Categories
Literary

The Sultan, the Vampyr and the Soothsayer

1442: When Vlad Dracula arrives at the court of the Ottoman Sultan Murad II, his life is turned upside down. His father Dracul cannot protect him; he must battle his demons alone. And when the Sultan calls for the services of a soothsayer, even the shrewd teller of fortunes is unprepared for what he learns.

Meanwhile, the Ottoman Turks are advancing through the Balkans with Vienna in their sights and Constantinople, the Orthodox Greek capital, within their grasp. As Eastern Europe struggles against the tide of a Muslim advance it cannot counter, Western Christendom needs only one prize to overthrow its enemies. Blurb

BRONZE PRIZEWINNER AT THE INDEPENDENT PUBLISHER BOOK AWARDS 2017 FOR BEST EUROPE FICTION

Released: November 10, 2016

The Sultan, the Vampyr and the Soothsayer by Lucille Turner is paranormal fiction presented as a historical novel. This is excellent and intelligent indie writing at a nice and hefty (and importantly, necessary) 486 pages.

I highly recommended this book to fans of supernatural or historical fiction, even if one of those genres isn’t usually your thing. Each character is fascinating and the settings are tangible.

Despite being set around war and conflict, there’s a real lack of action, which is a positive in my opinion. In many ways, this book reminded me of the first season of Game of Thrones where, unlike the books and the later seasons, we’re aware that fighting is going on but we don’t have to sit through the boredom of every punch and stab.

I much prefer the scheming and back-stabbing that we see through the dialogue and slight actions of the characters. Having said that, I wouldn’t have minded a few juicer scenes in this book… perhaps the odd swift murder or even sex scene.

I feel this would have fit in quite nicely with the overall tone of the book. The actual vampire stuff that you’d expect from the title and theme of the book is very minimal and this works surprisingly well.

LUCILLE TURNER’s first book, Gioconda, was published by Granta Books in 2011. A novel about the life of Leonardo da Vinci, it went on to win the Hislibris prize for historical fiction and was translated into several languages. She has a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature and has worked as a translator, a journalist, a teacher and a book reviewer. She lives between Bournemouth and Nice and blogs about historical fiction at www.lucilleturner.com.

 

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With a multifaceted narrative, diverse characters, and stunning historical detail, this book is completely absorbing. The author stirs together history, myth, political intrigue, and religious conflict to create a gripping, expertly researched story. Was it a curse, a medical condition, or the simple fears of local farmers that led to the legend of Count Dracula? See what you think after reading. Highly recommended.” THE HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY

I’ve decided to play around with my ratings for this review and use a letter rating system (I am a teacher after all), so The Sultan, the Vampyr and the Soothsayer gets a well deserved A-.

Lucille Turner kindly sent me a paperback in exchange for a 100% honest review.

Categories
Literary

Review: The Woman of My Dreams by Glenn Fain

The Woman of My Dreams by Glenn Fain.

Blurring the line between dream and reality can be fatal.
 Sleepwalking through a decade of soulless jobs, Arnold Brinckman is still reeling from his girlfriend’s suicide. When he is convinced all hope is lost, the beautiful and exotic Anastasia appears in his dreams, teaching him to live and love again.

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If you need a book that covers multiple genres and moods, The Woman of My Dreams is for you. It’s somewhere in the realms of paranormal, suspense and romance, the latter two genres not being something I usually go for. The Woman of My Dreams starts off funny and light, grows into intelligent fun, and then dives into sensitive, well-crafted depression for the end.

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I’ve said this about books before, but the title and cover wouldn’t attract me to giving this book a go. It looks and sounds maybe a bit too girly for my tastes. This is one of the greatest perks to having a blog – I get approached about books that I wouldn’t usually try, I give them a go and I love them!

I really like Arnold, the main character of the book – he’s the kind of character that I think a lot of people can relate to. He made me laugh and I understood the choices he made throughout the story, even when he was being an idiot.

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Above: Drop Dead Fred gif from BuzzFeed

The story reminded me of one of my favourite films, Drop Dead Fred, with the writing style of Stephen Fry (when he’s writing novels) and George R. R. Martin (think The Armageddon Rag, not Game of Thrones). For those of you that don’t know Drop Dead Fred, the story is about a woman whose childhood imaginary friend returns to her when her life takes a turn for the worse… but the imaginary friend is real, existing in their own right. The Woman of My Dreams is very similar, but with the protagonist seeing a dead woman in his dreams instead. I refer to Stephen Fry as he manages to write excellent, relatable young male characters which are funny (laugh out loud funny at times) and honest.

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Above: Cover of The Woman of My Dreams. Owned by Glenn Fain. Image sent with review request.

This is a quick book to read at just 220 pages and a good pace, with chapters ending in such a way that you really need to read just one more… I find that a lot of self-published genre books at the moment have too much padding and waffle, but I can definitely say that this isn’t the case for The Woman of My Dreams.

The only issue that I had with this book is that I think it needs a final proof-read from an outside professional – but please don’t let that put you off as it really is an excellent read. I’m definitely interested in reading Glenn Fain’s other books in the future. This is his third, the first two being The Angel Experiment and Tease. They both have great reviews, as does The Woman of My Dreams.

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Above: Portrait of author Glenn Fain. Owned by Glenn Fain. Image sent with review request.

The Woman of My Dreams is available on Kindles and in paperback through Amazon. The kindle copy is pretty cheap, so you should definitely grab it.

Disclosure: The author sent me a free ebook in return for an honest review. This did not in any way influence my review. I am regularly sent books and artwork that I would not be comfortable endorsing through Examining the Odd. Please be assured that if I have featured a book and spoken positively about it, this is truly how I personally feel about that book.

 

Categories
Film

6 of the Best Game of Thrones Memes

A Game of Thrones

Elf bonus at the end!

VIA BRYAN KREMKAU
VIA BRYAN KREMKAU
VIA HRONES/
VIA HRONES/
VIA /R/GAMEOFTHRONES
VIA /R/GAMEOFTHRONES

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Photo Credit: Zara Monahan
Photo Credit: Zara Monahan

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