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I thoroughly enjoyed The Warrior Queen, the first book in the new Guinevere trilogy. So, when its author Lavinia Collins asked me if I was interested in reviewing the second volume too, of course I jumped at the chance. In the first book, we saw the relationship between Guinevere, forced to marry the young King Arthur, and the knight Lancelot, blossom. In A Champion's Duty their affair continues, but now the lovers are threatened by the gossips that have started circulating about them. To protect them both, Lancelot is forced to accept the quest for the Holy Grail, which will take him away from Camelot for many years. But even in his absence, court is still a dangerous place. Mordred, Arthur's son, has arrived at court, determined to find his father's weak spot.
Once again, I was really impressed by Guinevere. She may not ride into battle in this book, but she moves through life at court, with all its perils and dangers, in a clever way. She sometimes lets passion cloud her judgement a bit, but that just makes her more human and relatable. Guinevere is also the narrator of the story, which affords the reader an unique opportunity to see the quest for the Holy Grail through a woman's perspective.
Camelot, and the life of its inhabitants, come to life in this book. It feels like a real place, and a very captivating one too. Collins really writes beautifully. The story flows so easily, and the plot is so engrossing, that you'll devour A Champion's Duty in no time. Now, I can't wait for the third, and last, part!
Available at: amazon
We tend to think of princesses as beautiful and spoilt young women whose sole purpose in life is getting married. And after they do, the story usually ends. P Is For Princess by Kerry Given dispels this myth by introducing the reader to 26 (one for every letter of the alphabet) real-life princesses around the world. Some of them, such as Elizabeth I, Grace of Monaco, and Diana, Princess of Wales, are very famous, while others, especially those from African and Asia, like Amina of Nigeria, are little known today, at least in the Western world.
Each biography is really short. Just one or two pages, in which only the most important events in their lives are very briefly summed-up. While I enjoyed reading about some of the princesses I didn't know anything about, I couldn't help but wish the author had included more information on each of them. As it is, you get why they are famous and deserve their place in the book, but they still remain elusive.
The brevity of each entry is probably due to the target audience: children aged 10 to 14. However, I think that a lot of its young readers will find the lack of information frustrating. It is true that adding more may, in some cases, have posed problems. These princesses didn't have easy lives, and the book already mentions a rape, torture, executions, and other topics that not every parent may be comfortable to have their children exposed to.
However, this short book provides a nice introduction to many fascinating historical figures, which is why I think it would make a good present to those children who haven't, so far, shown a particular interest in history. This book may, by letting them see that princesses aren't the boring and spoilt idiots they are often made up to be, do the trick and spark an interest in this subject. But if your child is already a little history nerd, it is very likely he/she will already know a lot more about these princess than the author has thought fit to share, and may, like me, be frustrated with it.
Available at: amazon
Ladies, would you like to be financially independent and take control of your money, rather than letting your money control your life and limit the choices you can make? Then, this book is for you. Scorgie shares lots of useful tips on how to set a budget, get out of debt, get your boss to give you a raise, increase your saving, make smart financial choices in romantic relationships (did you know that money problems are one of the main causes of divorce?), and live frugally. But that doesn't mean that you'll have to forget all the little indulgences that make life sweet. Of course, especially if you're in debt, you will have to make some sacrifices at first, but with Scorgie's tips you will be able to improve your financial situation while still treating yourself. It's all about making smarter financial decisions, and making your money work for you so that you'll be wealthy enough to be able to choose what to do with your life. All the tips are very practical, straightforward, and easy to follow. And don't worry, there aren't any boring lectures here. Scorgie writes in a witty and engaging way that makes the reader feel like she's receiving money tips from a good friend over a nice cup of tea. It's a great read that I highly recommend to every woman who wants to get her finances in order.
Available at: amazon
What do you think of these books?
Disclaimer: I received A Champion's Duty and Well-heeled in exchange for my honest opinion. In addition, this post contains affiliate links.
Johanna and Josepha
39 minutes ago