Archive for March, 2011

These Old Shades

[openbook booknumber=”9781402219474″][rating:4.5/5]

A notorious duke with a devilish bent…

Justin Alastair, Duke of Avon, is called “Satanas” by enemy and friend alike. In the aristocratic circles of both London and Louis XV’s Paris he has a reputation as a dangerous and debauched rake.

A cast-off urchin with a secret past…

Late one evening, the Duke stumbles upon Leon, a red-haired urchin fleeing a certain beating at his brutal brother’s hands. On a whim, Avon buys the boy and makes him his page. But it soon becomes clear that Leon is not what he seems…

When the grubby Leon turns out to be the enchanting Leonie, the Duke is nor prepared for the breathtaking transformation or the tender emotions she awakens in him, or the unconditional love she had for the man who saved her.

I admit it, I have a bit of a kink when it comes to girls masquerading as guys and managing to pull it off. Especially during times when, historically, it was believed that women were incapable of even a fraction of what men were capable of. To shed the dress and don some breeches and go about the country side takes moxie and young Leon, er, Leonie has that in spades. Her story is wildly entertaining to read about and yet Georgette Heyer manages to kick it up another notch by adding in court intrigue, a debauched rake, and an ancient score that needs to be settled. Little Leonie finds herself in the middle of a whirlwind of scandal and only with the help of her savior, the Duke, does she have a chance to survive.

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Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 23

[openbook booknumber=”9781421536309″][rating:5/5]

In an alchemical ritual gone wrong, Edward Elric lost his arm and his leg, and his brother Alphonse became nothing but a soul in a suit of armor. Equipped with mechanical “auto-mail” limbs, Edward becomes a state alchemist, seeking the one thing that can restore his and his brother’s bodies… the legendary Philosopher’s Stone.

As the battle for Central City rages on, Alphonse faces off against Pride and Kimblee with the aid of a Philosopher’s Stone. Can he come up with a plan to take down these two dangerous foes? Meanwhile, Ed and his friends run into Envy below the city. When Roy Mustang learns the truth about Hughes’s murder, will he be consumed by hatred and do the unthinkable…?

Everyone is in the thick of battle now and all of the characters are really showing what they are capable of under pressure. Alphonse has to face a difficult moral decision in his battle against Pride. Various others in this city either face off against the zombie army within or wage an information campaign without to get the people of Central city to understand they are under attack from their own government. But the main focus of this volume is the showdown between Mustang and Hughes’s murderer Envy.

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Caliban’s Hour

[openbook booknumber=”0061052043″][rating:3.5/5]

Are magic and romance really so separate? In this rich fantasy novel, Tad Williams–New York Times bestselling author of To Green Angel Tower–explores the tangled roots of sorcery and passion, and gives us an astonishing answer. Caliban is the Beast who finds in Prospero’s daughter, Miranda, the Beauty to whom he tells his incredible story–an extraordinary tale of dark desires and shining wizardry.

I’ve been on a bit of a Shakespeare kick recently and so I was surprised to stumble across this book, Caliban’s Hour by one of my favorite authors Tad Williams. It is a short novella written from the point of view of Caliban giving his history and version of events from the play The Tempest. For those familiar with his work his novels tend to be on the longish side, and so to read a book only 200 pages long was interesting to say the least. Especially since the entire book is just a single night with Caliban cornering Prospero’s daughter Miranda and pouring out his whole life story with the intent of killing her at the end, but first making her understand why.

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