Manual The Islands in the Mist (The Year of the Dragon, Book 3)

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  1. Magic of Wind and Mist by Cassandra Rose Clarke
  2. Top Authors
  3. The Year of the Dragon, no. 3
  4. Best Strong Female Heroine Fantasy Books

View 2 comments. Mar 07, Amber rated it really liked it Shelves: first-reads. This was the first book I've received from a goodreads giveaway. I haven't read much fantasy in the past, so it makes it a little hard to rate this book in terms of how good it is within the genre. However, I really liked the book!! I was interested in the story and wanted to keep reading. I really loved some of the characters--Lucia and Gwion especially. It was easy to read. I would definitely read the sequel and hope there will be one. The book also gave me the desire to try some more books ou This was the first book I've received from a goodreads giveaway.

The book also gave me the desire to try some more books out of this genre. Thanks to the author and goodreads for the giveaway! View 1 comment. Dec 27, Mercedes Rochelle rated it really liked it. Islands in the Mist gives us a fantasy tale set in the dark ages, where magic and sorcery reign supreme—where gods are tangible and matriarchy is predominant. Or at least, this is how I remember it!

However, this novel i Islands in the Mist gives us a fantasy tale set in the dark ages, where magic and sorcery reign supreme—where gods are tangible and matriarchy is predominant. Our protagonist, Bran, is everything we would want from a hero. Like any good classical hero, he gets supernatural help when all else fails—because he has proved himself worthy, of course. He falls in love with a woman who has just discovered her own special powers, and she must decide whether to devote herself to the greater good or give it all up for the love of a man. Meanwhile we have the wicked sorceress who has brought back the dead for her own selfish reasons; they threaten everything in their path and grow in their horrific powers.

Since this is only part one, there are many loose ends that promise to be tidied up in future volumes. The initial conflict hurtles to a resolution at the very end of the book, but the resolution feels incomplete to me—not exactly a cliffhanger, but more like a dream that leaves you unfulfilled. There are some characters whose importance seems to fade away; other characters, like the powerful sorceress, put on a new mantle at the very end—a plot shift totally unforeseen.

Was she really wicked or merely misguided? That remains to be discovered. Nonetheless, what looks to be an epic tale is rigorously laid out in volume one, so moving forward we have a firm foundation to a lively story that is sure to hold your interest. I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Magic of Wind and Mist by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Feb 27, Susan Morrison rated it it was amazing. The hard copy of J. The spectacular cover serves as a welcome entry in this novel textured in Welsh lore. Myths are grounded in the historical reality of Saxon incursions after the abandonment of Britain after the Romans return to Italy to save the empire from barbarian invasions. The remaining inhabitants, vulnerable to attack by the Northmen, exist in a mythological universe beautifully conjured up by Hofer.

And immense oak reigned at its center, her dark branches heavy with acorns and her gnarled roots twisting deep into the earth, clutching it for surely dozens of feet in all directions. Alder, birch, rowen, hazel and ash trees encircled her like graceful dancers around a bride, reaching toward the sky with fingers intertwined and feet rooted in the silver stream that curved around their ankles like a delicate crescent moon.

The medieval Welsh mythological tradition, as seen most completely in the sadly neglected Mabinogian and its source texts can be elusive to many readers. The oppression of the Celtic peoples ultimately mirrors that of the representation of Celtic myth Hofer happily revives in this lovely verbal tapestry. She helpfully provides a character index, with the etymological signification of each name, suggesting traits we see as the figures develop.

The compelling and graspable story weaves the everyday details of firestoking and horse husbandry with the weird and elusive magical mythology of the Welsh matter of the Four Branches. I am voluntarily reviewing this book; thanks to the author for sharing a copy with me. Jun 27, Kameron Williams rated it really liked it. It was great to see Lucia come into her powers, and the way Hofer described her visions was enthralling. As for Bran, a warrior who needs closure on the death of his mother, his arch was just as interesting—and his relationship with his trusty mount, Gethen, was endearing.

