Archive | February 2013

A Love and Upheaval Story from a Bygone Era

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5.0 out of 5 stars A Love and Upheaval Story from a Bygone Era, February 24, 2013
This review is from: Rose of Gwynedd: The Noble Tribes of Wales (Volume 1) (Paperback)

There should be a unique, new genre invented in order to attempt to classify her writing. Perhaps something like this: history-tales-with-an-erotic-scent. While arousing to some readers, others may find it quite unexpected within the framework of a historical genre, and therefore, perhaps off-putting. So a word of caution to you: beware… Starting with the very first page, you will find a vivid, sensual description of the act of love: “All through the day they’d played much as they always had; yet on this day, something was different. It was a quickened vibrancy, an intense yearning, and a hunger that neither of them had ever realised previously…”

As with all good writing it is evident how much research went into creating this book. The author, Christian Ashley, takes us away to the kingdom of Gwynedd, known to be a place deliciously rich with upheaval and chaos. Such is the birthplace of the heroine of this story, called Rose.

The language is intentionally outdated: “At a great ceremony held in honour of Rose’s long awaited induction into womanhood, Lady Moyrin and Eyevlyn did grant Rose this magical crystal to keep at an alter within her home wherever it may be.” Words are chosen, and sentences crafted in such a way as to impart the impression that this book is a find, a rare find from a bygone era, perhaps unearthed in some quaint, dusty library of ancient text…

A final note about the graphics on the pages of this book. They include illustrations of coat of arms, and maps of the kingdom of Gwynedd from the middle ages. Interspersed with these symbols of war are images of a scarlet rose, dew trembling upon its curved, succulent petals, symbolizing the heroine of the story. Love, at a time of war.

Five stars.

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This entry was posted on February 25, 2013. 1 Comment

DIGNITY: A Blank Canvas for Painting a Queen, Imagining a Woman

A Blank Canvas for Painting a Queen, Imagining a Woman, by
Uvi Poznansky “Author of “Apart From Love” and “Home”

I happened to like it when a book cannot easily be classified in the narrow confines of a particular genre. Is this an Erotic Fiction, or a Historical Fantasy? In my mind, life itself (and the art that mirrors it) constantly changes from one genre to the next, depending on the moment of experience. I appreciate a story for its contrasts, which explains precisely why I enjoy this work, and why some readers may not. Perhaps they expect one thing, based on the title ‘Dignity’–and on some pages they get something entirely different, such as a steaming, sensually described love scene. If you are one of these readers, beware. Otherwise, you will find such contrasts quite thrilling.

The book opens with an out-of-place Epilogue (titled Prologue) which describes the queen rehearsing for the most important day of her life, the day of her execution. “It was important, she believed, do end with the dignity of a queen. After all, the only thing that she had left was her dignity.” From there, we cut back to her childhood and her affair and marriage to the king. She becomes the witness–and in the end, the victim–of the high drama surrounding him. “His arrogance both attracted and infuriated her… She knew he could take her by force… she’d still have her dignity, and even he couldn’t have that.”

Katheryn Howard, the heroine of this story, is based on a historical figure about whom little is known (not even her date and place of birth.) Henry the VIII married her immediately after the annulment of his marriage to Anne of Cleves was arranged. Katheryn was beheaded after less than two years of marriage, on the grounds of treason for committing adultery. This life, which is barely sketched in historical books due to its unknowns, provides a great, blank canvas for painting every emotion, every thought of this sensual woman. Confined in the tight dresses of the time, she is fighting to survive, as best she can, in the world of men.

One last note: when his painting The Nude Maja created an uproar, Goya created another painting of the same woman identically posed, but clothed. This book is provided in two versions: censored and uncensored, so you may take your pick.

Five stars.