Mid-Week Reading

The Historian

One of the stories I am currently re-reading is, “The Historian.” by Elizabeth Kostova.  Since the first moment I read this novel a few years ago, I have always gone back to it. It fascinates me. My copy has 909 pages! So I absorb this lush story in small lavish dosages.

To you, perceptive reader, I bequeath my history…

Late one night, exploring her father’s library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters addressed ominously to ‘My dear and unfortunate successor’. Her discovery plunges her into a world she never dreamed of – a labyrinth where the secrets of her father’s past and her mother’s mysterious fate connect to an evil hidden in the depths of history.

(Description from goodreads)

Review: The Conqueror’s Wife by Stephanie Thornton

02_The Conqueror's Wife

The Conqueror’s Wife: A Novel of Alexander the Great by Stephanie Thornton

Publication Date: December 1, 2015

NAL/Penguin Group LLC.

eBook, Paperback; 496 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

 330s, B.C.E., Greece: Alexander, a handsome young warrior of Macedon, begins his quest to conquer the ancient world. But he cannot ascend to power, and keep it, without the women who help to shape his destiny. His spirited younger half-sister, Thessalonike, yearns to join her brother and see the world. Instead, it is Alexander’s boyhood companion who rides with him into war while Thessalonike remains behind. Far away, crafty princess Drypetis will not stand idly by as Alexander topples her father from Persia’s throne. And after Alexander conquers her tiny kingdom, Roxana, the beautiful and cunning daughter of a minor noble, wins Alexander’s heart…and will commit any crime to secure her place at his side. Within a few short years, Alexander controls an empire more vast than the civilized world has ever known. But his victories are tarnished by losses on the battlefield and treachery among his inner circle. And long after Alexander is gone, the women who are his champions, wives, and enemies will fight to claim his legacy…

Review:

When this book came available to review, I knew I couldn’t pass this up. Not because I wanted to read another story of Alexander the Great, mind you. I have read enough of him and his atrocities. However, Thornton brings us a new story- a story of the strong women who surrounded him.

I would like to start with his mother-Olympias. She personifies a power hungry political in my opinion. A ruthless Queen where everyone is her pawn and how she manipulates her pawns is without mercy. Or is that just me? Needless to say, I don’t care for the women. I know many would argue with that statement. Thornton does such splendid work with Olympias’s characterization. She is just as I would imagine her to be…

I cared little of, Roxana. She left a bad taste in my mouth. But wow! What an unflinching narrative! Thornton evokes such strong dislike from her readers when reading about this women. I kept on waiting for her demise throughout the story. Or least I felt that way about Roxana. *laughing*

I adore Drypetis-a Persian princess-and Alexander’s sister, Thessalonike for many reasons. Then there is Hephaestion. *sigh* He was Alexanders second in command, best friend and lover. Probably the only person among the very few people Alexander trusted and completely loved. His narrative in the story is one I will never forget.

I cannot say enough about the characters, or their stories. Beautifully told and Thornton immerses you in an unforgettable period of our history and gives you a marvelous exploration of people living during that time. She keeps you so wrapped up in the conflict of the ancient world, culture and the conquest of Alexander that when you put the book down, you can almost still hear their voices and imagine their movements in your mind. This story is a masterpiece.

Stephanie M. Hopkins

AMAZON (KINDLE) | AMAZON (PAPERBACK) | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND

About the Author

03_Stephanie Thornton

Stephanie Thornton is a writer and history teacher who has been obsessed with infamous women from ancient history since she was twelve. She lives with her husband and daughter in Alaska, where she is at work on her next novel. “The Secret History: A Novel of Empress Theodora,” “Daughter of the Gods: A Novel of Ancient Egypt,” and “The Tiger Queens: The Women of Genghis Khan” are available now. “The Conqueror’s Wife: A Novel of Alexander the Great” will hit the shelves in December 2015. For more information please visit Stephanie Thornton’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

 

Weekend Happenings…

This weekend I have a lot going on. First there is preparing the house for family that are coming in town next week for Thanksgiving and then there is church on Sunday. If you know me, there is always reading plans in the mix. I am never far from a book. I am currently reading, A Love That Never Tires by Allyson Jeleyne. It is a Historical Romance and I generally do not read in this sub-genre unless it is an author’s work I know. However, I decided to take a chance with an unknown author to me. So far the setting of story seems to be true to the period but I have to admit, I am a bit put off by some of the sex scenes. For a reason I won’t mention until after I finish reading the story.

I want to wish you all a wonderful bookish weekend and please stay tuned to Layered Pages for lots of wonderful interviews, author guest post and much more!

A Love that Never Tires

‘Linley Talbot-Martin is a girl who likes to get her hands dirty. As the daughter of a famous archaeologist, she’s been everywhere and seen everything—except London. When the Talbot-Martin team travels there for her father’s investiture, Linley finally gets her wish. But when the time comes to trade her jodhpurs and work boots for silk gowns and kid gloves, she may be in over her head. Even though she can out-ride, out-shoot, and outsmart any girl in London society, Linley is destined to be the failure of the season. No one she meets cares about ancient pottery or lost Buddhist texts, and fundraising efforts for future expeditions keep coming up short. If the Talbot-Martin team doesn’t find money soon, they will be out of a job, and Linley will lose everything she holds dear. Patrick Wolford, Marquess of Kyre (pronounced ‘Keer’), is a man who knows his place. Well-connected and respected, he is everything everyone expects him to be, but beneath his façade, he is as neglected and crumbling as the family estate. Now the strain of keeping up appearances is taking its toll. The smart thing would be to marry the heiress nipping at his heels and be done with it, but when he meets Linley Talbot-Martin, who dares to shake up his seemingly proper world, he must choose between the life he’s always known and one he never dared to dream of.’

(Book description from Goodreads)