This book has everything we look for in ancient historical fiction - a spunky fearless female serving an even more spunky Queen, an intriguing mystery and a love interest with brains and brawn. Tetisheri is on of Queen Cleopatra's oldest friends and so she is trusted with being a spy and finding what happened to the shipment of gold coins that have gone missing as well as a series of murders. Along with the help of another one of the Queen's trusted advisors Apollodorus, Tetisheri must overcome court politics, steer clear of overconfident Roman dignitaries and the murderer all in secret. Dana Stabenow brings the exciting city of Alexandria to life. Her characters are very approachable and likable, even Queen Cleopatra is shown as a powerful woman caught between a demanding Cesaer and her murderous brother the Pharaoh. I can't wait for number two!
It is that time of the year when I try and only choose what I thought were the best books of the year - an impossible task. These are in no particular order as they are all wonderful in their own way.
WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING by Delia Owens, THE LOST QUEEN by Signe Pike, WASHINGTON BLACK by Esi Edugyan, PARIS BY THE BOOK by Liam Callanan, HOW TO STOP TIME by Matt Haig, NOVEMBER ROAD by Lou Birney, KILL THE FARM BOY by Delilah S. Dawson, WINTER OF THE WITCH by Katherine Arden (whole series!), EDUCATED by Tara Westover, WOMAN IN THE WINDOW by A. J. Finn
and now for the honorable runner-ups-
VIRGIL WANDER by Leif Enger, VOX by Christina Dalcher, RUST & STARDUST by T. Greenwood, SPINNING SILVER by Naomi Novik, UNBURY CAROL by Josh Malerman, DYING OF THE LIGHT by Robert Goolrick
Your list will be different I am sure but that is a wonderful truth- there are books out there to wow every person on the planet.
You've read her romances, her mysteries and now her fantasy which kicks serious butt. Book two finds us with a teenage Fallon who must go train to become "The One" and save everyone. The problem is that she is a teenage girl and yet she is also the savior which is the dilemma. This book has everything we have come to love about Nora Roberts - a great plot, characters we care about and now, a storyline that melds King Arthur's legends with a bit of "Game of Thrones" female toughness. This book will make you care more about learning to fish, farm, fix things and train to be a warrior with old school weapons.
The Dakota in New York City is a magical place and for Anton Winter it is home. After narrowly escaping death from a stint in Africa with the Peace Corp Anton returns to his childhood home and the crazy goings-on of his family and other inhabitants of the Dakota.
Superbly crafted, Tom Barbash weaves in the fictional Buddy Winters and family with anybody and everybody famous in the late '70s and early '80s. Anton is floundering at home but takes on the tough job of reuniting his comedian host dad with late night TV. This is made much more difficult by the fact that Buddy had a breakdown on his live show which is the equivalent of career suicide. Anton is such a likable narrator. It was like taking a sweet trip down memory lane with all the news, music, and movie references. There are so many stories that you find yourself laughing thinking "oh no, he didn't" but you aren't quite convinced that maybe it did happen. THE DAKOTA WINTERS is a love song to the magic and madness of New York with an acapella solo to the craziness of L.A. in the '70s and '80s.
I love to read good books and share the new books that are available and those that are coming soon