I found this fantasy tale to be dark and gripping—the world, the magic, the lore—it all kept me engaged and turning the pages. And aside from that, the pace was remarkable. Each chapter was concise and interesting, and I felt like things were always happening with no generic filler or exposition. Jul 19, D. Reid rated it it was amazing Shelves: fantasy. This is a beautifully written fantasy, with a mystical background based on Welsh folklore. However, even a reader with no previous knowledge would easily become immersed in this enchanting, magical world of heroes, monsters, Druids and powerful priestesses.

The story flows effortlessly with an excellent balance of action, dialogue and lyrical de This is a beautifully written fantasy, with a mystical background based on Welsh folklore. The story flows effortlessly with an excellent balance of action, dialogue and lyrical description.

The fight scenes are gruesome and gripping and there are also scenes of creeping tension, such as when Bran becomes trapped in the clammy, creature-infested caverns of the Otherworld. The action is well-paced, with a few twists and surprises along the way, and moves inexorably to a climactic battle. The ending is far from predictable, but ties up the main threads of the plot well, while pointing the way to equally entertaining sequels.

Oct 27, Robert Bjork rated it really liked it. Welsh mythology is a chaos of stories and legends going far back into prehistory and being codified, though in fairly-unstructured form, in the four books of ancient Wales, The Black Book of Caermarthen, The Book of Anuerin, The Book of Taliesin, and The Red Book of Hergest. Hofer has surveyed them all and derived from them a coherent, cohesive tale that brings the mythological essence of those four books into a realistic and believable narrative that captivates the reader in its own right Welsh mythology is a chaos of stories and legends going far back into prehistory and being codified, though in fairly-unstructured form, in the four books of ancient Wales, The Black Book of Caermarthen, The Book of Anuerin, The Book of Taliesin, and The Red Book of Hergest.

Hofer has surveyed them all and derived from them a coherent, cohesive tale that brings the mythological essence of those four books into a realistic and believable narrative that captivates the reader in its own right and subtly draws her or him into a desire to consult those original texts. This is the first book in a trilogy. It tells the story of four mighty tribes being afflicted by an equally mighty sorceress, Cerridwen, who has used her magical gifts and the Black Cauldron to raise an army of the dead into a marauding, cannibalistic force that feeds on cattle, goats, chickens, and women and children.

It is indiscriminate in its ferocity and strikes fear into the hearts of even the bravest warriors. The story is an adventure and a quest. And it follows the main and minor characters through rugged terrain, dark forests, distant beaches, with a very real feel to them and peopled with some historical characters, such as the Romans. Even the underworld has a realistic and frightening feel. The result is a novel that seems at once ancient and contemporary, outside our grasp but also distinctly within it. The characters seem flat and one-dimensional as they do in the sources, for example; but they come alive and move closer to us as they engage with each other in real-life situations.

We will just have to read those to find out. The author supplies a list of characters in the front matter, for instance, but that list is incomplete, with over ten characters e. This poses a minor frustration for the reader but a frustration nonetheless. The writing is strong for the most part e. It does make you want to follow Bran and Lucia especially to the end of their journey at the close of the trilogy.

Bjork 27 October Nov 10, M. I was rooting for our heroes and heroines from the get-go, clan warrior Bran and more-than-meets-the-eye Lucia, and really cared about what happened to them and the people around them. I felt the most sorry for the tragic character of Morvran, though we never witnessed things from his point of view, and even the villain Cerridwen was sympathetic. Gwion was one of my favourite characters, but I also enjoyed the fact that the animals and landscapes in this book all had character too—fitting for a novel based on Welsh legends, native Britain and for a book that explores the religion of the Great Mother.

With the movie featuring Gal Gadot there's been renewed interest in her stories, and I can't complain.


  1. Camels to Caviar.
  2. My New Pack Bit Me (My Werewolf Life Book 2)!
  3. Science/Fiction Collections: Fantasy, Supernatural and Weird Tales.

This boxed set was released by DC at the end of featuring the golden age of Wonder Woman in pages of her best stories, and they really represent the best of what this iconic superhero has to offer. She is benevolent, prefers the route to peace, but uses force when needed. She is described as more beautiful than Aphrodite, wiser than Athena, faster than Hermes, and stronger than Hercules.

