Monday, August 30, 2010

Book Review; Georgette Heyer’s Regency World by Jennifer Kloester

Georgette Heyer’s Regency World by Jennifer Kloester is by far one of the best regency resource books I’ve read upto date.  Pelisses, bonnets, hairstyles and so much more, Georgette Heyer’s Regency World was a delightful read as well as an incredibly informational haven . There are two whole pages on rules and etiquette to portray the guidelines that men and women used to comport themselves accordingly. Some of these sounded completely absurd…but having read a few Heyers, I could totally picture this. 
For instance:  ‘A lady could ride a horse and even hunt as long as she was correctly attired and rode side-saddle’.   And the line immediately after that says:  ‘Galloping in Hyde Park was prohibited.’
And although I don’t get this (I truly wonder how they possibly managed this), can you believe that: ‘ At a formal dinner one did not talk across the dinner table but confined conversation to those on one’s left and right’.!!
The last chapter was my favourite.  I just loved the “who’s who in the Regency’ section with details on George III right upto Edward Hughes.  The details and reference are precious.  The appendixes with detailed glossary, newspapers and magazines of the times, a list of Heyer books and a timeline- are all wonderfully practical and entertaining.  I feel so much more Heyer- Regency- learned now!
I strongly recommend this most informative easy read that’s entertaining as well as historical, and will no doubt bring great  pleasure to all Regency lovers.  Loved it!
Thank you Sourcebooks for this wonderful read:)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Book Review from Sophia's Corner: The Secret Lives of Princesses

This book is about special undiscovered princesses.  They hid them so well, that no one has any research on them and no information at all. These princesses all have weird things that no one would think a princess could have.  For example, Princess Hot Head, instead of needlepointing, she likes to sharpen her swords and spits on the ground and challenges everyone to arm wrestling matches.
My favourite princess is Princess Babbling Brook.  No one wants to marry her cause she talks too much.  She’s terrible for conversation.  She’s very funny and original and she reminds me alot of myself, cause I talk alot. I also liked Princess Buffet because she takes alot of space in a room, and the funny part is she’s the best party planner and is great against bullies.
I love this book and I think it’s great for girls my age to read this. The pictures are really colourful.
I think it’s really a different kind of book and I like it so much I give it 5 castles.
 Mom’s thoughts:
What a refreshing take on what a ‘princess’ can be!  These wonderfully illustrated (seriously, the illustrations are bright, dreamy and almost playful looking- breaththakingly artistic)- portraying the princesses as different as can be.  Every little girl can picture herself having one of these ‘not so perfect’ characteristics, which actually are what make the princesses special. 
Very original, funny, creative and a realistic look at fantasy. Makes  being a princess in your own right a true possibility for every little girl.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Book Review: The King's Mistress

 Extremely well written, prose-like, The King's Mistress is the story of Alice Perrers.  Taking place in 14th century England, the young Alice is married off at the tender age of fourteen to the dashing Janyn, a descendant of Lombard merchants, who carries with him a royal intrigue laced in scandal involving Isabella of France and her late lover, Mortimer...The secret trickles down to the royal family's ultimate secret and Alice, unaware of it all pays the price of living a life pupettered by others.

As the title suggests, Alice obviously becomes King Edward III's (son of Isabella of France and the late King Edward II) mistresss; but this only happens after the death of her husband Janyn. (It's to be noted that Alice is completely loyal in her relationships). Alice and the King fall madly in love and she is subserviant and loving to the very end.  Without going through the whole summary of the book (which is hefty and detailed to the max), in every story there is a villain and in this case it's William of Windsor who is guilty of destroying Alice's life.  He announces himself as her betrothed and plants the seed of mistrust that sows evil and gossip throughout the realm; Alice is hated and blamed for all that goes wrong (even the king at times is doubtful).  Needless to say, Alice endures it all.  Fortunately for her, the King is completely enamoured of her and also acknowledges the children she bears him.  

I rather enjoyed this story that spoke a different tale of Alice (the little I knew of her painted a sad picture of a ravenous and selfish woman who bewitched the king)- so I'm glad I got to see this side of her instead. I particularly enjoyed reading about Geoffrey Chaucer as being a good friend of hers.  At the beginning of every chapter there are verses written by him and this makes the book particularly more characteristic of the time.  

Beautifully written, the story reads like a memoir with almost to the minute details that, although I enjoyed the book, I must say that at times it felt very long. Other than that, a beautiful story all around.

I read this novel as part of the TLC Book Tours- Thanks Lisa! Check out all the other wonderful reviews HERE.