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Kagama -The Literaturevixen

I love reading everything from fantasy to historical romances. On a constant quest for more books to read.





A mere formality by Ilona Andrews

A Mere Formality - Ilona Andrews

Read "A mere formality" here


Deirdre is part of the diplomatic corps.She is smart but confined to backstage during the banquet given to try and win the warlike Reigh lord over to their side.

Things go very wrong when he dies after eating red fishcaviar.His son the next Lord Nagrad demands a huge sum for the affront of killing his father. Oh and he also wants a bride.

...and that is Deirdre.

What follows are bargaining sessions and Deirdre finding out some very unexpected things about the new Reigh Lord.

This is definetely not a story to be taken seriously. For one thing there is a Duke of Rodkill but despite it being written as a joke I really got into the story and enjoyed the flippant mood (and dirty jokes)

Just wish it could have been a full lenght book.



Now its stuck in my brain!


The Devil of Aske by Pamela Hill

The Devil of Aske - Pamela Hill

Simon Carden has one dream, one obsession: to be mater of the House of Aske. To gain this end, he is willing to defy all the rules of this world and the next - even the legendary curse of the Askes. But one thing he cannot defy: the will of the only woman who truly loves him.





Leah Considine is our narrator remembering back to when she was a Young girl sometime in the mid 18th century.Her father was the local curate and Always on the outsides of her World was the Aske family.

Her life becomes involved with theirs when her mother suddenly dies leaving her father a grieving widower. When Lady Kintyre the daughter of the Aske matriarch offers to console him one thing leads to Another and they form an attachment and marry. Their happiness is cut short however when both are killed in an horrific carriage accident on their honeymoon.

Now Leah is truly an orphan but she is taken in by Old Madam Aske her stepgrandmother to be raised at the mansion alongside the the two Aske Children,the heir is Peter(a sadistic creep) and Ann (a Beautiful dimwit)

Peter grows up to become a spendthrift degenerate and gambles away the ancestral home leaving the Aske womenfolk on the mercies of Simon Carden who is the bastard son of the eldest son of Old Madam but who was killed fighting for the Jacobites. Simon harbors resentment being not only denied his birthright but also blaming the Askes for the Death of his mother.

And now when he has become a rich man he wants it all from the house to marrying Ann Aske and taking her name.

I am not sure I have ever been so equally bored AND appalled by a book.

Now dont get me wrong when I pick up a gothic I dont excpect it to be all sunshine and happiness.I do expect many things like old forbidding houses,strange families and Deaths. (not to mention the heroine running scared in a nightgown.)

But the "Devil of Aske" first of all suffers from lifeless writing and the first person omniscient narration of an old Leah reciting her life makes for a plodding dry read and people are rarely shown as interacting and only occassionally being allowed to have dialogues but somehow still inexplicably manages to connect with each other

If you are not turned off by the writing style then you might want to avoid this because of the animal torturing and how Leah

(view spoiler)[starts getting molested and is later raped by the adolescent Peter and he shoves a stone up her lady parts.
(hide spoiler)]

(show spoiler)
Mermaid's Song - Alida Van Gores

O_o This will have to be a DNF for me.

No matter how interesting I found the world.I will have to draw the line at the mermaid merra female protagonist having sex with a dolphin. In explicit detail.


I kept hoping the autho wouldnt go there.

1. Are you named after anyone?


I am named after my paternal great-grandmother.

2. When was the last time you cried?


The other day watching the Music video "Song for the Lonely" by Cher 

3. Do you have kids? 


No. I have a cat though if that counts? No? Ok then.

4. If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself?

 I might find it hard to get Close and get myself to open up but once I managed to do that I think,yes.

5. Do you use sarcasm a lot?

 Its a family tradition. I got it from my mother.

6. Will you ever bungee-jump?


7. What’s your favourite cereal?


Plain cornflakes.


8. What’s the first thing you notice about people?

This might sound shallow...but their clothes.I just like clothes.

The second thing I notice is if they give off a friendly atmosphere.

9. What is your eye colour?


10. Scary movie or happy endings?
Preferably a scary movie with a happy(ish) ending.

11. Favourite smells?

Chocolate,vanilla and lilacs.

12. Summer or winter? 

 I love summer but sometimes when its summer I long for winter-and vice versa!

13. Computer or television?



14. What’s the furthest you’ve ever been from home?



15. Do you have any special talents?

 The ability that during conversations I can bring up the obscurest trivia.I have also been told that I read fast.

16. Where were you born?


In a small Swedish Town surrounded by Forest.

17. What are your hobbies?


Reading,drawing listening to music.


18. Do you have any pets?


Well there is the cat I mentioned previously.

19. Favorite movie?

Too many to count

20. Do you have any siblings?

A younger sister. We are pseudo twins.

