WOW Book Review – “Pestilence”by Pamela Taylor

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I am honoured to be part of the WOW! Women of Writing Blog Tour for Pamela Taylor’s book Pestilence; Second Son Chronicles, Volume 3,  which I read and am now reviewing.

(Please note: I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review.)

 

 

My Review:

I have always had a fascination with medieval and renaissance times, especially with the royalty. Pamela Taylor’s historical novel takes place in an imaginary realm, complete with lords, ladies, kings and peasants, much like a medieval world.
It is the third book in her Second Son Chronicles and although it can be read as a stand-alone (which I did), I feel it would be enhanced by reading the other books.
I was quickly drawn into the conflict between Lord Alfred, the second son, and his older brother John who is crowned king.
It is Alfred’s voice who narrates the story and even provides a recorded history of what befalls the kingdom. I was fully invested in following his struggles – with John, with his loyalty to his kingdom vs loyalty to John. There is lots of action, plotting, and fascinating characters.
As I read, I could not help but compare the indifferent, incompetent king, the resulting lawlessness and the hatred towards immigrants (and even the pestilence) with what is happening today.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel and highly recommend it. With the cliff-hanger at the end, I cannot wait for Book 4!

 

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Book Summary

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At the dawn of the Renaissance, Alfred – the eponymous second son – must discover the special destiny foreseen for him by his grandfather. Now, the unthinkable has happened: Alfred’s brother is king. And it isn’t long before everyone’s worst fears are realized. Traditional allegiances are shattered under a style of rule unknown since the grand bargain that formed the kingdom was struck over two hundred years ago. These will be the most dangerous years of Alfred’s life, forcing him to re-examine his duty to personal honor and to the kingdom, while the threats posed by his brother constantly remind him of his father’s final words of advice. What choices will he have to make to try to protect the things he holds most dear?

Print Length: 234 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
ASIN: B08563V87C
ISBN-10: 1684334810
ISBN-13: 9781684334810

Pestilence is available to purchase as a print copy and as an e-book at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble. Be sure to add this to your GoodReads reading list too!

 

About the Author, Pamela Taylor

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Pamela Taylor brings her love of history to the art of storytelling in the Second Son Chronicles. An avid reader of historical fact and fiction, she finds the past offers rich sources for character, ambiance, and plot that allow readers to escape into a world totally unlike their daily lives. She shares her home with two Corgis who frequently reminder her that a dog walk is the best way to find inspiration for that next chapter.

You can follow her online at:

Author Website: https://pamela-taylor.com

Series Website: https://www.SecondSonChronicles.com

Twitter: @PJTAuthor

Instagram: PJTAuthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheSecondSonChronicles

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/51487326

— Blog Tour Dates

June 22nd @ The Muffin

What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Join us as we celebrate the launch of Pamela Taylor’s blog tour for her book Pestilence. You can read an interview with the author and enter to win the first three books in her series “The Second Son Chronicles.”

http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com

June 23rd @ Lisa Haselton’s Review and Interviews

Stop by Lisa’s blog today where she interviews author Pamela Taylor about her book Pestilence.

http://lisahaseltonsreviewsandinterviews.blogspot.com/

June 24th @ Rebecca Whitman’s Blog

Visit Rebecca’s blog today and you can read Pamela Taylor’s guest post discussing the allegory (themes) embedded in the narrative of Pestilence specifically and the Chronicles generally.

https://rebeccawhitman.wordpress.com/

June 25th @ A.J. Sefton’s Blog

Visit A.J. Sefton’s blog and read her review of Pamela Taylor’s book Pestilence.

https://www.ajsefton.com/book-reviews

June 26th @ Jill Sheet’s Blog

Visit Jill’s blog today and read Pamela Taylor’s guest post about getting historical details accurate.

http://jillsheets.blogspot.com/

June 27th @ Storeybook Reviews

Join Leslie today as she shares Pamela Taylor’s guest post about her life with corgis.

https://storeybookreviews.com/

June 28th @ Reading is My Remedy

Visit Chelsie’s blog today and you can read her review of Pamela Taylor’s book Pestilence.

