Jun 30, 2013

The Eagle's Conquest

The Eagle's Conquest (Eagle, #2)The Eagle's Conquest by Simon Scarrow
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Poor Cato and Macro just can't catch a break. Vitellius is still as villainous as ever.

Cato is badly burned in battle and makes the acquaintance of the surgeon Nisus (a descendant of Hannibal). They become friendly but the friendship ends abruptly when Nisus falls under Vitellius' spell. Shortly after that while Cato and Macro are fetching new recruits Nisus disappears.

Nisus is fatally wounded while trying to sneak back into camp. Cato is there when he dies and knows he was trying to get a message to Vitellius. Not realizing it's importance but puzzled by marks on a bandage Cato takes the bandage they find around Nisus' uninjured knee.

Lavinia resumes her affair with Vitellius and he uses her to smuggle a weapon into the Emperor's banquet. Cato unravels the message contained in the bandage and he and Macro sneak into the banquet hall in order to stop the assassination of Claudius. Realizing his plan has been foiled Vitellius kills Lavinia and claims the credit for saving Claudius' life.

The book ends with Vitellius as the new favorite of Claudius and accompanying him back to Rome. Flavia telling Vespasian they are going to have a second child. Vespasian also gets his own command and Flavia is staying with him in Britain for the time being.

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Jun 26, 2013

#1 Outlander

Outlander (Outlander, #1)Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Claire Beauchamp Randall isn't very believable as a woman of 1946 she seems much more my contemporary then my Aunt Annette's who would have been around the same age as Claire. But putting aside the fact that Claire's mores are more those of a woman born in the 1960's aside the book was a good yarn.

Claire and her husband #1 Frank Randall are vacationing in the Scottish Highlands, Frank is involved in some genealogy research (this is important as his research allows Claire to know things about his ancestors) when she is transported to 1743.

She is first discovered by Jack Randall (Frank's ancestor) who is a sadistic bully as well as a sexual pervert. After escaping from him she is captured by the Clan MacKenzie, who are rescuing their cousin Jamie Fraser who is traveling under an assumed name. Jamie is badly wounded and Claire puts her nursing skills to use, earning Jamie's friendship.

At Castle Leoch, Claire discovers a web of intrigue. The Laird of the MacKenzie Clan Colum mac Campbell MacKenzie suffers from a genetic condition that renders him crippled and sterile. He is only able to rule the clan as Laird because his brother Dougal stands with him and acts as his arms and legs (and cock but that is suppose to be a secret). Colum doesn't have long to live and fears that his son (actually Dougal's son) Hamish MacKenzie will not be chosen as Laird. The brother's fear that the clan would choose Jamie if he renounces the Fraser clan and takes the MacKenzie plaid. But as the Laird of Lallybroch it is in the best interest of Colum and Dougal to keep him alive. In order to prevent Claire from falling into Randall's hands Dougal arranges for her to marry Jamie. Jamie and Claire soon fall in love but Claire fells guilty about Frank. While Jamie is off hunting with The Duke of Sandringham, in hopes of receiving his help in getting murder charges dropped Geilis Duncan and Claire are arrested for witchcraft. Unbeknownst to Claire Geilis is pregnant with Dougal's child and Colum arranged for her arrest to take care of "the problem". He has possibly arranged for Claire to be arrested to as she knows the truth about Hamish's parentage. Jamie arrives in time to save Claire and they hastily depart.

Claire tells Jamie about Frank and how she was transported back in time. Jamie takes her to Craig na Dun so she can attempt to return to Frank, but Claire chooses to stay with Jamie and they head for Lallybroch. Claire later learns that Geilis was burned at the stake but that she left a message for Claire "I think it is possible, but I do not know and that Geilis disappeared in 1967"

Claire and Jaime are happy at Lallybroch but Jaimie is betrayed by a disgruntled tenant to the Watch. Jamie is taken to Wentworth Prison and is scheduled to be hanged. Captain Randall sexually abuses Jamie, breaks the fingers of his right hand and beats him before Claire can arrange for his rescue. They escaped to Saint Anne de Beaupre's monastery in France, where Jamie's uncle serves as Abbot. Once he is well they plan to join Prince Charles Edward Stuart in Rome. Claire also reveals she is pregnant.

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Jun 20, 2013

Beautiful Redemption

Beautiful Redemption (Caster Chronicles, #4)Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The last of the Caster Chronicles. Ethan is given a chance to return to Gatlin, he just needs the "Book of Moons" for a trade. With Ridley's help Lena gets the book and Amma calls up "The Greats" to take it to him.

Ethan succeeds in ripping his page from the Caster Chronicles and returns to Gatlin but Amma has to take his place in the Otherworld.

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Jun 17, 2013

Alabama's Mitcham Wars Essaying Mortal Wounds

Alabama's Mitcham Wars: Essaying Mortal WoundsAlabama's Mitcham Wars: Essaying Mortal Wounds by Jerry Elijah Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As a descendant of Andrew Jackson Mott and Harriette Ann Hutto Mott I enjoyed learning more about their lives and descendants. Only sorry my Grandpa Cloey Thompson never had a chance to read the book, as I am sure he would have had many interesting stories to add about his relatives. So happy that Jerry Elijah Brown wrote the book and that my Mom spotted it in the Automotive section of the Book Store.

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Jun 16, 2013

A Dance With Dragons

A Dance With Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5)A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

He certainly didn't advance the plot much and the first part is pretty much a rehash of what happened in A Feast For Crows from another characters POV.

Arya sight is returned to her and she is still with the Faceless Men.

Bran has reached the "three-eyed crow" and is learning about about greenseeing and skinchanging. I am really unhappy about what they are doing to Bran.

