Book Review: The Far Pavilions

Hello Everyone,

Not the best cover but not the worst!

Book Title: The Far Pavilions

Author: MM Kaye

Series: Book One of Two

Genre: Adult Fiction, Historical, Adventure, Romance

Publisher: St. Martins Press

Page Count: 1000

Goodreads Summary:

A magnificent romantic/historical/adventure novel set in India at the time of mutiny. The Far Pavilions is a story of 19th Century India, when the thin patina of English rule held down dangerously turbulent undercurrents. It is a story about and English man – Ashton Pelham-Martyn – brought up as a Hindu and his passionate, but dangerous love for an Indian princess. It’s a story of divided loyalties, of tender camaraderie, of greedy imperialism and of the clash between east and west. To the burning plains and snow-capped mountains of this great, humming continent, M.M. Kaye brings her quite exceptional gift of immediacy and meticulous historical accuracy, plus her insight into the human heart.

My Thoughts:

This book took me a solid week to read! Long winded, lots going on, a bit sexist here and there but those were the times, and I felt as though I would never finish reading this book. I learned there’s a part two. I’m not sure I’m going to read that, lol.

My Review:

This book was a struggle for me right from the start. While I was liking the adventure and the characters, it felt as though it went on and on and on. A 1000 pages of epic adventure, romance, and historical fiction at its best. While people adored Gone With The Wind this was the epic I wanted! The writing was lush, beautiful, and detailed.

I know a lot of newer book reviewers might not be enthusiastic about reading this 1000+ page time, but I’m insisting that it’s worth it! The ending is bittersweet, and the characters and setting will sweep you away. From India to England there’s something new to devour from each page.

The story starts with a premature baby being born in winter and the mother dying due to her not used to the fiercely cold winds. The story expands. It touches to n war. Cholera takes the baby-main character-father and uncle’s lives. More are lost. Travels are had.

This book does have it’s horribly sexist moments. While it’s a relic of the time it’s set in, there are certain things that are hugely sexist in the book. There’s dry spells here and there when it feels like nothing happened. And the ending was a slow burn that felt bittersweet; exactly as those on Google and Goodreads both have stated.

I feel as though this, while a hefty tome, is well worth the effort in reading. Especially if you’re a fan of Gone With The Wind and Outlander. This is equally as huge and well written as the pair.

My Rating:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

April Mid-month Check In: 20 Books Read(!)

Hello Everyone,

As I’ve begun increasing my read tbr by the month I decided I needed to get to do mid month wrap ups. I’m trying hard to keep up my reading pace, but also not forcing myself into a slump by not wanting to read. Thanks to the holiday weekend, I’ve managed to read a bit more than usual and I’m surprisingly keeping the slump back by reading small things here and there. I’ve managed 20 books! And it’s only mid April! I’ve read a lot of really good books this month. A handful I want to buy they were that good! Let’s dive in shall we?

Look at me, reading huge 900+ page books! I’m going to hopefully manage to get another big batch of books before the end of the month. I couldn’t get images for every book I read, unfortunately. But I did get the biggest ones.

My favorite books of the month? You’ve Lost a Lot of Blood, These Silent Woods, and Traitors Blade.

My least favorite books? The Best of All Possible Worlds, Hunting Game, and The Circus Infinite.

Biggest Book Read? Shadowmarch by Tad Williams 900 pages

Smallest Book Read: You’ve Lost a Lot of Blood

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Five Books on The TBR: I haven’t read a single one of these but they’ve been on my tbr for years!

Hello everyone,

I’ve had a lot of tbrs over the years and many books that I had every intention of reading but failing to do so. I’m hoping that next month-where I already have 40+ books on my tbr-I can get some of these out of the way. Let me know your thoughts on if you’ve read any of these!

Notes: there’s at least two different covers for this book and both are equally gorgeous!

