July reading, part 2

More reading…

I read one non-fiction book, as usual. After the Prophet by Lesley Hazleton was the excellent story of how the two main divisions in Islam came to be. I knew the story in broad outline, but this book offered more detail and gave me a much better understanding of what happened. It was a fascinating book, and I highly recommend it if you are interested in understanding the religious underpinnings of what is going on in the world today or if, like me, you are just interested in understanding different religions.

I only read three speculative novels. In my defense, one of them was over 800 pages, but…

  • Blood Charged  and Shattered Past by Lindsay Buroker are part of her Dragon Blood series. Blood Charged is the third book in the series, and Shattered Past is actually a stand-alone book set in the same world. Both books were excellent! Buroker’s characters are what make her books so great for me. Yes, they go exciting places and do exciting things, but her characters are so alive and so wonderful that I cannot help but get sucked into their stories. I cannot recommend these books — or any of Buroker’s books — enough!
  • Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey was a story of political intrigue like no other I’ve ever read. Phedre is sold into slavery as a child and eventually sold to a man who trains her to gather information on his political enemies. Secrets are valuable, and Phedre is master at obtaining them. This book, over 800 pages, is more like 2 books in my mind as there is a definite turning point in the story that would have made a logical ending point for the first book. The author widely did not take the easy way out and do this, though. I think the book is richer because it is told as one grand tale. This is not a book for children or teens due, but it is definitely an excellent book!

I also read two historical novels:

  • Son of a Duke  by Jessie Clever is a historical romance. Eleanora Quinton is head housekeeper to a society family. She is known for planning every single detail of whatever event her employers are hosting. Her entire reputation is thrown up in the air by the murder of a man at one of those events. There is a duke and a duke’s son involved, of course. They are not exactly who they seem to be, though. It is a spy story, after all! This was a fun read.
  • The Drifter by William W. Johnstone is a Western, plain and simple. Frank Morgan was forced to leave town many years ago, but he returns when he hears that the mine owner is having trouble. Turns out she was his wife. He takes on the job of Marshall and protects the town from the gangs that have been plaguing it. There is no happy ending here, but there is a lot of integrity. I wouldn’t want to read a steady diet of Westerns, but I enjoy them from time to time. This was definitely a good one!

OK, that’s all for now. Back later!

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