21. What do you want to be when you grow up?

 A happy person. I am working on it.

<blockquoteclass="twitter-tweet" lang="sv">

I wonder if the authors and theirfans wrote angryletters to these reviewers. https://t.co/idu5mJetgt

— Kagama(@litrvixen) 5 juni 2015

Accomplished In Murder: 1 (The Accomplished Mysteries) - Dara England

Drucillas has not met her friend whatshername since Before whatshernames wedding when a letter arrives asking her to come.Sensing there is something more than her companionship she requires Drucilla takes her aunt and heads to the countryside.


On arrival she learn that has fallen to her death just hours Before.

Can she solve who did it?


My recap of this is a unengaging as the short story itself.


The mystery in this was very weak. I am not sure how much "skill in detection" was needed for this one,as I swear I knew who the murderer was the moment he appeared in the story.


How am I supposed to find a reason to care for the death of whatshername when her friend takes it so placidly.The murder of a close friend should mean more. Even if she only is fiction.


Then there is the mysterious way "Drucilla" for one instant becomes "Pricilla" Editing here please.





Lady Staveley looked at him, exasperated. ‘What are you talking about? I wish you will not speak in riddles! Did you or did you not ask her to go and look at naked skeletons with you?’


‘Egyptian mummies, Mama … Egyptian mummies.’ ‘Well! Is that not virtually the same thing?’ ‘Not at all: they are all quite decently done up in bandages. Besides, she didn’t have to if she didn’t want. It was merely a suggestion.’


‘Yes, and a remarkably silly one! If that is your idea of being humorous—’ ‘I was not attempting to be humorous.’


‘You mean you are seriously trying to tell me that you would expect a young girl who has led a sheltered country existence to be enchanted by the prospect of going to view bandaged corpses with a man she is not yet even engaged to?’


‘Yes,’ he said, bluntly. ‘Why should she not?’


McCulloch, Sarah Merely a Gentleman


Not talking about the heroine here but its a crucial moment when he realizes he misses her, Just funny to me lol

Damn Renaissance Hipsters

On the Importance of Being an Individual in Renaissance Italy Men, Their Professions, and Their Beards



  On the Importance of Being an Individual in Renaissance Italy
Men, Their Professions, and Their Beards

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Uprooted - Naomi Novic

I recieved this ARC from Netgalley and this is my honest Review of this book.



In the kingdom of Polnya the dark and twisted Wood is steadily creeping trying to corrupt more of the land all that keeps it from expanding is the Dragon in his tower.


He is not an actual dragon but a wizard who will take a girl every 10th year away to his tower -to do what no one knows. All the villagers know is that when the young women returns,they are changed and can no longer stay in the village.


Everyone in Dvernik knows he will chose Agniszeiskas friend Kasia. She is the most beautiful and gifted in so many ways. Not like akward Agniszieska who is always tearing her clothes or getting her hair tangled.


So it comes as a shock when at the ceremony Kasia is not chosen-but Agniszieska is.

The Dragon is very brusque with her once she arrives at his tower but as time passes she starts to gain an understanding of him and learns that his purpose for bringing her and the other girls to his tower.


In fact it might change her whole life.For better or worse.

I have to admit that I have never read Naomi Noviks Temeraire series before. So this is my first experience reading this authors work

If I would have to describe this book it would be as Pygmalion ( My Fair Lady but I just love Pygmalion more. It has Leslie Howard.enough said) in medievalish times with magic.


The setting is the kingdom Polnya wich I at first thought as merely a made up land but the mentions of zupan and letnik made me realize that it was reminscient to Poland so I started to think of it as an alternate universe of Poland where magic exists.

There are some niggling things I have to mention that I felt could have been improved on.

Certain characters like Agnszieszkas family well I just wish we had seen more of them more show and less telling would have been preferable.

There were moments when Agniszieska would wonder something to herself,that is in her mind and in the next the Dragon would answer her. I felt it distubed the flow of the scene,like there was a gap or I had missed something.


The Dragon sees magic as something precise like a perfect mechanism or clockwork while Niszheska sees it as a living and changing thing.


The Dragon is a grumpy and oftentimes rude man but at least he is honest. Though truth be told sometimes I wanted Niszekha to slap him.



As for our heroine...Niszeska is very relatable. She might have trouble keeping tidy and but she means well and while she advances quickly in her magic powers she never turns into that dreaded thing:the Mary Sue.


She reminded me of Rhea from "The Seventh Bride" by T.Kingfisher.

When it comes to romances in books there is a plot I dislike immensely and that is the teacher-student as its usually an unequal one so I appreciated that Agniazieska was not very subservient to the Dragon Oh she might have been intimitated by him but she has a will of her own and if anyone instigates things its her.


But I have to say if I had gone in to this expecting a huge sweeping romance I would have been disappointed.There are no "I love you-s" altough there is a sex scene.


