New Historical Fantasy Book: The Folded World (Dirge for Prester John) by Catherynne M. Valente

The Folded World (Dirge for Prester John) by Catherynne M. Valente

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Night Shade Books (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597802034
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597802031

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When the mysterious daughter of Prester John appears on the doorstep of her father”s palace, she brings with her news of war in the West–the Crusades have begun, and the bodies of the faithful are washing up on the shores of Pentexore. Three narratives intertwine to tell the tale of the beginning of the end of the world: a younger, angrier Hagia, the blemmye-wife of John and Queen of Pentexore, who takes up arms with the rest of her nation to fight a war they barely understand, Vyala, a lion-philosopher entrusted with the care of the deformed and prophetic royal princess, and another John, John Mandeville, who in his many travels discovers the land of Pentexore–on the other side of the diamond wall meant to keep demons and monsters at bay. These three voices weave a story of death, faith, beauty, and power, dancing in the margins of true history, illuminating a place that never was.

About the Author

Catherynne M. Valente began September’s adventures in installments on the Web; the project won legions of fans and also the CultureGeek Best Web Fiction of the Decade award. She lives with her husband on an island off the coast of Maine. She has written many novels for adults and a few for children.

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New Alternate History Book: Tannhauser: Rising Sun, Falling Shadows by Robert Jeschonek

Tannhauser: Rising Sun, Falling Shadows by Robert Jeschonek

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games (November 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616611804
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616611804

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The year is 1954, and in a dark and violent alternate history, the Great War never ended. The forces of the Reich, led by the occult-obsessed Kaiser, have sold their souls to demonic powers as they scour the earth in search of paranormal weaponry. Meanwhile, President Edison has sanctioned the use of potent alien technology recovered at Roswell, in hopes of aiding the beleaguered Union in its fight against tyranny. As the war rages on, can anything – or anyone – tip the balance of power? Enter the Shogunate, a far-eastern warrior sect with their own shadowy agenda. When a small force led by “The Daimyo” Iroh Minamoto sets out toward the evergreen peninsula of Kamchatka, Union Major John McNeal and the 42nd Marines must discover their plans before it’s too late. To make matters worse, the nefarious Hermann Von Heizinger of the Reich’s Obscura Korps seems to be in league with the Shogunate. The race is on to control a weapon that could finally bring the Great War to its climactic end!

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New Alternate History Book: Red-Robed Priestess by Elizabeth Cunningham

Red-Robed Priestess by Elizabeth Cunningham – part of the Maeve Chronicles

  • Hardcover: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Monkfish Book Publishing (November 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982324693
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982324691

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Product Description from Amazon:

After a long, eventful life that has brought her through slavery to the Resurrection garden, through the controversies of the early Church to a hermit cave in southern Gaul, Maeve, the Celtic Magdalen, comes full circle. With her daughter Sarah, Maeve returns to the British Isles to seek her first-born daughter taken from her by the druids more than forty years ago. The night before her channel crossing, Maeve encounters a man she first mistakes for Jesus’ ghost. He is equally haunted, and the two are drawn into a moonstruck liaison that will entwine their lives in “an impossible Celtic knot.” He is none other than General Gaius Suetonius Paulinus, the newly appointed Governor of Britain, destined to defeat the Iceni Queen Boudica in one of the bloodiest battles in history.

And Boudica is none other than Maeve’s lost child.

Fully accessible to new readers, Red-Robed Priestess will be deeply satisfying to fans who have accompanied Maeve on her journey, reuniting them with beloved characters from the earlier novels, especially Magdalen Rising. At sixty something, Maeve is as feisty as ever with her distinctive sense of irreverent humor very much intact, but she has also grown—and so has the author. In this final volume of the acclaimed Maeve Chronicles, Elizabeth Cunningham confronts a political and emotional complexity that speaks to our times. Maeve’s courageous and compassionate witness of an epic tragedy she cannot prevent will challenge and comfort all of us who have ever faced intractable circumstances of our own.

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Historical Film Friday: A Dangerous Method

Freud, Jung, Psychoanalysis and Sex – it’s so Hollywood!

Here’s the trailer followed by a synopsis of the film.

A look at how the intense relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud gives birth to psychoanalysis. Seduced by the challenge of an impossible case, the driven Dr. Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) takes the unbalanced yet beautiful Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley) as his patient in A Dangerous Method. Jung’s weapon is the method of his master, the renowned Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen). Both men fall under Sabina’s spell.

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Reviews of Lionheart by Sharon Kay Penman

Lionheart by Sharon Kay Penman

Hardcover: 608 pages
Publisher: A Marian Wood Book/Putnam (October 4, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0399157859
ISBN-13: 978-0399157851
Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.1 x 2 inches

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I posted about Sharon Kay Penman’s new book Lionheart recently. So I thought now was a good time to see what the reviewers were saying about the book.

 Man of la Book certainly liked it – in particular noting the historical detail.

MisfitandMom loved the book as well, was not bored, but warned that it was not light reading – and we wouldn’t want that anyway would we?

Broken Teepee thought Lionheart was a deep and involving book and said that lovers of history would not be disappointed.

Raging Bibliomania also marveled at Penman’s historical detail and was enthralled by the politics and battles. They did wish though that more attention were given to the female characters.

So pretty good reviews all round from the blogosphere!

