Category Archives: Historical fiction

Sisi Empress on Her Own By: Allison Pataki


This is the concluding book in a duology.  I really am not a historical fiction reader but this duo of books was fantastic.  I loved the depth of character of Sisi.  She was exceptionally honest in her feelings and her words.

This book tied up lose ends very nicely without leaving the feeling of it being done just to be done.  The story is very descriptive and transports the reader to the empress’ reign and the surrounding times.

I am looking forward to reading more books by Allison in the near future.

I gave this book 5 crowns.


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Filed under Adult, Fiction, Historical fiction, Uncategorized, Young Adult

Alice I Have Been by: Melanie Benjamin

Alice I Have Been

This is a historical fiction novel about the life of Alice Liddell Hargreaves, the inspiration behind Alice in Wonderland.  I listened to this on audio book and found it intriguing.  I was a bit disturbed by the relationship between Alice and Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll).  This book is a mix of fact and fiction and I don’t know which parts are which but I was not too happy about the closeness of their relationship.

This will not change my love of Alice in Wonderland but it did make me want to know the truth.  I thought the characters were well developed and I really did get absorbed into the story.  My heart broke for Alice as she struggled through life.  I recommend picking this up to read as an aside for anyone that is a fan of the Alice stories.

I gave this book 4 crowns.


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Filed under Adult, Contemporary, Historical fiction, Literary Fiction, mature topics, Uncategorized, Young Adult

The Accidental Empress by: Allison Pataki

The Accidental Empress

I won this book from a Facebook giveaway on October 27, 2015!  Yes, you read that correctly 2015!  I have had this on my shelf for almost 2 years.  Looking at the cover, I formed judgments on the type of book this was.  I thought it was something that I would dislike because I am not really into reading anything in the historical genre.  However, I never gave this away or sold it for credit.  I found this audio book on Overdrive and decided to give it a try.

I am so glad I did.  The narrator was exceptional and the story was wonderful.  About halfway through the book, I ordered the next one in the series.  This is the story of Sisi who becomes Empress and has to learn how to live in that lifestyle.  She is not from an exquisite palace nor a royal life and she finds all of the rules and regulations to be very trying.  I love her free spirit and her stubbornness.

This was a great read and I am so happy that I finally picked it up.

I gave this book 5 crowns.


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Filed under Adult, Fiction, Historical fiction, mature topics, Romance

Human Acts by: Han Kang

human-acts Translated by:  Deborah Smith


My Review:

I had been hearing a lot about this novel as well as Han Kang’s previous work The Vegetarian.  I really didn’t know too much about this and that was ok.  The writing flowed in this book.  It was easy to read and the translator did a great job of keeping with the integrity of the story.  It is not an uplifting story and the details were excruciatingly sad.

This is the story of a young boy told from different people who knew him and a reporter who wanted to tell the story of the horrific events in South Korea in 1980.  It was an interesting read as I am not a fan of historical fiction; but it was done very well.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review through Blogging for Books.

I gave this book 3.5 crowns.

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Filed under Historical fiction, Literary Fiction, mature topics

The Book of Speculation by: Erika Swyler


I had purchased this book some time last year from and I decided to listen to this on audio.  It is an interesting tale of a young man who receives an antique book in the mail without any clue as to why except that there is a familial name written in it.

This antique book seems to be a ledger of some sort of carnival experience.  Simon makes it his mission to figure out his family tree and try an prevent the inevitable that seems to happen to the women in his family on a particular day.

I really enjoyed the characters and their stories.  It was very well written.  My only gripe is that it involved Tarot cards and fortune telling.  For me, that is something that bothers me.  I do understand why it was in the story, but it annoyed me a bit.

I gave this book 4 crowns.


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Filed under Fiction, Historical fiction, Mystery

All the Stars in the Heavens by: Adriana Trigiani


I love Adriana Trigiani’s writing style.  Her stories evoke laughter and tears, anger and hope and the familiarity of living in an Italian family that I can relate to.  I don’t know why I always hesitate when I comes to reading her books because when I do, I am enamored.

In this stand alone story, Adriana takes us back in time to the 1930’s in Hollywood.  We follow along with characters such as Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy.  Our story is mainly told through the eyes of Gretchen (Loretta) Young and Alda Ducci.  This novel transports you in time just the way the movies did in those days.  I was fully immersed in the story.

I did listen to this on audio but I know that if you read the physical copy, you will have the same experience.  My one tiny complaint is that I wished the flipping back and forth between using Loretta and Gretchen as her name was a bit more consistent.  In the same sentence we would see both names used for no particular reason.

Even with that one issue, I gave this book 5 crowns.


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Filed under Historical fiction

Stalking Jack the Ripper by: Kerri Maniscalco


Book #68 for #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks

This is Kerri’s first book and it is the first YA title under the JIMMY Patterson imprint from Hachette Book Group.  This is listed as the first in the  Stalking Jack the Ripper series and I’m not sure how that is going to work.  This was a well written book and tied itself up very nicely in the end.  I’m curious to read the synopsis and title for book 2 when it is released.

Anyway, this book follows Audrey Rose Wadsworth who would rather be autopsying humans then learning how to be a proper lady and finding a husband.  She has taken to sneaking out of her house and helping her Uncle when he has bodies that need dissecting.  When a series of murders occur and there is a commonality among them, Audrey Rose is determined to find out who is behind these killings.  She doesn’t hesitate to get involved in the search for the killer and put herself into harm’s way.  She is literally Stalking Jack the Ripper.

There are some true descriptions in this book and obviously fictional details as well. This was an enjoyable, fast paced read.  I gave it to my daughter to read when she has the chance.

I give this book 4 crowns.


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Filed under #ReadMyDamnBooks, Historical fiction, mature topics, Mystery, Suspence, Young Adult