Goodreads Summary:

This is at once an epic love story and a heart-pounding journey across WWI-era Russia, about an ambitious young doctor and her scientist brother in a race against Einstein to solve one of the greatest mysteries of the universe.

In Russia, in the summer of 1914, as war with Germany looms and the Czar’s army tightens its grip on the local Jewish community, Miri Abramov and her brilliant physicist brother, Vanya, are facing an impossible decision. Since their parents drowned fleeing to America, Miri and Vanya have been raised by their babushka, a famous matchmaker who has taught them to protect themselves at all costs: to fight, to kill if necessary, and always to have an escape plan. Can they bear to leave the homeland that has given them so much?

Before they have time to make their choice, war is declared and Vanya goes missing, along with Miri’s fiancé. Miri braves the firing squad to go looking for them both. As the eclipse that will change history darkens skies across Russia, not only the safety of Miri’s own family but the future of science itself hangs in the balance.

Thoughts: I’ve been drawn to this book for years. I love historical fiction and a good romance. I’m hoping to squeeze this in next month!

~•~•~•~•~•~

Notes: I have read book one but it’s been a few years! I need a reread!

Goodreads Summary:

The fantasy novel you’ve always wished Jane Austen had written

Shades of Milk and Honey is exactly what we could expect from Jane Austen if she had been a fantasy writer: Pride and Prejudice meets Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. It is an intimate portrait of a woman, Jane, and her quest for love in a world where the manipulation of glamour is considered an essential skill for a lady of quality.

Jane and her sister Melody vie for the attentions of eligible men, and while Jane’s skill with glamour is remarkable, it is her sister who is fair of face. When Jane realizes that one of Melody’s suitors is set on taking advantage of her sister for the sake of her dowry, she pushes her skills to the limit of what her body can withstand in order to set things right—and, in the process, accidentally wanders into a love story of her own.

My Thoughts: Who doesn’t love a good Jane Austen retelling? I loved this first book and I really want to do more “Series Review” on my book blog. This is one series I hope to get to this year.

~•~•~•~•~•~

I can’t make the picture bigger. Sorry!

Notes: I adore historical fiction. Especially the ones that really capture the past and sweep me away to another place and time.

Goodreads Summary:

When Zenobia takes control of her own fate, will the gods punish her audacity?

Zenobia, the proud daughter of a Syrian sheikh, refuses to marry against her will. She won’t submit to a lifetime of subservience. When her father dies, she sets out on her own, pursuing the power she believes to be her birthright, dreaming of the Roman Empire’s downfall and her ascendance to the throne.

Defying her family, Zenobia arranges her own marriage to the most influential man in the city of Palmyra. But their union is anything but peaceful—his other wife begrudges the marriage and the birth of Zenobia’s son, and Zenobia finds herself ever more drawn to her guardsman, Zabdas. As war breaks out, she’s faced with terrible choices.

From the decadent halls of Rome to the golden sands of Egypt, Zenobia fights for power, for love, and for her son. But will her hubris draw the wrath of the gods? Will she learn a “woman’s place,” or can she finally stake her claim as Empress of the East?

My Thoughts: This sounds so good! I can’t wait to read this!

~•~•~•~•~•~

Notes: I must be the last person that hasn’t read this yet…right?

Goodreads Summary:

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.

The Bear and the Nightingale is a magical debut novel from a gifted and gorgeous voice. It spins an irresistible spell as it announces the arrival of a singular talent.

My Thoughts: This sounds so beautiful and cool. I’ve heard mostly positive things about this!

~•~•~•~•~•~

And finally… the last of these five books that I hope to read next month…

Notes: I have had this on my tbr since 2016. That is just sad.

Goodreads Summary:

A Seattle Times Best Book of the Year

In her most ambitious, moving, and provocative novel to date, Sarah Bird makes a stunning departure. Above the East China Sea tells the entwined stories of two teenaged girls, an American and an Okinawan, whose lives are connected across seventy years by the shared experience of profound loss, the enduring strength of an ancient culture, and the redeeming power of family love.

