Monday, May 28, 2012

Mundane Mondays: Review, Suggest, Brag . . . Repeat

The Review                                            

Does anyone know where to purchase a Lumatere GPS? Price is no object . . . okay so it is because I'm not wealthy. I like to pretend, but there can be no pretending when I say "Vacation Lumatere anyone?!?"
Nearly ten years ago Lumatere and her people were visited by massacre, a bastard usurper, and a curse. Many were forced to roam outside her beloved walls to face yet more horrors. Finnikin of the Rock was a mere boy then and witness to it all. He must now find a way to hope and trust that the people of Lumatere, his people, can be brought back to the sanctity of her walls by a young novice, Evanjalin. Where will the mysterious Evanjalin lead him and how far must his faith in her be stretched?

Among the other teams I'm on, (not to worry they are few so I have plenty of time for you Finnikin) I am now on Team Finnikin. It is not often I enjoy a narrative from a male perspective when reading. Finnikin is so easy to get along with, I didn't notice. A passionate, compassionate, stubborn, strong young man, it was clear I would fall for him.

My initial reaction, when picking up the book at the local library, was awesome cover and "Oh! Look Freddy* this book is endorsed by Kristin Cashore!" Listen folks, I know we can't base taste on someone else's opinion. However, I stand up and pay attention when particular authors let their name be put in print saying thus and so** about a book they have enjoyed. I will say Melina Marchetta's writing earned it and now is beyond need of any more convincing in my book.

I laughed, I cried, they came, they saw, they conquered. . . Veni, Vidi, Vici! Seriously, though, the book did all that and in the midst of reading I was already convinced "I will read more of Melina Marchetta's books." I even bought Finnikin of the Rock and the sequel, Froi of the Exiles, before finishing.

Sometimes with stories that have multiple characters it is hard to become attached, understand each one and know their history. I feel I know these characters so well and want them to stick with me for a long time. They could invite me to live among the pages with them . . . hello? It is even trickier for an author to create a new world and landscape, but Melina does it so well. I was sitting on the edge of my seat up until the end, so ready to toss it at the wall in despair at it being over. Not to worry friends, Lumatere isn't over yet!

*Freddy is my sister and while she is co-owner of our bookstore, she somehow finds it okay to work at our local library. Where . . . she occasionally convinces me, rather cunningly, to check out books.

**Similar experience: I never (possibly) would have picked up I Capture the Castle without seeing J.K. Rowling's endorsement of it years ago. Now Dodie Smith's novel is among my top 10 favorite books of all time.

To Suggest...                                           
Not the greatest cover, but ignore that...this time.

I'm notorious among my friends for reading anything. They frequently toss a book my way and say, "Hey can you read this and tell me if it is good, if has sex, if it is violent . . . etc." This can be a real test for me mentally at times and only because I'm not fully convinced it is good or right for me to read all this--well rubbish comes to mind, but I'm not sure that is a fitting term. (Insert Smile)

The other evening, while hanging with Anna, she asked me to read a book and do some 'investigating' for her. To the Princess Bound by Sara King is only available as an eBook and while I am loath to read eBooks for various reasons, I did it. Sara King has spent several years attempting to get her books published in, as a friend calls them, 'dead tree' format. Rather than giving up she decided why not publish them as eBooks. I think moving forward we are going to see more and more of this attitude. While it saddens me, it also is exciting to see someone get their books out there. Now having read her book, I'm so happy she decided on this route because I may never have had the opportunity to read her work.

Synopsis (from Amazon):
Sometimes, Life leads us where we need to go…

Six years ago, Victory’s mind and body were brutally shattered by those she trusted. The betrayal has left her with a closed and tortured heart and an innate fear of the men around her. Her father, a cold, compassionless emperor who rules Victory’s life the same way he has ruled Mercy, has an inhuman solution: Chain her to a massive native man from the war-torn planet that kidnapped her to prove to her there’s nothing to fear. Yet when the huge and gentle native shows himself to be something more than anyone expects, will Victory open her heart and allow this handsome and powerful healer to help her flower, or will she turn him over to the Imperium that hunts him?

Bound to an Imperial princess, their bodies lashed together by a cruel decree, Dragomir is tired of helplessly watching Victory’s past overtake her. He has the power to fix her, and if she doesn’t like it, she can kill him after he is finished. He is a healer—he will mend her broken spirit, or die trying. Yet, in healing her, he must reveal his secret to her, and in doing so, Dragomir must also trust her with his life, for those with his special talents are feared and hunted by the Imperium. What Dragomir doesn’t foresee at the outset is his own passion: She’s his soul-mate, their lives entwined throughout the ages, and her mere presence sparks a fire within him that he’s tried for years to ignore. He finds himself fighting his body’s deepest urges every time he looks upon her graceful form, struggling for the control she needs of him, warring with inner desires and an ancient need that could make her abandon him forever…
This is the first book I have ever read in its entirety on my Kindle Fire. I have other eBooks, but I couldn't put my Kindle down. I had to know what was going to happen next. Sara King is great with detail and background of her characters. As the opening line of the synopsis says, "Sometimes, Life leads us where we need to go," and that is so true for each of these characters. Dragomir's spirit of compassion and humbleness tugged at my heart and his overall patience with Victory was amazing and at times a little maddening. Victory is spoiled, but that is how she is supposed to be for the story to progress and Sara did a wonderful job.

I knew very little about the story going into it and didn't know there would be a rape (rather several) involved. I knew it was a romance novel of sorts and once I found out about the rape, I was a little put out. I thought how in the world is this going to convincingly turn into a romance when the main female character has been raped. How will she recover in some 300 pages and be able to 'fall in love' with Dragomir? No worries, Sara King handles that and the details with tact and twists and turns that will lay your raised eyebrows at ease.

Quickly because this is getting long and I need to go home . . . the story is phenomenal and I can't wait for Sara to write more about the world of Mercy. The rape wasn't so vividly described as to force me to put the book down and walk away to prepare myself; she handle it with care. The sex . . . well . . . ummm yeah. It was there. Do I have to go into more detail than that? It was probably one of the most steamy sex scenes I have ever read and I'm having to block it from my mind (trying) for (clearing throat). . . ok moving on.

Yep I'm going to BRAG                       
I was in Chicago this past weekend. I went to Powell's Bookstore. I only got to shop for 30 minutes. I have to go back! And here is what I got:

A Splendor of Letters by Nicholas A. Basbanes
Bookworms edited by Laura Furman & Elinore Standard
The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge by Rainer Maria Rilke

In other bragging news: I am one book away from owning 1,500 books! I wish I could say the same for a dwindling to be read pile (insert blush).

Happy Memorial Day!

Add Finnikin of the Rock to your Goodreads
Add To the Princess Bound to your Goodreads
Or Add All the Books from this post to your Goodreads!


  1. Oh wow. Thanks for the great review! :) So how did your friend hear about the book, out of curiosity?

    1. You're welcome! Goodreads recommended it :).


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