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New Historical Fiction Book: Lion of the Sun: Book Three of Warrior of Rome by Harry Sidebottom

Lion of the Sun: Book Three of Warrior of Rome by Harry Sidebottom

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook Hardcover (October 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590203518
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590203514

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Review at Fantasy Book Review

Mesopotamia, AD 260 Betrayed by his most trusted adviser, the Roman Emperor Valerian has been captured by the Sassanid barbarians. The shame of the vanquished beats down mercilessly like the white sun, as the frail old emperor prostrates himself before Shapur, King of Kings. Ballista looks on helplessly, but vows under his breath to avenge those who have brought the empire to the brink of destruction with their treachery. One day, maybe not soon, but one day, I will kill you …But first he must decide what price he will pay for his own freedom. Only the fearless and only those whom the gods will spare from hell can now save the empire from a catastrophic ending. Ballista, the Warrior of Rome, faces his greatest challenge yet.


New Historical Fiction Book: The Sisters: A Novel by Nancy Jensen

The Sisters: A Novel by Nancy Jensen

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Press; First Edition edition (November 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312542704
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312542702

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Information from Amazon:


“You’ll be drawn into the arms of The Sisters as if these women were your own family. You’ll want to hold them, warn them, betray their secrets. But this is a novel, one that is fresh and vibrant and complex. You cannot live the sisters’ lives, but only share in their joy and heartbreak and ultimate triumph. A remarkably powerful book.”
—Sandra Dallas, author of Prayers for Sale

“Nancy Jensen has the natural story-teller’s ability to command attention, but with sophisticated psychological understanding and beautifully crafted writing. The Sisters is a needed novel that will become a very popular classic.”
—Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Ahab’s Wife

“A beautiful and touching novel about the events and choices that shape not only our lives but the lives of generations to come. Nancy Jensen takes us on an epic yet intimate journey through eighty years, ultimately revealing the flawed but lovely landscape that makes up a family. Her characters will stay with us long after the book’s final pages.”
—Brunonia Barry, author of The Lace Reader

Product Description

In the tradition of Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping and Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge, a dazzling debut novel about the family bonds that remain even when they seemirretrievably torn apart

Growing up in hardscrabble Kentucky in the 1920s, with their mother dead and their stepfather an ever-present threat, Bertie Fischer and her older sister Mabel have no one but each other—with perhaps a sweetheart for Bertie waiting in the wings. But on the day that Bertie receives her eighth-grade diploma, good intentions go terribly wrong. A choice made in desperate haste sets off a chain of misunderstandings that will divide the sisters and reverberate through three generations of women.

What happens when nothing turns out as you planned? From the Depression through World War II and Vietnam, and smaller events both tragic and joyful, Bertie and Mabel forge unexpected identities that are shaped by unspeakable secrets. As the sisters have daughters and granddaughters of their own, they discover that both love and betrayal are even more complicated than they seem.

Gorgeously written, with extraordinary insight and emotional truth, Nancy Jensen’s powerful debut novel illuminates the far-reaching power of family and family secrets.

New Historical Fiction Book: A Christmas Homecoming: A Novel by Anne Perry

A Christmas Homecoming: A Novel by Anne Perry

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (October 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345524632
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345524638

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Information from Amazon:

Among the brilliant array of Anne Perry’s New York Times bestselling novels, her Christmas stories occupy perhaps the warmest spot in the hearts of readers. Each one is a masterpiece of suspense; each is alight with the true holiday spirit.

In A Christmas Homecoming, a familiar face from the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels—Charlotte’s mother, Caroline—travels with her young husband, Joshua Fielding, and his theatrical troupe to Whitby, the Yorkshire fishing village where Dracula the vampire first touched English soil in the sensational novel named after him. Joshua has arranged to produce a stage adaptation of Dracula by the daughter of Whitby millionaire Charles Netheridge during the Christmas holiday, but after the disastrous first read-through of her amateurish script, only the fact that the company is depending on Netheridge’s financial backing for their spring tour keeps them at work.

As tempers flare and wind and snow swirl around Netheridge’s lonely hilltop mansion, a black-cloaked stranger emerges from the storm—an eerily opportune arrival, for this enigmatic figure, one Anton Ballin, turns out to be a theatrical genius. At the same time, a brooding evil makes itself felt. Instead of the theatrical triumph that Netheridge desired for his daughter, there is murder—shocking and terrifying.

Anne Perry’s ninth Christmas novel keeps us poised on a razor’s edge of suspense, hypnotized by a story in which the heartwarming power of goodness is challenged by the seductive power of inner darkness. In the end, A Christmas Homecoming lifts the spirit and rejoices the heart.

Praise for the Christmas novels of Anne Perry
A Christmas Odyssey“[Perry] writes with detail that invades the senses.”—Lincoln Journal Star

A Christmas Promise

“Poignant . . . should be on the Christmas stocking list of anyone who likes a sniffle of nostalgia.”—The Washington Times

A Christmas Grace

“[A] heartwarming, if crime-tinged, complement to the holiday season.”—Booklist

A Christmas Beginning

“Intriguing . . . Perry’s use of period detail is, as always, strong and evocative.”—The Seattle Times

A Christmas Secret

“A delightful little book . . . Perry’s gift is that she can evoke a sense of place and time while still producing the thrills and chills expected of a modern-day mystery writer.”—The Orlando Sentinel