https://readingismyremedy.wordpress.com/

June 29th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Visit Anthony’s blog today and you can read Pamela Taylor’s guest post about the authors and books that inspired the creation of the Chronicles.

https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

June 30th @ The Burgeoning Bookshelf

Visit Veronica’s blog today and you can read a guest post by Pamela Taylor about the trap of linguistic anachronism – getting the language and word usage right for historical narratives.

https://theburgeoningbookshelf.blogspot.com/

July 1st @ Rebecca Whitman’s Blog

Visit Rebecca’s blog again and you can read her review of Pamela Taylor’s book Pestilence.

https://rebeccawhitman.wordpress.com/

July 2nd @ 12 Books

Visit Louise’s blog today and read her review of Pamela Taylor’s book Pestilence.

https://12books.co.uk/

July 3rd @ What is that Book About?

Visit Michelle’s blog today and you can check out a spotlight of Pamela Taylor’s book Pestilence.

https://www.whatisthatbookabout.com/

July 5th @ The New England Book Critic

Visit Vickie’s blog today and read her review of Pamela Taylor’s book Pestilence.

https://thenewenglandbookcritic.com/

July 6th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Visit Anthony’s blog today and read his review of Pamela Taylor’s book Pestilence.

https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

July 7th @ Fiona Ingram’s Blog

Join Fiona Ingram today when she shares Pamela Taylor’s guest post about data encryption in ancient times.

https://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com/

July 8th @ Bev A. Baird

Visit Bev’s blog today and read her review of Pamela Taylor’s book Pestilence.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

July 9th @ To Write or Not to Write

Visit Sreevarsha’s blog and read her review of Pamela Taylor’s book Pestilence.

https://sreevarshasreejith.blogspot.com/

July 10th @ Thoughts in Progress

Visit Mason Canyon’s blog today and you can read a guest post by Pamela Taylor about deriving details for your setting from historical maps.

https://masoncanyon.blogspot.com/

July 11th @ Books & Plants

Visit Ashley’s blog and read her review of Pamela Taylor’s book Pestilence.

https://booksbeansandbotany.com/

July 11th @ A Darn Good Read

Join Yvonne as she reviews Pamela Taylor’s book Pestilence.

https://adarngoodread.blogspot.com/

July 14th @ Knotty Needle

Visit Judy’s blog and read her review of Pamela Taylor’s book Pestilence.

http://knottyneedle.blogspot.com/

July 15th @ World of My Imagination

Visit Nicole’s blog and read Pamela Taylor’s guest post about period-appropriate names for characters.

http://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com

July 17th @ Books & Plants

Visit Ashley’s blog and read Pamela Taylor’s guest post about ways to do historical research.

https://booksbeansandbotany.com/

July 18th @ Bookworm Blog

Stop by Anjanette’s blog today where you can read her review of Pamela Taylor’s book Pestilence. Plus you can read an interview with the author!

https://bookworm66.wordpress.com/

July 20th @ Coffee with Lacey

Visit Lacey’s blog where you can read her review of Pamela Taylor’s book Pestilence.

https://coffeewithlacey.com/

July 24th @ Medievalists

Stop by Medievalists where you can check out a spotlight of Pamela Taylor’s book Pestilence.

https://www.medievalists.net/

July 25th @ Boots, Shoes, and Fashion

Stop by Linda’s blog today and read her extensive interview with author Pamela Taylor about her book Pestilence.

http://bootsshoesandfashion.com/

July 25th @ Reading in the Wildwood

Join Megan today and read her review of Pamela Taylor’s book Pestilence.

https://readinginthewildwood.com/

It’s Monday! What are You reading?

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It’s time once again for Kathryn’s weekly meme “It’s Monday! What are You Reading? “, at Book Date, where we share what we’re reading and have read over the past week.

What I Read Last Week

I haven’t participated for a few weeks – my hubby has now been in hospital for 4 weeks. He is feeling somewhat better though, but has a ways to go before possibly rehab.
I did read books 6 books (3 shorter ones) – 2 contemporary romances, a historical romance, a women’s fiction and 2 non-fiction books.

 

Books I read:

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In Five Years by Rebecca Serle. What a enjoyable read. What would you do if you experienced your life for an hour in five years and it wasn’t your present life at all?

