Shelf Control #57: Maelyn by Anita Valle #fantasy #youngadult

Wednesday, 21st August–time for another Shelf Control post. Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and is about celebrating the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, simply pick a book from your TBR pile and write a post about it. Link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks.

This week (am writing after a week’s break), I’m featuring a book that’s waiting to be read on Kindle–Maelyn by Anita Valle. This one was a freebie being offered on Kindle and it looked interesting so I picked it up.

Maelyn is the first in a series, The Nine Princesses novellas. This one is about a King and Queen who have no children of their own; so the King goes to nine kingdoms and brings home nine baby girls, orphans, who become their very own princesses. But when the King and Queen die, and Maelyn, at eighteen, is ruling over the Runa realm, she finds that not all the people consider her and her sisters princesses, seeing them as no more than frauds or impostors who no longer deserve to be on the throne. Their Uncle Jarrod, King of Grunwold, too is determined to show that Maelyn isn’t really a princess. With all this doubt and hostility around her, Maelyn begins to question herself too. This is the first of the adventures of nine unconventional princesses, each of which focuses on one of the girls, each very different from the other, with personalities that often clash.

This is a fantasy adventure for young adults that sounded like a fun read to me. I am not sure if this is a retelling or merely has a base in fairy tales but it will be interesting to see (whether and) how that connection is made or inspiration taken.

The author: Anita Valle is an American artist (some of her dog art is on her site here (also princess art but being me, I had to share the dogs 🙂 )) and author of series including the Nine Princesses novellas and the Dark Fairy Tale Queen series. The latter series seems to put a dark (or darker) spin on fairy tale princesses–Cinderella, Snow White, etc.

Have you read this or any of the other books in this series? How did you find it/them? Looking forward to your thoughts!

As always the info about the book is from goodreads (here) and about the author (here).

Shelf Control #56: Pompeii by Robert Harris #TBR #HistoricalFiction

Wednesday the 7th of August, and time once again for Shelf Control. Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and is about celebrating the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, simply pick a book from your TBR pile and write a post about it. Link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks.

This month, I haven’t really picked a reading theme so it’s just going to be random picks from my shelves that I plan to read during the month. Likewise, Shelf Control too will have random picks that are waiting to be read on my TBR pile. This week’s pick is one such, a work of historical fiction, Pompeii by Robert Harris.

Set in the days before the eruption of Veruvius in AD 79, Pompeii takes us to the Mediterranean coast where rich Roman citizens are relaxing and enjoying themselves in their luxurious villas while the navy lies anchored peacefully. Marcus Attilius Primus, a young engineer, has taken charge of the Aqua Augusta, one of the most complex aqueduct systems in the Roman world, and one that supplies nine towns and a quarter of a million people. But he finds he has much to contend with as springs are failing for the first time in generations and his predecessor has disappeared. To repair the aqueduct, Attilius must travel to Pompeii, on the slopes of Vesuvius, where he suspects the fault to lie. But there he finds both natural and man-made dangers awaiting him.

I’ve read one other book by the author, Enigma set during World War II, and more specifically code breaking at Bletchley Park, which I enjoyed very much as it was an interesting combination of historical detail and suspense–there was a mystery and murder angle to it. Having enjoyed that one, I was looking forward to exploring other books by the author and when I spotted this one (online, second-hand), I picked it up. Life in ancient Rome is something that interests me quite a bit and I enjoy books in this setting (Rosemary Sutcliff’s books for instance, though those were in Roman England; in fact I also took a course on FutureLearn about Hadrian’s wall which explored life in Roman England). Going by my experience reading Enigma, I expect this too to combine historical events and an exciting tale, with perhaps some element of suspense.

Have you read this book or any others by Harris? Which ones and how did you find them? Any other books or series in Ancient Rome that you recommend? Looking forward to your thoughts!

All the info, as always in from wikipedia (here), and Goodreads (here).

Bookquotes: Quotes from Books (68)

Books HD

When I read a book, I put in all the imagination I can, so that it is almost like writing the book as well as reading it – or rather, it is like living it. It makes reading so much more exciting, but I don’t suppose many people try to do it.

Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle (1948)

Image source: Abhi Sharma from India [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D