Luz James, a contemporary U.S. Air Force brat, lives with her strictly-by-the-rules sergeant mother at Kadena Air Base in Okianawa. Luz’s older sister, her best friend and emotional center, has just been killed in the Afghan war. Unmoored by her sister’s death and a lifetime of constant moving from base to base, Luz turns for the comfort her service-hardened mother cannot offer to the “Smokinawans,” the “waste cases,” who gather to get high every night in a deserted cove. When even pills, one-hitters, Cuervo Gold, and a growing crush on Jake Furusato aren’t enough to soften the unbearable edge, the desolate girl contemplates taking her own life.

In 1945, Tamiko Kokuba, along with two hundred of her classmates, is plucked out of her elite girls’ high school and trained to work in the Imperial Army’s horrific cave hospitals. With defeat certain, Tamiko finds herself squeezed between the occupying Japanese and the invading Americans. She believes she has lost her entire family, as well as the island paradise she so loved, and, like Luz, she aches with a desire to be reunited with her beloved sister.

On an island where the spirits of the dead are part of life and your entire clan waits for you in the afterworld, suicide offers Tamiko the promise of peace. As Luz tracks down the story of her own Okinawan grandmother, she discovers that, if she surrenders to the most unbrat impulse and allows herself to connect completely with a place and its people, the ancestral spirits will save not only Tamiko but her as well.

Propelled by a riveting narrative and set at the very epicenter of the headline-grabbing clash now emerging between the great powers, Above the East China Sea is at once a remarkable chronicle of how war shapes the lives of conquerors as well as the conquered and a deeply moving account of family, friendship, and love that transcends time.

My Thoughts: I have mixed feelings in reading this book. On the one hand I feel I might love it. On the other I honestly put this off because of the hype that surrounds this book. I still want to read it I’m just tentative in doing so but hopefully next month I might finally get to it.

Those are some of my oldest books on my tbr. I hope you enjoyed this post and look forward to my next post which should be a WWW Wednesday post here in a couple days. I may have something else in between. We shall see.

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Discussion (Part Two): Series/Authors Backlist Titles To Focus On for 2022 (A Hefty List Continued!)

Hello Everyone,

As I’m writing this, the year is wrapping rapidly to a close and I’m still reading quite a bit. I plan to get a lot more serious in reading and reviewing next year as this past year I had a bit of a hiatus. Now it’s time to focus on my blog once again, and that means making priorities of book series to complete/finish for the next year. Here’s more authors and series I’m determined to get to!

Obviously I have quite a bit of books. 55 exactly on this list. I don’t have all of them listed that are on my wishlist that would take up far, far too much space. I’m not going to type up the list but if you want titles feel free to ask and I shall send you the titles in the comments. What’s on your tbr for next year? Anything good?

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

TBR BOOKS: 100+ Books I STILL Haven’t Read

Hello Everyone,

I’m sure we’re all guilty of having books on our shelves languishing on our shelves, sitting and waiting with accusing eyes. I’ve easily got several dozen that I am guilty of not reading yet. Here’s a bit of a list of all that I’m hoping to get to soon! So settle in, bring up Goodreads, and be prepared to add books to your TBR!

TBR BOOKS:

Many of these I’m embarrassed that I still haven’t read them! I’m always looking at other books or arcs that are priorities and many of these I just don’t have and need my library to access them. Which ones should I focus on? Also? Final count for all of this is 125 books. Ouch. There’s more but these are top of my tbr pile for now. I’m hoping to get to them soon.

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

September TBR: I Haven’t Done One Of These In Ages!

Hello all,

Lots of things happening in September. September first is my birthday!!! 🎂🎉🎂 Happy birthday to me!!! (I’ll be 32 for those curious.)

Series September is also going on, meaning you try to knock out as many series as possible.

Magical Readathon is happening but I doubt I’ll participate in that one.

