Start of a Series Book Review: Into the Wilderness

Book One

Into the Wilderness by Sara Donatti. This is described as a ambitious sequel to one of my favorite classics The Last of the Mohiacns, though you don’t need to read that to read this. Written back in 1998, after Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, this is one of my top five historical fiction romance books. Unlike Outlander, this doesn’t feature a time travel element, however it is directly linked to the series, as within the halfway point of book one, Clair Fraiser is outright mentioned for at least six pages as ‘the White Witch’. Its a nod to one of the biggest romance series of all time, that’s so well known it became a hit series on Hulu a few years back.

The story begins with Elizabeth, a spinster wishing to teach school in Paradise. But there’s problems. For one thing, her family is cash poor thanks to her brother’s gambling debts. For another, her father-the Judge-wishes her to marry Dr. Richard Todd. But she’s firm in remaining a spinster…until she meets Nathanial Bonner, direct descendant of Daniel (Dan’l) Boone. She is wary around him, unsure of what to expect of him-or this new land so rife with both bounty and troubles. Slavery is still legal. No one’s at first eager for a schoolmarm, worried more about cost and that what she teaches will not be useful to the students, apart from math or geography, reading or writing. She fights for her school, as well as her freedom in not to marry.

There’s lots of other problems scattered throughout the book. Someone attempting to run Nathanial and his people off of Lake in the Clouds, as they don’t want Indians on their territory. Rougher weather than usual settling in. A dangerous threat looming. And the potential for marriage in Elizabeth’s future, despite her wishes being made clear to her father. She struggles to grow used to her new home in Paradise, while the people struggle with the fact she’s not the spoiled princess they thought she’d be.

The story spans eight hundred plus pages, and evolves for at least six more books. I’d read book one at least ten times throughout the last fifteen years, and I’m still drawn in to the whole of it. Its one of my most favorite historical romances that I’d read in my life, and I am sincerely hoping it gets its own television series being linked with Outlander so. I cannot rate this highly enough, if you want fiction with depth, history, and romance as well as adventure, then I recommend picking up this book. You won’t regret doing so.

Final Rating: 6/5 stars

Netgalley Review: Realm

A Realm

Title: Realm
Author: Alexandra Weis
Series: Standalone
Genre: Historical Romance (Adult Fiction)
Publisher: Vesuvian Books
Page Count:
Type of Book: Netgalley ARC, Kindle Ebook
Received: Netgalley, from the Publisher
Rated: 4/5 stars
Notes: Not available on Goodreads yet, so have to wait to review this there.

This was a long book with over 60+ chapters. It took me about four and a half days to read, it was long, but worth it. I loved the history of this book, the Greeks and the Persians, and I loved the characters and world-building. The storyline was good, but a little over halfway I was just wanting to be done already. There was so much there, that I think the author would’ve done better if she’d split the book in two. Or perhaps its just my short attention span these days, lol.

A woman unlike any other, she will conquer the unconquerable and be loved by a man who is worshipped as a god.
When her homeland is conquered by the mighty Alexander the Great, Roxana—the daughter of a mere chieftain—is torn from her simple life and thrown into a world of war and intrigue.
Terrified, the sixteen-year-old girl of renowned beauty is brought before the greatest ruler the world has ever known. Her life is in his hands; her future his to decide. Without formal education or noble blood, Roxana is chosen by the Greek conqueror to be his bride. Soon she comes to know profound happiness and unyielding desire in her warrior’s arms.
However, being the king’s consort comes at a heavy price. To survive her husband’s treacherous kingdom, she must endure continuous warfare, deadly plots, jealous rivals, victory-hungry generals, and the stigma of being a barbarian. Persian blood will keep her from claiming the grandest title of all—queen—but her reign will seal the fate of an empire.
History tells his story. This is hers.

-As seen on Netgalley.

My main gripe with this is that it seems while there was a strong female lead character, most of the other women weren’t fighters, and looked to her for her bravery and strength. She’s so much stronger and better than the rest of the women that I encountered in the book, it grew a bit annoying. Though I still liked Roxana’s character, sometimes she grated on my nerves.

Also, Alexander seemed a bit like an entitled a**. Then again, so do most men of that era, thinking that they should own and control everything. I probably wouldn’t have lived long in that time period, lol.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was definitely a refreshing change of pace from my typical read, and I always appreciate that when reading new books. Overall, I’m giving this 4/5 stars.
Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

New Release Review: The Lost Queen

The Lost Queen

Title: The Lost Queen
Author: Signe Pike
Series: Book One
Genre: Historical
Publisher: Touchstone
Page Count: 600
Type of Book: Hardback, New Release
Review Word Count:
Received: Library
Rated: 5/5 stars
Notes: Vivid, creative, and utterly captivating!

I voted for this book in the Historical Section of the Goodreads Choice Awards of 2018 just a day ago, in the first round of voting, because it was well deserved (and because I hadn’t yet read any of the other books, but shhh, let’s not go there). This book was captivating, from the first page to the very last. While the ending was a sad one, it was a good one, and I am hopeful that there will be a second book to follow up on everything. Even though it had things mostly wrapped up, killing off a good number of the characters at the same time, it still had things unresolved-as history often does.

The writer is a good story-teller, weaving the tale with practiced ease. The characters are lifelike, there’s loads of things going on, and I learned a few things-such as Boudica came about again and I’m beginning to think she was a hell of a badass, nearly wiping out the Romans so. I really need to do some more information on her, because she sounds like someone worth knowing about.

That’s the main reason that I am giving this five out of five stars, because if it’s a historical book it should make me want to go out and do more research on the time period, and the people it talked about. Not only do I want to learn more about the Pendragon era, but I also want to learn more about Boudica and how she nearly wiped out the Romans-if that’s true at all, and not another wild tale by the main characters brother.

This was a fascinating story, and I loved the characters (though don’t ask me to pronounce their names aloud!) and the book itself was a delight, despite the sad ending. I’m glad to have been able to read it, and I hope to one day get my own copy to put on my shelves.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

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