Weekly I try to post a round up of books I read, giving details on what I liked or didn’t. This reflects more of my personal taste and can dip into a range of genres from fantasy to historical fiction, to cozy mysteries. These reviews are short, mostly highlighting what I see is the strengths and weaknesses of the book. It’s also gives a window into how my brain works! This week’s selection is more on the historical front, with a dose of fantasy on the side.

I really wanted to like Highland Raven by Melanie Karsak but in the long run, the historical inaccuracies (such as the pagan references) just pulled down my feelings on it.

This is book one in a series, and goes along the line of Outlander in terms of the sexual violence so while the vibe started out like the Sevenwaters series by Juliet Marillier, it veers off quickly into other territory. If you like your romance more rough and want an alternative history with magic, this might interest you. I’d read the reviews though first before diving into it.

The Siege in Winter by Samantha Norman hit all the sweet spots I love in historical fiction. No magic or fantasy but it does feature some strong female characters at a time that restricts a woman’s freedom. Such as Penda, who, after a horrible event, becomes a boy with a mentor Gwyl, an archer who trains her; and the child-bride Maud, who carves out her own independence as mistress of the castle.

This book was originally an unfinished manuscript by Ariana Franklin (who I’ve read in the past and didn’t quite like). It was completed by her daughter, Samantha Norman, and in my opinion, is probably why I liked this book better than Franklin’s other works.

The Wrath of Ragnall by Shauna Richmond is part Norse curse and legend in a high fantasy landscape of castles and political alliances. Like some of the other books I’ve mentioned in this blog post the life is a brutal medieval-inspired landscape where a battle for survival is fierce. This is one in a series, and it seems that the world becomes rougher as the story precedes so is best suited for adult readers.

It lost a star for me due to some confusion in the book in the beginning as to what was happening, as well as the cover. I’d like to see a much nicer cover on this book.

Fans of the Viking television series, Game of Thrones (because of the politics), and of old Norse tales will enjoy this series. Like the Highland Raven book, it will have some violence to the storyline.

Bishop takes Knight is a stunner by McKenna Dean. It just recently won an award and that was well deserved!

I have a penchant for screwball comedies (like Katherine Hepburn) so this blend of fantasy, smart sass of a woman in an office environment, along with a Men in Black vibe was so up my alley.

Bishop stumbles into a desperately needed job. But all is not as it seems in this alternative 1950’s office. For example, packages contain weird things, and the visitors aren’t as normal as they may appear at first glance. Is Bishop ready to become a field agent? Or will she make one mistake too many?

This book was a page-turner for me, well written, witty, and entertaining! Fans of Gini Koch and her Katherine “Kitty” Katt (alien) series will love this new series (this book is a standalone, the universe continues).

PS I know I’ve been quiet on the blog but a lot of changes were being done behind the scenes that kept me quite busy. One of those massive projects was a total update to the website.

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