
Greg Iles spent most of his youth in Natchez, Mississippi. His first novel, Spandau Phoenix, was the first of thirteen New York Times bestsellers, and his new trilogy continues the story of Penn Cage, protagonist of The Quiet Game, Turning Angel, and #1 New York Times bestseller The Devil’s Punchbowl. Iles’s novels have been made into films and published in more than thirty-five countries. He lives in Natchez with his wife and has two children.

Find him on Twitter, Facebook and at his website.

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Enemies of Versailles by Sally Christie

Historical Fiction

In the third and final book in the Versailles/Louis XV trilogy, this time we look at two women from King Louis XV's last years. The first is his final mistress, the Comtesse du Barry, who started out as a luxury escort. She makes friends with the right people and is eventually presented to the king. Not surprisingly the court hates her not only because she's an escort but also because she's a commoner. The second is Louis' eldest daughter Adelaide. She is an extremely rigid woman and doesn't have a very good relationship with her father because she hasn't approved of any of his mistresses.

The two women are completely different, likely why they were both selected for this book, and it really highlights the extremes that existed in the French court. Christie does a great job of showing how tone deaf French royalty was during this time, which eventually brought their demise. Obviously all these years later, in a much more advanced society, it's easy to see the errors of their ways but I wonder if it would have been easy to understand back then. This book actually made me want to read more on the French Revolution.

Having read Christie's other two books in the trilogy (read my reviews for The Rivals of Versailles and The Sisters of Versailles), even though these characters were unique from all the other ladies highlighted in Christie's books, I found them somewhat less captivating.

It's still a worthy read - you should definitely check out all three books! It gives you great insight in to some of the more periphery characters of the Louis XV reign. You can buy the book here: Amazon

Thank you to TLC Book Tours for letting me be a part of this tour.

First Line: "I slip away from the warmth of the kitchen and out into the deserted hall."

About the Author
Sally Christie is a long time history buff. She has lived in England, Canada, Argentina, and Lesotho though she currently resides in Toronto (and hence, I'm claiming Canadian author here!). The Sisters of Versailles is her first book even though she's been putting pen to paper for a while. Learn more at her websiteFacebook, or GoodReads.