Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pope Joan by Donna Cross

Pope Joan tells the legend of Joan, a young woman who poses as her brother and makes her way up to the most powerful position in the Catholic Church--Pope. Set in the 800s, Joan grows up in the middle of the Dark Ages where few people know how to read or write and women are seen as mere property and worthless.

Joan, however, strives to be different, at a very young age. Her father is a canon and marries a pagon. As she grows, Joan's mother teaches her about her religion as her father instructs her and her brothers in the Catholic faith. Joan's thirst for knowledge increases as she grows along with her father's anger towards her. When tragedy strikes and Joan's brother is killed, she decides to take his place rather than become someone's prize or slave. Her thirst for knowledge and quick wits keep her alive and her secret hidden until the very end.

The novel itself questions whether Joan actually existed. The author explains in her afterword why she believes this legend, even with the arguments against it. A great historical fiction!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Benevolence, or Ben as she is called, is a young girl whose life changes tragically when her mother is killed and her father disappears. Ben is the heir to the throne--her uncle, the king, was murdered along with her mother. Ben is moved to the palace from the only home she has ever known and forced into "queen" training by the queen regent, her aunt. Waiting desperately for her father to come home, she rebels any way she can. Including the ball her aunt plans in order to present her to the neighboring kingdoms--and available princes.

Then Ben is trapped behind enemy lines, and forced to see herself and her behavior from another perspective. Will it wake her up to do her duty and save her kingdom? Or will she be too late?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Evernight by Claudia Gray

Bianca has just started a new school--a boarding school--with her parents as teachers. She struggles with some of the classes, and with her fellow classmates. The one person she feels she made a connection with seems leery of developing a friendship with her. The other students who have always gone to Evernight treat her with disdain, while the new students don't know what to make of her either. And then one night, everything changes.

Another view at the world of vampires. You aren't sure just who is or isn't one until someone gets bitten.