 

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Year of No Clutter by Eva Schaub. I ordered this from the library for fun – but I  so enjoyed the humour and the few tips. I really do need to declutter.

 

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Changing Gears by Roseanne Beck. This was a sweet romantic ebook – a quick, enjoyable read.

 

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Summer in Sorrento by Melissa Hill. Another sweet romantic ebook which I enjoyed.

 

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Kind Ella and the Charming Duke by Bridget Barton This was an historical romance/fairy tale retelling and well done as well.

 

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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future by Michael J. Fox. Love this actor and enjoyed his memoir.

 

What I’m Reading Now 

Smoke Bitten by Patricia Briggs. The latest Mercy Thompson book arrived and I’ve already started it, even though I have several others to read first. So good so far.

On Writing by Stephen King. Long on my TBR, reading this now as part of a book club

Intercepted by Alexa Martin. Needed for a challenge

What’s Up Next – STILL! and determined to finish them – sometime!
Keep it Moving by Twyla Tharp.
Becoming by Michelle Obama

 

Six Degrees of Separation – From”What I Loved” to “Still Life”

Six Degrees of Separation promises to be an interesting and enjoyable challenge, something I need right now.
I have seen this challenge around for awhile but have never participated, until now. I love the idea of the search, the connections, the possibilities.

#6Degrees is a monthly link-up hosted by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best.
Each month a book is chosen as a starting point and linked to six other books to form a chain. A book doesn’t need to be connected to all the other books on the list, only to the one next to it in the chain. The rules are:
o Link the books together in any way you like.
o Provide a link in your post to the meme at Books Are My Favourite and Best.
o Share these rules in your post.
o Paste the link to your post in the comments on Kate’s post and/or the Linky Tool on that post.
o Invite your blog readers to join in and paste their links in the comments and/or the Linky Tool.
o Share your post on Twitter using the #6Degrees hash tag.
o Be nice! Visit and comment on other posts and/or retweet other #6Degrees posts.

This month’s book is What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt.

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It’s a book about an art historian who buys an extraordinary painting and tracks down the artist and begins a life-long friendship. I have not read this book, but it is definitely one I plan to read. I love books related to art (Girl with a Pearl Earring is one of my favourites).

 

Here is my trail of books to find Six Degrees of Separation.

1. The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley

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There were several paths I could have gone – art, friendships, for example. But I chose a book I loved – my favourite for that matter. A book involving time travel, grief, finding love.
“When Eva’s film star sister Katrina dies, she leaves California and returns to Cornwall, where they spent their childhood summers, to scatter Katrina’s ashes and in doing so return her to the place where she belongs. But Eva must also confront the ghosts from her own past, as well as those from a time long before her own. For the house where she so often stayed as a child is home not only to her old friends the Halletts, but also to the people who had lived there in the eighteenth century. When Eva finally accepts that she is able to slip between centuries and see and talk to the inhabitants from hundreds of years ago, she soon finds herself falling for Daniel Butler, a man who lived – and died – long before she herself was born. Eva begins to question her place in the present, and in laying her sister to rest, comes to realise that she too must decide where she really belongs, choosing between the life she knows and the past she feels so drawn towards.”

 

2. The Garden of Promises and Lies by Paula Brackston

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I chose this as I love the series, which involves time travel as well. I have not yet read this newest book of hers, but as it had garden in the title, and it fit best with the previous book.
“Things gives way to spring, Xanthe is left to reflect on the strange events of the past year. While she’s tried to keep her time-traveling talents a secret from those close to her, she is forced to take responsibility for having inadvertently transported the dangerous Benedict Fairfax to her own time. Xanthe comes to see that she must use her skills as a Spinner if she and Flora are ever to be safe, and turns to the Spinners book for help.

It is then that a beautiful antique wedding dress sings to her. Realizing the dress and her adversary are connected in some way, she answers the call. She finds herself in Bradford-on-Avon in 1815, as if she has stepped into a Jane Austen story.”

 

3. The Wedding Dress  by Rachel Hauck

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I so enjoyed this novel. It involved an antique wedding dress as well, and although no time travel is involved, there were four different time periods explored.