Becca’s Bookopolathon which I think I misspelled lol, is also happening. I’m not sure I will participate in this yet or not?

Big Books September is something I’m doing for myself in reading as many big books as I can seeing as we’re at the home stretch of the end of the year.

Here’s my potential tbr subject to change:

All the books I want to read!

Now I have read Eragon books 1 + 2 but I don’t think I’ve read book 3 and I know I haven’t read the last one.

I have read the Poppy War but not the remaining two.

I have read ALL of Pawn of Prophecy first original set up until the second series midway through.

And I’ve read book one of Sabriel but not the rest.

See a theme going here? Lol. I’m hoping to grab these from my local library and finish these all off hopefully. The rest I haven’t listed are ones that I’ve not read. These are some extras that I’m contemplating for series + big books:

Extra books I’ve been meaning to read!

I probably won’t get to all of these lol. And I’m still struggling in writing reviews, but I really am behind and hopeful that September can be my catch up month. Y’all can join me in #BigBookSeptember. I’d love for you to spread the word! Just tag me on Twitter as @Lovesbookandtea! What’s your tbr looking like? Read any of these? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book.

History or Mystery? Top Six Books On My TBR

Hello everyone,

I’ve got quite the hefty tbr going and so I thought I’d share some that I’m looking forward to reading here soon (I hope!). In no particular order these books are high on my wishlist to read:

A historical fiction piece about a group of men surviving in Alaska while the leader’s wife makes her own efforts to survive.
After losing her husband to war, a woman begins to become a well known midwife and leads a revolution.
A married couple become separated by war and husband believes that his wife has died when a chance encounter shows otherwise a few years later.
A woman goes on a hunt for lost art, and becomes involved in a mystery a painting believed to have been destroyed might actually be around after all.
A woman homicide detective returns to Ireland after clues show up of a long ago missing woman.
A woman begins to question that the man she loves might be a serial killer.

Each of these have elements history or mystery that I’m eager to explore. Some are new releases, while others are are backlist titles I’ve been meaning to get to for ages. Are any of these ones y’all have heard of? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Book Review: Winterwood

Summary From Goodreads:

Be careful of the dark, dark wood…

Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.

Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.

But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried, because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.

For as long as there have been fairy tales, we have been warned to fear what lies within the dark, dark woods and in Winterwood, New York Times bestselling author Shea Ernshaw, shows us why.

From New York Times bestselling author of The Wicked Deep comes a haunting romance perfect for fans of Practical Magic,where dark fairy tales and enchanted folklore collide after a boy, believed to be missing, emerges from the magical woods—and falls in love with the witch determined to unravel his secrets.

My Review:

Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw is a fantasy novel that’s beautiful, lyrical, atmospheric, and mysterious. It involves a witch, a dead boy, and a missing boy found. It blends magical realism with witchcraft, history with enchanting tales of witches throughout the Walker family, that live near the Wicker Woods. It tells about Oliver-the missing boy found in those woods, and Nora Walker-the witch who found him. It has a hint of romance, that’s barely there within the pages. It was perfect for the winter season in terms of when this book should be read.

It’s lyrical prose was enchanting throughout the whole book. It reminded me of why I adore witches in small towns, of haunted forests, of magical spells and enchantments. I was reminded quite strongly of Alice in Wonderland, before she went off to her adventures, eager to see what lay beyond the fantastical. There’s an all boy’s school, there’s a mystery to the story, of what happened to the lost boy, as well as the dead boy. The writing was beautiful, and perfectly captured the atmosphere of the small town setting, back when things were mysterious and wild.

Its easily one of my new favorites of the year (though we’re early in the year, I know, lol) and I’m hopeful to snag The Wicked Deep by the author soon as well since I missed out on that one as well. I’m going to go ahead and rank this one five out of five stars. I really loved this book and hope to buy a copy to add to my collection because the binding of it is beautiful as well.

Final Rating: 5/5 stars!

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