Mini-Review: Becoming Marie Antoinette, A Killing Season, Waking Hours


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

Becoming Marie Antoinette

Title: Becoming Marie Antoinette

Author: Juliet Grey

Genre: Historical Fiction

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

This enthralling confection of a novel, the first in a new trilogy, follows the transformation of a coddled Austrian archduchess into the reckless, powerful, beautiful queen Marie Antoinette.
“Why must it be me?” I wondered. “When I am so clearly inadequate to my destiny?”
Raised alongside her numerous brothers and sisters by the formidable empress of Austria, ten-year-old Maria Antonia knew that her idyllic existence would one day be sacrificed to her mother’s political ambitions. What she never anticipated was that the day in question would come so soon.
Before she can journey from sunlit picnics with her sisters in Vienna to the glitter, glamour, and gossip of Versailles, Antonia must change “everything” about herself in order to be accepted as dauphine of France and the wife of the awkward teenage boy who will one day be Louis XVI. Yet nothing can prepare her for the ingenuity and influence it will take to become queen.
Filled with smart history, treacherous rivalries, lavish clothes, and sparkling jewels, “Becoming Marie Antoinette” will utterly captivate fiction and history lovers alike.

Review: Becoming Marie Antoinette was a great read. I’ve always loved historical fiction, and I didn’t know a lot about Marie Antoinette, so it was great to read about her journey and figure out more about her. There may be some historical discrepancies, but I didn’t mind. Writing style was solid, and characters intriguing.

A Killing Season

Title: A Killing Season

Author: Priscilla Royal

Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Baron Herbert’s return from crusade should have been a joyous occasion. Instead, he grows increasingly morose, withdraws from his family, and refuses to share his wife’s bed. When his sons begin to die in strange accidents, some ask whether Herbert harbors a dark sin for which God has cursed him. The baron suddenly sends for Sir Hugh of Wynethorpe, begging his friend to bring spiritual and secular healers but giving little explanation for the request. Worried about Herbert’s descent into melancholy and the tragic deaths, Sir Hugh persuades his sister, Prioress Eleanor of Tyndal Priory, to accompany him as well as a respected physician, Master Gamel. Although he is pleased when the prioress brings her healer, Sister Anne, he is dismayed to find Brother Thomas included, a man he has reason to despise. Perhaps there is a malign presence at this storm-blasted castle, oddly named Doux et Dur. Tensions spark among family members and soon between those who came to help. Death’s scythe harvests more victims, and it is not long before Ecclesiastes’ grim words seem all too apt: there is a season for everything under heaven, including a time to kill.But is there also a time to heal?

Review: The mystery is relatively simple, but the writing was great, and the historical setting was developed in detail. The characters were interesting, and each had their own strengths and weaknesses.

Waking Hours

Title: Waking Hours

Author: Lis Wiehl

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery

Rating: 5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Welcome to East Salem. A deceptively sleepy town where ancient supernatural forces are being awakened.

A local high-school girl is found murdered in a park amid horse farms and the wealthy homes of northern Westchester County, New York. The shocking manner of her death intrigues forensic psychiatrist Dani Harris. All the suspects are teenagers who were at a party with the girl–yet none remembers what happened. Could one of them be a vicious killer? Or is something more sinister afoot–something tied to an ancient evil?

Across town, former NFL linebacker Tommy Gunderson finds his state-of-the-art security system has been breached by an elderly woman. Mumbling threats in Latin, she attacks him with an uncanny, preternatural strength. Before he has time to process the attack, someone close to him is implicated in the girl’s murder at the park. He agrees to help–and finds himself working with Dani, the only girl who could resist his charm years ago when they were in high school.

A heavy darkness is spreading. Yet a heavenly force is also at work.

Dani and Tommy suspect there’s more to the mystery than murder, more to their growing friendship than chance . . . and more to the evil they’re facing than a mere human killer.

Review: I loved this book. The supernatural forces were pretty scary at times, the mystery is endaring, and the story was suspenseful from start to end. I doubt there would be too many Christian elements, but it didn’t bother me at all.

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