Enjoying Assigned Readings?

None of my friends read in their spare time on a regular basis. I think this is because as students, we grew up with assigned readings that we dreaded reading and analyzing. Therefore, a lot of college students and recent grads that I know scoff and roll their eyes at their thought of reading “for fun” in their spare time. For reference, I’m surrounded by business and engineering majors, so not typically people who are known to read for fun.

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The Daughters of Palatine Hill by Phyllis T. Smith (Review)

Title: The Daughters of Palatine Hill
Author: Phyllis T. Smith
Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Release Date: February 16, 2016
Pages: 416
Source: NetGalley
Format: E-Book
Rating: ★★★★☆

Two years after Emperor Augustus’s bloody defeat of Mark Antony and Cleopatra, he triumphantly returns to Rome. To his only child, Julia, he brings an unlikely companion—Selene, the daughter of the conquered Egyptian queen and her lover.

Under the watchful eye of Augustus’s wife, Livia, Selene struggles to accept her new home among her parents’ enemies. Bound together by kinship and spilled blood, these three women—Livia, Selene, and Julia—navigate the dangerous world of Rome’s ruling elite, their every move a political strategy, their most intimate decisions in the emperor’s hands.

Always suppressing their own desires for the good of Rome, each must fulfill her role. For astute Livia, this means unwavering fidelity to her all-powerful husband; for sensual Julia, surrender to an arranged marriage and denial of her craving for love and the pleasures of the flesh; for orphaned Selene, choosing between loyalty to her family’s killers and her wish for revenge.

Can they survive Rome’s deadly intrigues, or will they be swept away by the perilous currents of the world’s most powerful empire?

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All book reviews I write are spoiler-free!
I discuss this book more in-depth (with spoilers) in my book discussion.

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Truthwitch by Sarah Dennard (Review)

Title: Truthwitch
Series: The Witchlands
Author: Sarah Dennard
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: January 5, 2016
Pages: 416
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Rating: ★★★☆☆

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery,” a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble–as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her–but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Book Depository
Goodreads

All book reviews I write are spoiler-free!
I discuss this book more in-depth (with spoilers) in my book discussion.

(more…)