“Four brides. One Dress.   A tale of faith, redemption, and timeless love.

Charlotte owns a chic Birmingham bridal boutique. Dressing brides for their big day is her gift . . . and her passion. But with her own wedding day approaching, why can’t she find the perfect dress…or feel certain she should marry Tim?

Then Charlotte discovers a vintage dress in a battered trunk at an estate sale. It looks brand-new-shimmering with pearls and satin, hand-stitched and timeless in its design. But where did it come from? Who wore it? Who welded the lock shut and tucked the dog tags in that little sachet? Who left it in the basement for a ten-year-old girl? And what about the mysterious man in the purple vest who insists the dress had been “redeemed.”

 

4. Vision in White by Nora Roberts

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This was the first in Roberts” Bride Quartet which involved a photographer of weddings.

“After years of throwing make-believe weddings in the backyard, flowers, photography, desserts, and details are what these women do best: a guaranteed perfect, beautiful day full of memories to last the rest of your life.

With bridal magazine covers to her credit, Mackensie “Mac” Elliot is most at home behind the camera—ready to capture the happy moments she never experienced while growing up. Her father replaced his first family with a second, and now her mother, moving on to yet another man, begs Mac for attention and money. Mac’s foundation is jostled again moments before an important wedding planning meeting when she bumps into the bride-to-be’s brother…an encounter that has them both seeing stars.”

 

5. Still Life with Breadcrumbs by Anna Quindlen

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A book about a photographer which has been on my TBR shelf for ages.

“Still Life with Bread Crumbs begins with an imagined gunshot and ends with a new tin roof. Between the two is a wry and knowing portrait of Rebecca Winter, a photographer whose work made her an unlikely heroine for many women. Her career is now descendent, her bank balance shaky, and she has fled the city for the middle of nowhere. There she discovers, in a tree stand with a roofer named Jim Bates, that what she sees through a camera lens is not all there is to life.

Brilliantly written, powerfully observed, Still Life with Bread Crumbs is a deeply moving and often very funny story of unexpected love, and a stunningly crafted journey into the life of a woman, her heart, her mind, her days, as she discovers that life is a story with many levels, a story that is longer and more exciting than she ever imagined.”

6. Still Life  by Louise Penny

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This is the first book in Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache mystery series. Loved the whole series. As soon as I chose book 5, this book with a similar title came to mind.

“As the early morning mist clears on Thanksgiving Sunday, the homes of Three Pines come to life – all except one…

To locals, the village is a safe haven. So, they are bewildered when a well-loved member of the community is found lying dead in the maple woods. Surely it was an accident – a hunter’s arrow gone astray. Who could want Jane Neal dead?

In a long and distinguished career with the Sûreté du Quebec, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has learned to look for snakes in Eden. Gamache knows something dark is lurking behind the white picket fences, and if he watches closely enough, Three Pines will begin to give up its secrets…”

 

I took a windy path, from time travel, to wedding dress to photographer to mystery, 4 of which I have read.

Next month (1 August 2020), the chain begins with – How To Do Nothing by Jenny Odell, a book I’ve not read yet.

 

Connect Five Friday – Retellings

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It’s Friday once again and that means it’s time for Connect Five Friday hosted at Book Date by Kathryn – the meme where we share five book/reading things that connect in some way.

I read an interesting article by Buzzfeed this morning which listed 26 books that are based on iconic characters. (Check it out here). As I read through the list, I found several I had read, all of which I enjoyed and all based on Pride and Prejudice by jane Austen:
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaladden
Pride and Prejudice and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev

There are many I want to read, as I find retellings fascinating – how the auther takes the original and infuses it with their own brand of imagination.

Here are 5 I hope to read this year:

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When She Woke by Hillary Jordan. A retelling of The Scarlet Letter but in the future like A Handmaid’s Tale.

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The Hours by Michael Cunningham. Based on Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway

 

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By the Book by Julia Sonneborn. From Jane Austen’s Persuasion

 

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Ophelia by Lisa Klein. A look at the untold life of Ophelia from Shakespeare’s Hamlet

 

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The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood. Based on The Odyssey