Wonder Woman really is the ultimate feminist role model, sacrificing none of her femininity while exuding strength on every front. Though really, that's a good thing. Song of the Lioness. Many fantasy-loving women got hooked on fantasy with Alanna as teens. She has her heart set on being a knight, even though it's not "what girls do," and that passion and drive puts every one of us on a horse and on the adventure of a lifetime with her.


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  • Alanna's stubborn determination and bravery carry her far, but she makes mistakes, doubts herself, and has a wicked temper. She's a thoroughly real heroine, unique in the canvas of white male knights in high fantasy. While it's written or rather edited; the first pages were reportedly scrapped because it was too racy to be a YA novel, the plot is madly complex and captivating, thoroughly engaging readers of all ages. There is some romance in the series, and I love that Alanna is clearly in control of her sexuality. She chooses who she sleeps with and when, and takes precautions to be responsible.

    She's been an inspiring role model for generations and hopefully many more. Couldn't leave this one out. Yet Immortals takes us on a totally different thread. The fact that there are reading guides out there for this book should tip you off that it's more than a simple children's book. It's chock full of cultures, immortal creatures, and a pantheon who like to meddle.

    Daine is an abandoned child who possesses the wild magic, enabling her to talk with, even take the shape of the beasts of the forest. It's a light fun read featuring a compassionate, strong heroine who grows into her power throughout the quartet. I love that Pierce's characters tend to go against social convention and eventually carve out a life worth living.

    Yelena is about to be executed for murder and is offered an alternative: food taster to the king. She herself is poisoned and must appear for her daily antidote or die a painful death. What she does with the hand dealt her is fantastic. She is a capable, educated heroine who takes responsibility for her own actions, and plans ahead the moment she begins to see options opening up, then works hard for her future. Watching her grow from desperate orphan into a competent, deadly fighter was fantastic, and strong character development anchors Yelena and Valek into your soul as you weave your way through this magic combo of assassins, spies, and intrigue.

    I love that romance took a seat in the background and let us focus on the action at hand. Themes of mortality, freedom of choice, and tests of loyalty predominate and make it more than just a fun read. Sybel is only sixteen when she is brought an orphaned baby to raise. She has little love for humans, having been raised alone on Eld Mountain with only the magical beasts her father summoned with magic for playmates, yet she accepts and is obviously transformed by the experience.

    Oddly enough, I love how detached and pragmatic she is. Her fearlessness awards her a vicious legendary bird, her ruthlessness when betrayed is not to be underestimated, and she is a beautiful, powerful, sorceress. In another story she could be the villain, but here she is thoroughly the heroine. This little-known gem landed the World Fantasy Award, and was nominated for many others. McKillip's elegant prose lends this dark fairytale a dreamy, mythic quality.

    A fantastic read featuring a fantastic heroine. Monza Murcatto is out for blood. Known as the Snake of Talins, the most feared and famous mercenary in Styria, she is betrayed by her employer and left for dead. Unfortunately for him, she's alive and fueled by vengeance. Flanked by a drunkard, a poisoner, a mass murderer with OCD and a Northman who just wants to do the right thing, she is a force to be reckoned with.

    With signature Abercrombie indulgence, Best Served Cold is a bloody, thrilling, expedition. Filled with harsh language, black humor, terrible sex, and broken characters, it's everything his fans have come to expect and love from his work. Monza is a total badass and gets the job done; just don't mind the collateral damage along the way. This reboot is everything. Diversity FTW! I love that this incarnation of Ms.

    Marvel is a teenage Pakistani-American from Jersey, who's just as thrilled about her superpowers as she is about finding the right outfit for the job. Kamala is such an enjoyable heroine to follow in her debut. She is smart, funny, and fully embraces the superhero gig with all the enthusiasm of someone too naive to appreciate the danger.

    Top Authors

    She is Muslim, and has strict parents who don't approve of all the fan fic she writes, let alone the outfits. The classic art style is fantastic, and ties in with the rest of the Marvel world. It's not just about her kicking butt, although obvi, that's happening. It deals a lot with identity as she can shape shift and decides to look like Carol Danvers, the original Ms. Marveltall, blonde, and nothing like herself. This intricate retelling of the Celtic Swans fairy tale takes an enchanting story and embellishes it with depth, believable backstory, ancient magic, and great characters.

