Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Finds!

What great books did you hear about/discover this past week? Share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!

Hosted by MizB at shouldbereading

It'a been a while since I've done a FF post - Fridays of late have been "a too busy to blog' sort of day but this week life is a little quieter and the prospect of a peaceful weekend is looking promising. Here are three historical fiction books that came to my attention this week.

From Amy at Passages to the Past

The Gallows Curse by Karen Maitland

I've recently read The Owl Killers (read my review) by this author and loved it so will be looking forward to the March, 2011 release of her new one.

1210 and a black force is sweeping England. For a vengeful King John has seized control of the Church, leaving corpses to lie in unconsecrated ground, babies unbaptized in their cradles and the people terrified of dying in sin. And in the village of Gastmere, the consequences grow darker still when Elena, a servant girl, is dragged into a conspiracy to absolve the sins of the lord of the manor. As the terrors that soon begin to plague Elena's sleep grow darker, in desperation she visits the cunning woman, who has been waiting for just such an opportunity to fulfill an ancient curse conjured at the gallows. Elena, haunted by this curse and threatened with death for a crime she didn't commit, flees the village ... only to find her nightmare has barely begun. For treachery lurks in every shadow as King John’s brutal reign makes enemies of brothers, murderers of virgins and sinners of us all.

From Daphne at Tanzanite's Shelf

The Countess by Rebecca Johns

I came across Countess Erzsebet Bathory as I googled Dracula links so will definitely be interested in reading this account of her life.

In 1611, Countess Erzsébet Báthory, a powerful Hungarian noblewoman, stood helpless as masons walled her inside her castle tower, dooming her to spend her final years in solitary confinement. Her crime—the gruesome murders of dozens of female servants, mostly young girls tortured to death for displeasing their ruthless mistress. Her opponents painted her as a bloodthirsty" škrata"—a witch—a portrayal that would expand to grotesque proportions through the centuries.

And lastly from my library's new books list:

The Wedding Shroud by Elisabeth Storrs

In 406 BC, to seal a tenuous truce, the young Roman Caecilia is wedded to Vel Mastarna, an Etruscan nobleman from the city of Veii. The fledgling Republic lies only twelve miles across the Tiber from its neighbour, but the cities are from opposing worlds - so different are their customs and beliefs. Leaving behind a righteous society, Caecilia is determined to remain true to Roman virtues while living among the sinful Etruscans. Instead she finds herself tempted by a mystical, hedonistic culture which offers pleasure and independence to women as well as a chance to persuade the Gods to delay her destiny. Yet Mastarna and his people also hold dark secrets and, as war looms, Caecilia discovers that Fate is not so easy to control and that she must finally choose where her allegiance lies.


  1. The Countess sounds interesting. I am hoping to read Dracula for the first time for Halloween.

  2. The Countess sounds seriously disturbing. :-) Great picks!

  3. The Gallows Curse looks intriguing! I have to look it up!