Friday, 18 June 2010

Getting carried away!

Having read a few book blogs i noticed some reading challenges around, and not having done any i thought I'd give one ago.
The first one was the Tournament of Reading:Historical Fiction Challenge .
I signed up at Peasant level: 3 books.My 3 reads:
The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England
{A Handbook for Visitor's to the Fourteenth Century.}by Ian Mortimer.

When Christ And His Saints Slept by Sharon Penman,

and Kathrine by Anya Seton.

The next challenge was the Royal Reviews :Historical Reading Challenge .

{On the comments section on the website you can see i singed up on January8th.}

King Arthur:Dragon's Child {book1}by M.K.Hume. I got this for my summer vacation last year and couldn't put it down!{Little note to editors there was some slang early in book1 which rather threw me.} M.K.Hume is a new Australian author.
King Arthur :Warrior of the West{book2}Very moving and absorbing ,both are on my reread list.
Love this series so far, I'm waiting on book 3.

Azincourt by Bernard Cornwell, Harlequin,Vagabond and Heretic by Bernard Cornwell .
Azincourt i love ,being a fan of the Kenneth Brannagh HenryV the two are not unlike .I think the depth of Azincourt would make it brilliant movie. (If wonder of wonders Hollywood can ever get history right and can be detached from HenryVIII!?)Azincourt will have you crying though .

A Place Beyond Courage,The Greatest Knight,The Scarlet Lion ,The Time of Singing and Shadows and StrongHolds all Elizabeth Chadwick.

When Christ And His Saints Slept and Kathrine were on the list for this challenge also.
I will cover the remaining seven in the next post.

A little point to make is when reading historical fiction if you find you don't understand something find out! I have read a few reviews that went along the lines of" X character went on and on about this". The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England is very good at explaining points that a modern reader will not get. If a character is droning on about their "pure Norman blood" for example that was the law from 1066-1340 when the law of Englishry has it was called was repealed.After the conquest the Anglo- Saxon lords those that hadn't been slain either re-belled, went under ground or fled. You may not like the behaviour of a character but they had to live in those time you don't.

Giving a book low marks because a character had beheaviour,thoughts and ideas from the time the book is set in isn't fair. What you're marking down for is the author's good research.
Inserting modern thoughts and feelings to something set in 1076 for example is like finding a modern flat screen TV on HMS Titanic!

I have in some instances wanted to scream a character "if your not part of the answer your part of the problem"! The lack of what is known in modern times as "sister hood".
The early chapters of When Christ and his Saints Slept being a very good example .Anyone who has read this book will know where I'm referring and to whom .Another was a certain gambit between Stephen's Queen and Amabel, I dearly wanted to strangle both!! To paraphrase so i don't give anything away " let's see if Amabel will stab Maud and her husband in the back?"

A fair few of the books I've read for these challenges are on my reread list so i will get around to giving my own humble review of them.

I also hope to do a bit of recommending !

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