Monday, July 25, 2011

Books I Read in June

The Last Queen C.W. Gortner
Juana of Castile, also known as Juana la Loca, is next in line for the Spanish throne, but the greed for power turns everyone she knows against her as they battle to rule.
I haven’t read a book this intense in a long time. In some parts, I found myself skimming the text because I couldn’t wait another second to find out what happened next. When she was claimed to be insane – a legacy she would carry forever – and locked up for it, I can’t tell you how mad it made me! Everything in this book is unpredictable and it’s full of twists, especially the ending.

Madam Tussaud Michelle Moran
Famous wax sculptor Marie Tussaud works for the royal family until the French Revolution evolves into the Reign of Terror and the rebels force her to abandon loyalty and forced to sculpt the heads of the executed.
If you like Michelle Moran, everyone I know says this was her best work. Choosing Madam Tussaud as a protagonist was a brilliant move.  Since she was both involved with the royal family and the revolution, her character gives us a comprehensive view of what happened all over France. I had no idea the revolution was so awful. This book was both intimate and far-reaching, touching and terrifying. Definitely a page-turner.

Daughter of Xanadu by Dori Jones Yang
Princess Emmajin, granddaughter of the Khan of Mongolia, wants nothing more than to join the army and help her people conquer the world – until she meets an Italian explorer named Marco Polo, who changes the way she sees the world and steals her heart.
This book is a fun Asian adventure with battles, an independent heroine, and an impossible love story. One of my favorite aspects of the book is how Dori shows us not just what the exterior of the culture was like, but how the people thought (as opposed to giving everyone modern values). I also greatly enjoyed the romance. She offered to do an interview on my blog, so that’s coming up soon.

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