    It is painfully dark, at times horrifying, but also offers elements of hope, devoted love, and healing. One criticism is that while its rape scenes are incredibly graphic, actually loving consensual sex scenes are all but fade-to-black absent. Despite this, Sorcha is simply radiant as the heroine who accomplishes the fantastic tasks required to set things right. She is beloved by and shares a unique bond with her brothers, and while no warrior, her strength is in healing and in quietly you have no idea how quietly going about what needs doing with fortitude and courage.

    Despite her burdens, she is able to see the beauty in the world, and that takes a special kind of magic. Again, folks tend to shelve anything related to fairytale literature as YA or even Juvenile Daughter of the Forest is definitely ill suited for children, due to the graphic abuse mentioned above. As Sorcha matures, she grows into her strength and intelligence, meeting each painful task with diligence and unfailing love. It is a beautiful story highlighting the power of small and simple things. Katsa is a pragmatic graceling born with the ability to kill with her bare hands from the time she was eight years old.

    Graced as all gracelings are with unique superpowers and marked with two different eye colors, she was orphaned and becomes assassin to the King in her youth. With attachment issues and a very sterile view of murder, she is very flawed; which balances out that she's pretty much invincible, unstoppable as both a warrior and as a person.

    Light romantic interest flavors the story, but it's nothing so strong as to overpower the heroine and her purpose. The female relationships are so real and relatable, and I love that at times it's just women out there saving the world. No men in shining armor. Just two women as comrades in arms. It's not this huge gender issue that she's a warrior.

    She just is. Graceling has landed a dozen awards and was nominated for more. Definitely worth a read. The Mists of Avalon. I can't do a list of the top 50 fantasy novels with strong female leads without including The Mists of Avalon. Considered one of the great classics of modern fantasy literature, it won the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel the year it was published, topped Best Sellers lists for years thereafter, and has continued to transform perspectives for decades.

    Bradley won critical acclaim with this novel by taking the whole body of Arthurian legend and re-spinning the tale from the perspective of the women in Arthur's life. The Avalon of the title is the island home to a sect of Goddess worshippers attempting to hold back Christianity's growing influence over Arthur and the country at large. This world of mysticism and spirituality frames the life of Morgaine, not an evil sorceress here, but priestess of Avalon and Arthur's half-sister.

    She rides the tide of self-doubt and confidence as we span her life from practically birth to death. Here lives a haunting Camelot. A visceral, real Camelot that is simultaneously ethereal and mystical. It's not action-packed, but an emotional and compelling legend of adventure, prophesy, romance, betrayal, and witchcraft.

    The women here are complex, intriguing, loving, and manipulative. They live in a male-dominated world, so behind the scenes they are forever pulling strings, standing close to center stage, but never stepping a foot onto it, weaving their magic in the shadows. If the life of the author matters to you when reading a novel, know that Bradley has some skeletons that have thrown shade over her work. Fire and Thorns.

    A high fantasy novel featuring someone whose beauty isn't one of her major selling points. I love that Elisa is a clever, resourceful, humanly flawed heroine who relies on her own strengths to conquer her life's tragedies.

    PKA 390 - Wings MRSA Infection, 10 Year Old Drag Kid, Slave Neighbors

    Like many teens she envies her sister who has the tall, willowy physique she wishes she could have and still eat all of the delicious food. Truthfully, she's pretty badass and I thought she was awesome. Talk about big shoes to fill. Carson does a great job at painting a living, breathing world with Spanish influences, unique cultures, and sympathetic characters. I loved spirited Elisa's journey from insecurity and uncertainty to her own brand of heroism as a bearer of the Godstone. Yes, there is religious stuff but the religious elements just add depth and richness to the culture of the world.