Altough that scene at the ending was very moving in its subtle way.

The blurb of the book mentions that its like a Grimm fairytale and I agree that its Grimm..but its also very Grim. The woods is such a creepy place It infects people with its dark magic in horrific ways.




And a fair warning its a bloody book. I am talking Game of Thrones the tvseries bloody.

When they went into the woods I was on the edge of my seat.Thats a good thing for a book.

There are two covers for this book and while the old cover is good and the golden rose on that cover is not a pretty cover thingy but something from the book I will have to say the new one is amazing in its colorful simplicity.The tower looming over the village and casting a shadow on the one house really captures the feeling of the book.

So in the end. This is a good book and if you are in the mood for a dark fairytale with a good dose of female empowerment this is the one for you.


Tessa Elwood-Inherit the stars

Inherit the Stars - Tessa Elwood


I recieved this ARC from Netgalley and this is my honest Review



Three royal houses ruling three interplanetary systems are on the brink of collapse, and they must either ally together or tear each other apart in order for their people to survive.

Asa is the youngest daughter of the house of Fane, which has been fighting a devastating food and energy crisis for far too long. She thinks she can save her family’s livelihood by posing as her oldest sister in an arranged marriage with Eagle, the heir to the throne of the house of Westlet. The appearance of her mother, a traitor who defected to the house of Galton, adds fuel to the fire, while Asa also tries to save her sister Wren's life . . . possibly from the hands of their own father.

But as Asa and Eagle forge a genuine bond, will secrets from the past and the urgent needs of their people in the present keep them divided?

Author Tessa Elwood's debut series is an epic romance at heart, set against a mine field of political machinations, space adventure, and deep-seeded family loyalties.


Asa the youngest daughter of the Lord Fane through a series of events decides to take her middle sisters place as the bride to Heir of the neighbouring planet Wester.


When I saw that this book had space opera AND an arranged marriage I immediately requested it from Netgalley.


But as soon as I started reading I  was thrown into an action sequence and got very confused and even when I reached the end of the book I am not sure I understood half the world or the characters. or The blight,or the amazing new technology.


I felt I couldnt get a grip on the characters.What had made them what they were

I was honestly surprised when Eagle and Asa bonded near the end since what interactions they did have had so far were so vaguely described. In fact a lot of the book is vague and things like this


Breakfast is a reticence of ghosts.The cloudy gray window light dulls everyones smiles and clothes.Even the plates and knives are quiet.


I know I know.Its poetic and wordy.But to me it just became a bit ridicilous since eating utensils are usually not prone to talk.


I thought Asas personality was a bit hysterical and given too much to instropective description of her surroundings and leaping to conclusions. Why is she so attached to Wren her sister for example? Still not sure.


This book was a disappointment to me but at times I did glimpse some potential from this author if she would just shed the needlessly complicated phrases and add some substance to her world and characters.

What makes a hero – Joseph Campbell's model of the 11 stages of the hero's journey, animated http://buff.ly/1AyRmbI 

<blockquoteclass="twitter-tweet" lang="sv">

@litrvixen @emptyjamjar Beryl couldn't resisttearingthe pages outand fashioningthemintoridiculoushats.

— MsAvianFace-Tool(@Beakmoo) 4 maj 2015

Captain Black by Caroline Martin

Captain Black. - Caroline Martin

  Duty had surrounded Deborah Halsey since infancy. It had been the motivating force of her Puritan upbringing, the principle that had guided her rigidly strict parents in molding their child.

Now Deborah had grown into a dutiful but lonely young woman - with an arranged marriage and a whole host of new duties ahead of her.

Suddenly, on an impulse stronger than any she had ever known, stronger even than her sense of duty, Deborah rebelled


In 17th Century Englad some years after the death of Cromwell Deborah is a young orphaned woman who lives with her dour puritan aunt and uncle.They have already betrothed her to a distant relative Edward Biddulph as to keep her fortune in the family.

One evening after traveling home by coach from a visit to her fiancee she and her maid Nan are set upon by the highwayman who calls himself Captain Black.Deborah is taken captive and held for ransom


This review is short for a reason.

I cant say the romance as its called held my attention or even made Believe it was anything else than an onesided infatuation from Deborahs side.That is best case scenario as some might even call it Stockholm syndrome

Actually for the most part they are not even in contact wich makes their reunion and proclaiming their love seem utter ridicilous.


This book was reissued on Kindle


Craftsman Restores Old books to look Brand New

Reblogged from Rane Aria :

 This is just gorgeous work and while time-consuming the finish result is amazing.  

A Disney-Themed Photo Shoot in the World’s Largest Monastery Library

Source: http://www.paulobico.com/content/disney-themed-photo-shoot-world%E2%80%99s-largest-monastery-library