Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Reading Challenge

As I mentioned in my last blog, I have decided to participate in the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2009 sponsored on Goodreads and on Royal Reviews. All you have to do is read three historical novels between January 1-March 31. Most of us can do that, right? So come on and join in the fun!

Here are the rules, as stated on GoodReads:

Read 3 historical fiction books in 3 months from 1st Jan 09 - 31st March 09. Historical fiction will be counted as anything set or written prior to World War II. This will include classic novels, time travel novels or anything you feel fits the genre. For an extra bit of fun, you can choose to participate in one of the following themes: - The Royal Twist - Read 3 based on or inspired by 3 different royals. Emporers, Queens, Kings whatever inspires you! - The Twilight Twist - Read a selection of 3 of the classic novels that inspired the Twilight Saga. There's Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Romeo Juliet by Shakespeare, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte or A Midsummer Night's Dream by Shakespeare. There will also be giveaways associated with this challenge so keep your eyes pealed. If you've already signed up, head on over to the Introductions and First Book topic and tell us a little about yourself :-)

Me, I’m not taking either of the Twist roads, just reading three historical novels whose descriptions caught my fancy. In keeping with my goal of alternating new books with old “favorites” from former years, these are the three titles I have chosen for the challenge:

Death of a Squire: A Templar Knight Mystery
, by Maureen Ash (new)


After eight years of captivity in the Hoy Land, Templar Bascot de Marins escapes with injuries to his body and soul. Now on a sojourn at Lincoln Castle, he is sometimes called upon to uphold the will of God and he laws of man... Late in the autumn of 1200 A.D., the townspeople of Lincoln are preparing to host the first meeting between the king of Scotland and King John. Days before their arrival, a squire's body is found hanging from a tree deep in the forest,and the castellan of Lincoln castle entrusts Bascot with the task of finding the killer. When outlaws kidnap his trusted servant, Gianni, Bascot is surprised by his own familial feelings for the boy. Despite the unsolved crime and potentially murderous rumors, nothing becomes more important to Bascot than Gianni's safe return. Could these two misdeeds be linked by chance...or by cunning?

The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas (old favorite)


Dashing young Edmond Dantès has everything. He is engaged to a beautiful woman, is about to become the captain of a ship, and is well liked by almost everyone. But his perfect life is shattered when he is framed by a jealous rival and thrown into a dark prison cell for almost 14 years. The greatest tale of betrayal, adventure, and revenge ever written, The Count of Monte Cristo continues to dazzle readers with its thrilling and memorable scenes, including Dantès's miraculous escape from prison, his amazing discovery of a vast hidden treasure, and his transformation into the mysterious and wealthy Count of Monte Cristo--a man whose astonishing thirst for vengeance is as cruel as it is just.

The Dark Lantern, by Gerri Brightwell (new)


Devon-born housemaid Jane Wilbred has snared her new post with the Bentley family with a letter of reference she forged, omitting any mention of the possibly pertinent fact that her late mother was a notorious murderer. That, however, is trifling compared to the shady games being played both upstairs and downstairs at 32 Cursitor Road while the family matriarch lingers on her deathbed, especially the struggle between mysterious beauty Mina Bentley, wife of younger son Robert, and the wan stranger who claims to be the widow of older brother Henry (drowned recently while sailing home after years in India). Meanwhile, Robert is focused on a battle closer to his heart: winning official recognition for anthropometry, the science of identifying criminals by body measurements. Far from being an arcane digression, Robert's passion eventually figures into the intricate and surprising plot. The action will keep the reader as intrigued as a parlor maid eavesdroppig outside her mistress's boudoir. (From Publishers Weekly)

I hope all of you history buffs out there will join in on the challenge!

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