    For those who enjoy slow burn romance this is like, SLOW, slow burn, and all the sweeter for it. The frank and progressive approach to sexuality was awesome, I mean if you're in a relationship, birth control needs to be a part of the discussion at some point! While I'd say it's YA, the action isn't wimpy and can even get pretty gory. Full of surprises and deeply engaging people, The Girl of Fire and Thorns is a great read if you're looking for strong female roles. A Mercy Thompson. Urban Fantasy excels at creating strong female leads, and this is one of the best. Mercy is a part Native American auto mechanic who also happens to be a walker; one who can turn into a coyote at will.

    Like the Grimm TV series, she's not the only anomaly and has a werewolf for a neighbor, her boss is a gremlin; you get the idea. Briggs creates awesome bantering dialogue that makes it a fun read. I love that it's realistic; gunshots are LOUD when you forget your ear protection. When you fight werewolves, you might just break your arm. Mercy can hold her own, but knows her limits. She's caring, not a doormat, and she's wicked brave. She makes mistakes, and owns it.

    Don't be fooled by the Harlequin-looking cover, the romance has a nice organic build, which is refreshing in a genre that's often obsessed paranormal sex scenes. The books are fast-paced, witty, tense, and addictive. Goose Girl is the flagship novel in the series, but all of them share well-written, lyrical prose that perfectly captures the fairytale vibe of this series.

    Each is a pretty light read, and if you can't stand a happy ending this series probably isn't for you, but Hale is fantastic at creating dynamic, strong women to lead these adventures. There are parts, especially in " Enna Burning ", that are intense and disturbing, but overall I'd say the material is PG at most. Whether it's a shy young woman who needs to become brave enough to take her kingdom back, or a spunky soul who needs to learn to control her all-consuming powers so she doesn't destroy the world, each story holds captivating characters in a magical world so clear and comfortable that the strange things that happen feel totally believable.

    And the women rock it. Mythology comes alive in this hostile world where apocalypse is routine, and the cultures and inhabitants have adapted to survive above all else. Orogenes, with their fearsome power over the earth, are slaves to those in power who use them to abey cataclysmic earthquakes. Full of questions, this deeply woven story makes it feel as if the answers are all there, and have been for eternity, just out of reach.

    Jemisin pushes the boundaries of novelty into something truly extraordinary, even while she explores concepts of cultural conflict, oppression, and the glossing over of history. It is one of the few non-white dominated, not exclusively hetero, or even monogamous takes we see in fantasy. It is written from the perspective of three women, all gifted with the power to control seismic events, all forced to confront the painful ramifications of being what they are in a world the both needs, and fears them.

    Damaya, a child given to a Guardian when she is discovered to be an orogene; Syen, an ambitious higher caste orogene on a mission; and Essun, mother of two chasing after her missing husband all struggle, hope, and falter as we share their journey. The women here aren't necessarily heroic, but each have strengths that shine. A Court of Thorns and Roses. For romantic fantasy fans, A Court of Thorns and Roses has it all: mysterious men, tension, romance, magic, and steamy sex scenes. By the end of book one Feyre is the object of desire of virtually every attractive male in the book, and that means lots of fun.

    It makes this list because Maas crafts a strong, complex heroine who is the central figure throughout. She is a huntress who hates the fae, only to be dragged into their world for killing a wolf faerie while trying to feed her family. There she finds passion and purpose as the beautiful, dangerous world of the fae she now loves is overtaken by darkness. Lots of twists and turns, changing allegiances, and mysteries revealed make each volume an exciting ride. Feyre grows and develops as a person throughout, and that continual transformation moving her toward more healthy relationships is engaging and real.

    The lush, dynamic world-building absorbs your attention in the way that all good fantasy should. Be aware that while some market this as YA, it is definitely more on the erotica side of the romance spectrum. Catherynne M. A new classic has entered the literary stage. I know, a bit bold of a thing to say, but it follows in the tradition of Lewis Carol, A. Milne, and C. Lewis in creating a vibrant tale that can appeal to adults and children of all ages, landing it the Andre Norton award in With its smart, whimsical prose, clever and comical themes, and absolutely charming characters, it's a win all the way around.