Jon Snow let the Wildlings through "The Wall", on condition they help fight "The Others". He had planed to rescue some Wildlings at Hardhome but when he got the message from Ramsey Bolton he changed the plan and put Tormund Giantsbane in charge of the rescue attempt, while he planned to go to Winterfell and attack Bolton. He was stabbed by his brothers and we do not know if he is alive or dead.

Alys Karstark, fled to "The Wall" and was given sanctuary by Jon Snow. She married Sigorn, Magnar of Thenn (Wildling) in order to avoid being married to her cousin Cregan Karstark, and having her home stolen from her family.

Stannis has Asha Greyjoy, as his prisoner. Currently Stannis and his "army" have been snowed in. A representative from the Iron Bank showed up with some of Asha Greyjoy's men as well as Theon (Reek) and Jeyne Poole "Bolton" (the False Arya). Jon Snow had sent Mance Rayder (Abel) and six spearwives to rescue Arya. Ramsey has captured Mance and killed the spearwives according to his letter to Jon Snow.

Jon Connington (Griff) has been raising Prince Aegon (Young Griff) in secrecy. The original plan was to go to Daenerys and join forces but Tyrion convinces him to invade the Seven Kingdoms (starting in the Stormlands) without her instead. Jon Connington is suffering from greyscale but so far has managed to keep his condition secret.

Tyrion was kidnapped by Jorah Mormont who planned to take him to Daenerys but they were captured by slavers. Tyrion managed to arrange their escape and they are currently with Brown Ben Plumm, (along with the female dwarf Penny, her dog and pig have probably been killed).

Daenerys Targaryen married Hizdahr zo Loraq in order to restore peace to the city of Meereen, he is believed to have arranged to have her poisoned. Strong Belwas ate the poisoned locusts meant for Daenerys and nearly died. Drogon (the black dragon) shows up and Daenerys flies away on him, many people are trampled when they try to flee and some believe Daenerys is dead. At the end of the book she and Drogon were discovered by the khalasar of Khal Jhaqo.

Victarion Greyjoy sails through the outer islands of Slaver's Bay, bound for Meereen in hopes of marrying Daenerys.

Quentyn Martell, Prince of Dorne got to Meereen to late. Daenerys refused his marriage proposal and wed Hizdahr instead. Wanting to return to Dorne in triumph he attempts to steal one of the remaining dragons. Both dragons escape and Quentyn is badly burned and dies from his injuries.

Ser Barristan Selmy, is acting as Daenerys "Hand" and has taken Hizdahr prisoner.

Davos is still alive and has been sent to rescue Rickon Stark.

Cersei Lannister was imprisoned by the Faith of the Seven. After admitting to fornication she was released after walking through the streets naked. She still has to stand trial for adultery and murder, "Ser Robert Strong" (some sort of Frankenstein's monster cobbled together from the corpse of Gregor Clegane and other prisoners) will be her champion in a trial by combat.

Jamie Lannister has disappeared with Brienne of Tarth.

Varys, arranges the murders of Kevan Lannister and Grand Maester. Pycelle.

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Jun 3, 2013

A Feast for Crows

A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, #4)A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think Sandor Clegane is alive and on the Quiet Isle. What I do know for sure is that Elder Brother told Brienne he found Sandor, that is was Arya with him and that they were headed to the Saltpans and that Arya presumably continued on there after she left Sandor. Elder Brother told her "The Hound" was dead but when Brienne asked if Sandor Clegane was dead he said "he is at rest", which isn't exactly the same thing.

Rorge took The Hounds helm and attacked the Saltpans killing everyone not in the castle. Brienne killed Rorge when he attacked the Inn she was staying at, but was grievously wounded by Biter, who chews the flesh off her cheek. After Gendry rescues her from Biter, he and the remaining members of the Brotherhood Without Banners take her captive. Lady Catelyn (the undead) accuses her of betraying her and instructs her men to hang Brienne, Ser Hyle Hunt and Podrick Payne. As she is hanging Brienne says a word............

Arya used the coin that Jaqen H'ghar gave her to buy passage on a ship to Braavos, where she joins the Faceless Men, While posing as Cat (a fish girl) she meets Samwell Tarly, and learns how Dareon deserted the Night Watch and left Sam, Gilly, The Baby (Rayder's son). and Maester Aemon to starve. Arya kills Dareon, when she returns to the Faceless Men she is given milk to drink that makes her blind.

Sam manages to get passage on a ship to Oldtown, but Maester Aemon dies en-route. At the Citadel Alleras, seeks him out and brings him straight to Archmaester Marwyn, who asks Samwell to repeat for him Aemon's final words. Upon hearing the story, Marwyn immediately departs the city with the stated intention of going to Daenerys and becoming her maester (Not sure if Sam should trust Alleras and Archmaester Marwyn).

Jaime releases Edmure Tully, and allows him to return to Riverrun on condition that he surrender the Castle. Edmure allows his Uncle (The Blackfish) to escape before surrendering the castle, which angers Jaime but Jaime keeps his deal and Edmure is taken to Casterly Rock as his prisoner. When he receives the missive from Cersei begging him for help he burns it.

Cersei in an attempt to alleviate the crown's debts, gain the Faith's blessing, and gain more protection from her purported enemies, allows the new High Septon (known as the High Sparrow) to revive the Faith Militant, ignorant of its history of causing trouble for monarchs. Cersei then plotted to frame Margaery Tyrell for adultery and treason. The High Septon arrest Margaery but Cersei's plans to remove the Tyrell influence at court backfires when the High Sparrow arrests her for several crimes, including the murder of the previous High Septon. Her ministers seize control of the government and send for Kevan to be the new Regent.

Sansa is happily plotting with Lord Petyr Baelish who plans for her to marry Harrold Hardyng (the Arryn heir), and reclaim Winterfell in her name.

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