Monday, August 31, 2015

The Witch of Painted Sorrows

In searching for an audio book to listen to while doing all my moving activities, I came across this one by M. J. Rose.  It was one my to-read list and I thought I would give it a try.

Sandrine Salome flees her abusive husband in 1895 to return to Paris and her grandmother. Her grandmother is a courtesan, one of several generations of courtesans. And a very successful one.   Hoping to build a new life away from the man she feels is responsible for her father committing suicide, Sandrine discovers more in Paris than a refuge.  "La Lune", the first in the line of family courtesans, was also a painter.  Now she is a spirit who seems to have taken over Sandrine and will stop and nothing to live again.

Sandrine soon starts painting, something she has only dabbled in up to this point.  But is it Sandrine behind the easel or La Lune?  As others begin to see the changes in Sandrine, events begin to spiral out of control.

When I first started listening to the book, I was a bit annoyed because Sandrine seemed to be standing around, wringing her hands and being 'woe is me'.  I really disliked her pathetic self.  However, I hung in there and as the story picked up and the changes, both good and bad, started happening, the story and character became more interesting. Told from Sandrine's point of view, the story slowly builds momentum as La Lune sinks her claws deeper and deeper into the present. While I enjoyed seeing Sandrine 'grow a backbone', you have to wonder is it her or the witch.  And what will become of Sandrine?  Will she lose La Lune and revert to her old self or will she keep the lessons learned and grow as a woman?

Turn of the century Paris, forbidden passions, art, witchcraft...what more could you want?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Court of Thorns and Roses

I am a major sucker for any retelling of Beauty and the Beast.  But it does have to be good.  Just because it's the storyline, doesn't mean it can be half-assed.  Despite the move I'm in the middle of, and my priorities should have been a little different, I started and finished the latest from Sarah Maas, The Court of Thorns and Roses.

It's decades after the Faerie/Human War and the treaty has been signed and the wall in place.  Feyre, the middle daughter, is taking care of her father and two sisters, hopefully keeping them from starving to death.  A reversal of her father's fortune has left them with nothing and only Feyre's ability to hunt is keeping them alive.  Without meat for several days, she comes across a deer.  Unfortunately, so has a wolf.  A wolf which is obviously fae.  She kills the wolf which has killed the deer and now has meat and two pelts to sell to tide the family over.  However, someone demands payment for killing a faerie and she is taken to the Court of Spring by the High Lord himself.

Tamlin, the High Lord, deposits her in his realm and treats her as a guest.  Little by little Feyre discovers more and more about the faerie world she has only heard about in tales.  She also learns about the blight which is taking over the land and might soon come to the land of humans.

There are some twists and turns in the book, which make for delightful reading.  Feyre is no fainting damsel in distress and Tamlin is not the beast she first encounters.  This is the first in a new series and now I am tapping my foot impatiently.  This is a book I will get my own copy of so I can reread it.