    I was hooked on page one. Though it has loads to say, it's never preachy, there are no religious over or undertones, it's just a great treatise on circumnavigating life and all it may hold for us. September is strong enough to stand up to whoever stands in her way, practical, and resourceful. But she is a child, with all the weaknesses of too few years, which often leads her into trouble. Still, her strength of character, and the overall messages of empowerment are refreshing and inspiring.

    With a foot in both Science Fiction and Fantasy, A Wrinkle in Time is a bridge between reality and fantasy, a meeting place for adult and child readers alike. Meg leads the adventure with her younger, gifted brother and her secret High School crush on her heels. Though she is your typical insecure, average-looking teen she is clearly gifted, but grappling with her identity as anything effectual let alone valuable to anyone. Surrounded by her brilliant parents; her father recently disappeared while experimenting, her mother is the beautiful scientist slash stay at home mom; and her little brother the certified genius status and brainier than them all, she feels completely ordinary and unexceptional.

    While her little brother may "have all the answers" he is very much in need of her protection, and Meg isn't afraid to take a punch or swing one. The three mysterious, powerful guides through this fantastical journey are all female, Mrs. Who, Mrs.

    The Year of the Dragon, no. 3

    Which, and Mrs. Whatsit, though we also run into the "Happy Medium" who is genderless. With clear, humorous narrative and believable characters this series, which also includes A Wind in the Door , and A Swiftly Tilted Planet , are great examples of lit featuring strong female lead characters without it feeling contrived or like the author is making a "statement. It's no wonder it's a classic. I loved this wild and unruly story for its whimsical course, poetic prose, and indomitable heroine.

    She is a fiercely independent 7th grader who is so wonderfully Portland. She's vegan, her hobbies include yoga and single-speed bicycle repair. She's fantastic. While she grew up hearing stories of how she should never set foot in The Impassable Wilderness of Portland, she never dreamed it was because it encompasses Wildwood; a massive Narnianesque pocket with its own history, civilization, perils, and magic. Prue sets off into the wild in search of her baby brother, Mac, who's been abducted by a murder of crows. She is intimidated by neither royalty nor witchery and tenaciously discovers all she can to rescue Mac from the Wildwood.

    I love that the villainous Dowager Empress comes across as both miraculous, and realistic. Nothing is black and white in the Wildwood, and you eventually find that every story has many sides. With no objectionable material, this makes an excellent read-aloud and Audible's audiobook version is great. Here West creates a deeply original world, evocative of India, or the Arabian Nights, or ancient Japan; I really can't place it, as it is truly its own, with its unique dichotomy of cultures. Her prose is lyrical and descriptive, the ponderous pace of the story isn't for everyone, but this epic fantasy is replete with strong, charismatic women of all walks of life.

    From Diora, the world's most beautiful woman, gifted with a kind of siren song; to Jewel, and her reluctant rise to leadership of a different kind; to a street child and her gang who are adopted into one of the feuding noble houses; the strength of women abounds in these books. The series is massive in scope, being the story of a place as much as of the people and their relationships in it, encompassing six books, each weighing in around pages. The Sun Sword novels are filled with complex political machinations, and themes addressing the power of choice, and the difference between heroes, and heroism.

    His reasons for investigating the shooting have suddenly become very personal. Wrestling with his own demons, Martin finds himself risking everything to discover a truth that becomes darker and more complex with every twist. General: Child of Africa by T. After returning from Afghanistan, ex-British marine Joss Brennan embraces living as a double amputee, but he finds life at his safari lodge near Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe, not quite as idyllic as when he left.

    Peta de Longe is a big game veterinarian and no stranger to hard decisions. But once she uncovers the terrible ordeal that Joss has gone through, can she learn to forgive and move forward? But will he fight to save his own country and the people he considers his family? Thriller: Need to Know by Karen Cleveland. Vivian Miller is a dedicated CIA counterintelligence analyst assigned to uncover the leaders of Russian sleeper cells in the United States.

    A few clicks later, everything that matters to her — her job, her husband, even her four children — are threatened. Vivian has vowed to defend her country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Torn between loyalty and betrayal, allegiance and treason, love and suspicion, who can she trust?

