India 1857 – George Fleury is in Krishnapur to find a suitable match and hopefully be cured of his Romantic inclinations, in a period when the British empire is slowly losing its grip on the colonies. What begins as just news of general unrest in areas far away becomes a troubling reality when the rebellion reaches Krishnapur and Fleury finds himself trapped in a besieged compound together with his fellow English citizens, hoping to hold out long enough for reinforcements to come to the rescue.
G. is the story of a modern Don Juan, an account of a young man’s sexual career during the first years of the last century, on the backdrop of a turbulent period in Italian history. Through each woman he seduces, G. reveals the truth of the libertine’s condition: his impossibility to find contentedness, and his growing loneliness.
Hua Mulan has spent all of her life training for one purpose: to defeat in duel the heir of the Peng family and reunite two priceless swords, as well as avenging his father who was paralysed in the previous duel between the two families.
But a messenger from the emperor comes calling for recruits, and with no one in her family able to answer the call, Mulan dresses as a man and journeys to the front with a group of fresh recruits. Thanks to her martial arts training, she is soon chosen to be part of an elite group under the command of the princeling. They will travel beyond the great wall of China to uncover the Rouran clans’ plans of conquest, while unmasking a dangerous conspiracy in the capital and uncovering secrets that will shake Mulan’s understanding of her past.
“How incredibly Irish it all is!” thought the Major wonderingly. “The family seems to be completely mad.”
Major Brendan Archer has survived the Great War and he believes it’s now time to meet Angela Spencer again, the young woman who wrote him letters every single week and signed herself as his “loving fiancee” in every one of them. Determined to understand the truth of the situation, he finds himself in front of the Majestic Hotel in Kilnalough, a once-grand building that is now slowly collapsing on itself. The Major soon realises that Angela is not the person he remembers, but he gets entangled in the hotel’s life nonetheless: the guests obsessed with gossip and games of cards, the herds of cats who have taken over the upper floors, the wild plants that threaten to take complete control of whole rooms, inside and out. At the same time, he starts falling for the beautiful and bitter Sarah Devlin, while outside unrest threatens the rule of the British Empire: Ireland is ready for independence, and the troubles are brewing.
Since apparently my to-be-read pile is not high enough, I’ve decided to take on a new personal challenge: reading all of the winners of the Booker Prize, from 1969 to present. I want to venture out of my favourite genres and read some things that are considered “good literature”, just to see what the fuss is about; I also want to read some backlist titles that I might never know about otherwise, and since these books won a pretty famous award, it looks like a good place to start. Maybe I’ll find new favourites, or maybe I’ll hate all of them. Who knows?
Fair warning: this book will feel extremely slow for those who are used to action packed, fast reads. That said, if you are like me and it doesn’t bother you at all, then read this book. It’s brilliant.
A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians is a historical fantasy book that recounts the events of the French Revolution, but with magic in the mix. Before we get into too many details, let me paint a picture of the world we are in.