Tag Archives: historical fiction

[Alternatives] – Movie Trailers – The Light Between Oceans

Alternatives is the tagline feature for other forms of entertainment outside of literature. These posts may encompass television, movies, games, and music — or just anything really.


Movies Trailers –
The Light Between Oceans (2016)

Genre: War, Historical Fiction, Cultural (Australia)
Duration: 100 Minutes
Directed/Screenplay By: Derek Cianfrance
(of Blue Valentine, The Place Beyond The Pines fame)

Starring: Alicia Vikander (Isabel), Michael Fassbender (Tom), Rachel Weisz (Hannah)
Release Date: September 2, 2016

An Australian World War I veteran (Michael Fassbender) and his wife (Alicia Vikander) move to a lighthouse, where they raise a child they find on a lifeboat.

Continue reading [Alternatives] – Movie Trailers – The Light Between Oceans

[Review] The Crowns Game — Evelyn Skye

Book Title:  The Crown's Game (The Crown's Game #01)
Author:      Evelyn Skye
Number of pages:  399


the-crowns-game-evelyn-skye-book-coverVika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

(re: Goodreads @ The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye)

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr review:

– The concept of the duel is interesting but there are holes in the magic system that could have been better explained
– The writing pairs a vividly imagined Russia with exciting action sequences
– Most of the characters in this multi-POV narration feel like do-gooders and are rarely “grey”
– Romance takes a lot of precedence over plot and features love squares via instalus; including a lot of wandering gazes and lingering thoughts


Initial Thoughts


Full disclosure: I received an ARC of The Crowns Game from Chapters Indigo.

Continue reading [Review] The Crowns Game — Evelyn Skye

[Review] The Blackthorn Key — Kevin Sands

Book Title                  The Blackthorn Key
Author:                        Kevin Sands
Number of pages:  384


blackthorn key - kevin sands - book cover“Tell no one what I’ve given you.”

Until he got that cryptic warning, Christopher Rowe was happy, learning how to solve complex codes and puzzles and creating powerful medicines, potions, and weapons as an apprentice to Master Benedict Blackthorn—with maybe an explosion or two along the way.

But when a mysterious cult begins to prey on London’s apothecaries, the trail of murders grows closer and closer to Blackthorn’s shop. With time running out, Christopher must use every skill he’s learned to discover the key to a terrible secret with the power to tear the world apart.

(re: Goodreads @ The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands)

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr review:

– Frenetically paced mystery with solvable puzzles providing an interactive reading experience
– Hist-fic world building is rustic, has medieval flair, and the tone is vividly portrayed given it’s time; mild “fade to black/off-screen” gore
– Characters and relationships (i.e. bromance) feel organic. However, there isn’t a strong female presence
– There is a pigeon named Bridget. You will have animal/pet feels
– Story is self-contained (though part of a series) and is courageously resilient, full of hilarious tomfoolery, and painfully tragic


Initial Thoughts

It seems like stories with animal sidekicks will, without fail, garner 4+ stars from me. NO COMPLAINTS HEREEEEEE.

Full disclosure: I received an advanced reader copy of The Blackthorn Key from the Book Blog Ontario Meet-Up. I extend thanks to Simon and Schuster for providing me with the opportunity to review this book.

Continue reading [Review] The Blackthorn Key — Kevin Sands