    Best Strong Female Heroine Fantasy Books

    Walking home one night, Gina stumbles upon a dead body, and after calling the police, she makes the split-second decision to report the murder live. But why? Here, she is ordered to care for Isabelle Montgomery, the daughter of an influential land-owner. But Isabelle is not insane, She like many other young women confined within solitary walls, has been banished by her family. Three children went out to play. Only two came back. The Flower Girls. Laurel and Primrose. One convicted of murder, the other given a new identity. Now, 19 years later, another child has gone missing. And the Flower Girls are about to hit the headlines all over again.

    He believes Kim is that girl. At first she brushes it off, but soon finds herself questioning her family history and begins to unravel an unexpectedly dark past. A combustible tale of trauma, cult, conspiracy and memory by an exciting new Australian author. Her literary heroine is George Eliot, whose books she devours and whom she longs to meet.

    Meanwhile her childhood sweetheart, Max Duncker, is a partner in a respected German publishing house, which would love to get a publishing contract in place with George Eliot, aka Marian Evans, aka The Sibyl. Max is sent to woo The Sibyl, as a client and from this the full story flows. Patricia Duncker is herself a scholar and intellectual, and a great fan of Eliot. Often with a gleam of amusement in her eye, she plaits together fiction and fact in this novel. The England Eliot inhabited was pretty interesting. It was a time of great intellectual and social ferment. She was — gasp!

    Because of that, many people refused to have anything to do with this woman of towering intellect and breadth of vision. Interesting times, as I said. I loved this book to bits, and like its author I return periodically to Middlemarch for the same reasons. Autumn is lingering, but it might be time to head to the library and get your winter reading sorted. Here are some suggestions of what to look out for and what to avoid from your library staff.

    PS If you enjoy the memoir, have a listen to the delightful podcast Walking the Dog in which Dean interviews special human guests usually comedians whilst walking dogs in the park. Rowland is the youngest son of a wealthy and influential farming family. He lives in a magnificent mansion pursuing a life as an artist with his like-minded artistic friends. The real historical events and people behind the stories are ones I had not heard of before and I found it absolutely fascinating.

    This is a story written for BBC Radio 4 about a prison officer on death watch over a man accused of killing his wife. So authentic sounding I tried finding the story! Just awesome — 5 stars. Katherine Howard: a Tudor conspiracy by Joanna Denny — this is an old book I bought at a Library book sale, first published in Some of the things Ms Denny states as fact are now disputed so it was a bit jarring to read at times.

    I so enjoyed the mind-boggling book of Tara Westover. She helped her mother make tinctures and her father in his junk yard. Not only did Westover set out on a quest to get an education without ever being in a classroom but, in spite of huge ignorance, she managed to get to both Harvard and Cambridge and to obtain a PhD. Vintage girl by Hester Browne, and read by Cathleen McCarron — A light, enjoyable, romantic eAudiobook, complete with Scottish reeling and potentially dodgy antiques.

    The book is broken into three parts — the detectives, the lawyers, and the courtroom — covering the experience of the fire, the lawyers representing the defendant and the unfolding trial. A Month of Sundays by Liz Byrski — Set in the Blue Mountains the four female characters are feeling overwhelmed by their life circumstances — retirement, health issues, regrets, family revelations — but are buoyed by fresh mountains air, friendship and books.

    A very easy, enjoyable read. Highly recommend! And I have bought as a present for many people. Definitely worth the re-read. What a great storyteller! The Pisces by Melissa Broder — what to say about this Woman meets Fish-Man erotic warts-and-all tale… remind me never to go to group therapy for people with relationship addiction. Oh, and then there is the dog murder at the end. Over-sharey, but not funny. Jenny Lawson has the material in her less than conventional childhood, but lousy, try hard writing made it a chore, and I failed to finish it.

    Apparently she is a blogger. I can believe it. Wintering by Krissy Kneen — This is set in a tiny coastal town in southern Tasmania over one winter, where the protagonist is grieving the loss of her missing partner and becomes embroiled in the mystery of his disappearance. Perhaps had I known what I was in for I would have enjoyed it more.