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Book Review: War of the Wolf (The Last Kingdom, #11) by Bernard Cornwell

Book Review: War of the Wolf (The Last Kingdom, #11) by Bernard Cornwell

War of the Wolf by Bernard Cornwell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Last Kingdom (Book #11 of 13)

Genre: Historical fiction

Pages: 401 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 2nd October 2018 by HarperCollins


The beginning of the end started with a bang.

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Book Review: Between Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman

Book Review: Between Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Between Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Horror, Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Pages: 432 pages (US Hardcover edition)

Published: 2nd October 2012 by Ace (US)


A bleak historical fantasy/horror about life, death, faith, and hope.

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Book Review: The Flame Bearer (The Last Kingdom, #10) by Bernard Cornwell

Book Review: The Flame Bearer (The Last Kingdom, #10) by Bernard Cornwell

The Flame Bearer by Bernard Cornwell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Series: The Last Kingdom (Book #10 of 13)

Genre: Historical fiction

Pages: 305 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 6th October 2016 by HarperCollins


The Flame Bearer has a strong start and concluding chapter, but this series has run its course, and I can’t believe there are still 3 books to go.

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Book Review: Night Came with Many Stars by Simon Van Booy

Book Review: Night Came with Many Stars by Simon Van Booy


Night Came with Many Stars by Simon Van Booy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher, HighBridge Audio, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I had few expectations of Night Came with Many Stars when I received the ARC on NetGalley. It’s not a book that had been on my radar at all; I hadn’t heard it mentioned on any of the sites and podcasts I follow for book news. I was immediately and completely captivated by the prose. But that’s not to say that said prose outshone the story itself, which was equally engaging. I knew very little about this book going in, and was pleased to discover that it was actually a multi-generational family saga. However, it’s a family saga presented in a way that felt fresh and unique. I ended up loving everything about it, and am so thankful for whatever serendipity brought it to my attention.

The writing style, especially in the first few chapters, is breathtakingly pretty, and very unique. I was reminded of Where the Crawdads Sing, but only slightly. The further the story progressed, the more clearly original it revealed itself to be. The author employs some truly unique metaphors and similes that had me going back and rereading (and re-listening) to lines, just to get my head completely wrapped around the comparisons. Every single one of them worked, even though I would never have come up with them myself.

I love the juxtaposition in perspectives and time periods. Life was so radically different for a thirteen year-old girl in the 1930s than it was for a boy of the same age in the 80s. This is a fact that anyone would know if they took a moment to think about that scenario, but the back-to-back jumping between the two drove that truth home on a far deeper level.

I also loved how the author kept pace as he swapped between these two perspectives. We see Carol and Samuel alternatively at similar ages and stages of life, which just further drives home how different their lives were based on gender and time period. And yet there were some beautiful parallels, as well. I very much enjoyed watching both of them grow.

What makes a family? Does shared blood mean more or less than love developed over the course of years? Watching Carol slowly build herself a family without noticing, and watching Samuel grow to appreciate his own family more and more, was absolutely lovely. The side characters in this story were just a beautifully full of life as the main characters, with a couple of notable exceptions. I found anyone with a villainous role in the novel to be a bit two-dimensional, but even that decision served the story well. While I loved all of the supporting cast, I developed a serious soft spot for Eddie and Joe, in particular.

Night Came with Many Stars is a hopeful, beautifully written story with a lot of depth and even more heart. I didn’t expect to be adding it to my list of favorite books of the year, but that’s exactly where it landed. Also, I can’t recommend the audio version highly enough. I’ll definitely be buying myself a physical copy in the near future. This is a book that deserves a place on my favorites shelf.

You can purchase this book from: Blackwell’s | Bookshop.org (Support Independent Bookstores)Amazon US | Amazon UK | Audible | Libro.fm (Another way to support independent bookstores!) | Book Depository (Free shipping worldwide!)

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Book Review: Warriors of the Storm (The Last Kingdom, #9) by Bernard Cornwell

Book Review: Warriors of the Storm (The Last Kingdom, #9) by Bernard Cornwell

Warriors of the Storm by Bernard Cornwell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Last Kingdom (Book #9 of 13)

Genre: Historical fiction

Pages: 325 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 8th October 2015 by HarperCollins


Warriors of the Storm has violence, funny moments, and an engaging turn of events.

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Book Review: The Empty Throne (The Last Kingdom, #8) by Bernard Cornwell

Book Review: The Empty Throne (The Last Kingdom, #8) by Bernard Cornwell

The Empty Throne by Bernard Cornwell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Last Kingdom (Book #8 of 13)

Genre: Historical fiction

Pages: 353 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 23rd October 2014 by HarperCollins


The Empty Throne was an improvement over The Pagan Lord, and it somehow felt refreshing despite its formulaic structure.

“I wondered why the gods no longer came to earth. It would make belief so much easier.”

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Book Review: The Pagan Lord (The Last Kingdom, #7) by Bernard Cornwell

Book Review: The Pagan Lord (The Last Kingdom, #7) by Bernard Cornwell

The Pagan Lord by Bernard Cornwell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Series: The Last Kingdom (Book #7 of 13)

Genre: Historical fiction

Pages: 321 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 26th September 2013 by HarperCollins


For the first time ever in the series, I actually think The Pagan Lord felt almost completely like a filler book.

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Book Review: Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

Book Review: Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

ARC provided by Goodreads & the publisher—Scribner—in exchange for an honest review.

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Historical fiction, Science fiction, Literary fiction

Pages: 656 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 28th September 2021 by Scribner


Cloud Cuckoo Land is more ambitious and complex than All the Light We Cannot See in every possible way.

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Book Review: Death of Kings (The Last Kingdom, #6) by Bernard Cornwell

Book Review: Death of Kings (The Last Kingdom, #6) by Bernard Cornwell

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Death of Kings by Bernard Cornwell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Last Kingdom (Book #6 of 13)

Genre: Historical fiction

Pages: 357 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 29th September 2011 by HarperCollins


This was not as good as Season 3 of the TV series, but Cornwell successfully delivered a fitting conclusion to the first part of the series.

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Book Review: Hellmouth by Giles Kristian

Book Review: Hellmouth by Giles Kristian

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Cover art designed by: Stephen Mulcahey

HELLMOUTH: A novella by Giles Kristian

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Historical fiction, Horror

Pages: 52 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 19th February 2021 by Giles Kristian (Self-Published)


Hellmouth is a bloody terrifying blend of historical fiction and horror.

“In the absence of light, darkness prevails”

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