Well, it is a bit of a mixed bag of books this week! One put down unfinished, one read and enjoyed, and another halfway through…
The first book was Bernard Cornwell’s Fools and Mortals. Here is the blurb:
Lord, what fools these mortals be . . .
In the heart of Elizabethan England, Richard Shakespeare dreams of a glittering career in one of the London playhouses, a world dominated by his older brother, William. But he is a penniless actor, making ends meet through a combination of a beautiful face, petty theft and a silver tongue. As William’s star rises, Richard’s onetime gratitude is souring and he is sorely tempted to abandon family loyalty.
So when a priceless manuscript goes missing, suspicion falls upon Richard, forcing him onto a perilous path through a bawdy and frequently brutal London. Entangled in a high-stakes game of duplicity and betrayal which threatens not only his career and potential fortune, but also the lives of his fellow players, Richard has to call on all he has now learned from the brightest stages and the darkest alleyways of the city. To avoid the gallows, he must play the part of a lifetime . . . .
This is the book that I didn’t finish. I usually love Cornwell’s work and have read loads of his books and series, but I just couldn’t get very far with this one. In fact, I think that it was my fault rather than anything wrong with the book itself. Perhaps I wasn’t in the right mood to read it. For that reason, I don’t think that it would be fair to write a negative review on Goodreads, or rate the book at all. You never know, I may just give it another go one day.
After that experience, I decided to turn to an “old friend”. In this case The Last Colony by John Scalzi (Old Man’s War #3). I had thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in the series, so expected a really good read with the third. This is the blurb:
Retired from his fighting days, John Perry is now village ombudsman for a human colony on distant Huckleberry. With his wife, former Special Forces warrior Jane Sagan, he farms several acres, adjudicates local disputes, and enjoys watching his adopted daughter grow up.
That is, until his and Jane’s past reaches out to bring them back into the game — as leaders of a new human colony, to be peopled by settlers from all the major human worlds, for a deep political purpose that will put Perry and Sagan back in the thick of interstellar politics, betrayal, and war.
And I was not disappointed! Here is my review on Goodreads:
The Last Colony by John Scalzi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really enjoy Scalzi’s writing style with his sense of humour amongst the plot twists and darker moments. So, I find his books easy to follow and hard to put down. I really enjoyed this third book and was pleased that he brought back his original hero for this one. The idea of an older, wiser head in a younger man’s body is both amusing and interesting.
The author is always able to keep me guessing, which I really enjoy, as he snatches victory from what seems like certain defeat. I am so pleased to see that he has written loads more books since this series, but not so happy that our library service doesn’t have them on the ebook system! Still, the library introduced me to Scalzi’s work, so I am grateful for that!
Once again, it is well worth your time to spend a while reading other, more detailed, reviews of this book.
I am currently halfway through the last book in Conn Iggulden’s (writing as C F Iggulden) Empire of Salt fantasy series: The Sword Saint, and will give you my verdict next week. I’m pretty sure that my review with be positive as I am enjoying the book so far!
Until next week…
Happy Reading to you all!
Love and best wishes,