THE MINIATURIST – JESSIE BURTON

51gELSlkHnL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
Publisher: Ecoo Press
Ratings: 2.5/5
Genre: Fiction, Historical fiction, Mystery
Post Book Thoughts: Ok look! I really liked this book but what the hell!!

Set in seventeenth century Amsterdam–a city ruled by glittering wealth and oppressive religion–a masterful debut steeped in atmosphere and shimmering with mystery, in the tradition of Emma Donoghue, Sarah Waters, and Sarah Dunant.

“There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed . . .”

On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office–leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.

But Nella’s world changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist–an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways . . .

Johannes’ gift helps Nella to pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand–and fear–the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshipped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation . . . or the architect of their destruction?


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THE GIRL IN THE TOWER | THE WINTERNIGHT TRILOGY #2

34050917The Girl In The Tower by Katherine Arden
Published by Del Rey
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, YA
For fans of: Uprooted, Joan of Arc, Sweeping dark fantasy that isn’t afraid to take its time.
My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingalecontinues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home—but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.

Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.


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THE EXECUTIONER’S DAUGHTER – JANE HARDSTAFF

The Executioner’s Daughter by Jane Hardstaff17290345
Publisher: Egmont UK Limited
Ratings: 4/5
Genre: Middle Grade Novel, Historical Fantasy
Post Book Thoughts: Gimme gimme more, gimme more, gimme gimme more!

The crowds at the Tower of London love nothing better than watching an execution. Preferably while eating pie.

Not Moss. She’ll never get used to beheading’s, no matter what Pa says. She watches the river as it flows past and longs to escape.

Salter lives on the river. Using his wits and his boat, he believes that life is mostly about staying alive, and if that means stealing – well, that’s life!

But danger is lurking on the riverbank, and its murky depths hide a secret that could change everything…


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THE BLACKTHORN KEY | THE BLACKTHORN KEY #1

25995832The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands
Published by Puffin
Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, YA, Adventure
For Fans of: The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Lockwood & Co, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (yes. This one specifically)
My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

London, 1665. Fourteen-year-old Christopher Rowe is apprenticed to master apothecary Benedict Blackthorn. In Blackthorn’s shop, Christopher learns the delicate secrets of transforming simple ingredients into powerful medicines, potions and weapons. His beloved master guides him with a firm, steady hand—instilling in him the confidence and independence that prove increasingly vital as Christopher learns of a mysterious cult preying on the most learned men in London. The murders are growing closer and closer to home and soon Christopher is torn from the shop with only a page of cryptic clues from his master and the unambiguous warning—‘Tell no one.’

Helped by his best friend, Tom, Christopher must decipher his master’s clues, following a trail of deceit towards an unearthly secret with the power to tear the world apart.


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FUNNY BOY – SHYAM SELVADURAI

1075662Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai
Published by Penguin India
Genres: Historical fiction, Coming of Age, LGBTQIA
For fans of: diverse books, bittersweet stories of coming-out in times of war.
My rating: 4 stars out of 5

In Shyam Selvadurai’s remarkable debut novel, a boy’s bittersweet passage to maturity and sexual awakening is set against escalating political tensions in Sri Lanka during the seven years leading up to the 1983 riots. Arjie Chevaratnam is a Tamil boy growing up in an extended family in Colombo. It is through his eyes that the story unfolds and we meet a delightful, sometimes eccentric, cast of characters. Arjie’s journey from the luminous simplicity of childhood days into the more intricately shaded world of adults – with its secrets, its injustices and its capacity for violence – is a memorable one, as time and time again the true longings of the human heart are held against the way things are.

Exquisitely written, and masterly in its mingling of the personal and political, Funny Boy has established itself as a classic.


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THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS BY JOHN BOYNE

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John BoyneProcessed with VSCO with p5 preset
Published by: David Fickling Books
Genres: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, World War II Holocaust
Ratings: 1.5/5
Post Book Thought: …but why…

Berlin, 1942: When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move to a new house far, far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people in the distance.

But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different from his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.


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