Empress and Solider – Book Review

I don’t know about you, but I love a good historical fiction story. It gives me my historical fix and usually throws in a pretty entertaining story. Empress and Solider by Marian Thorpe are particularly delightful. Following a girl turned Empress and the son of a merchant turned spy, this intriguing story follows the lives of two different people from two different first-person perfectives. Seeing this ancient drama from an imperial and peasant mindset allows us to see points of view that one aspect of the wartime drama would not have allowed.

Marian Thrope gives us two points of view in Empress and Solider are those of Druisius and Eudekia. Each is a very different character who, through most of the story, has only briefly seen each other and thought of only a few times. This makes sense, however, as the lives of the two are exceptionally different. This ancient Roman-like world that Thrope has given us is a sprawling globe of other countries and people. How could two people from very different aspects of life meet anyway?

You may wonder, is this some out of their league romance story? Yes, and not but not in the way you would think. The main characters have their own lives, so avoid avoiding this book if you are worried about reading the same-old-same-old love story. If you are a fan of historical fiction in original settings, I strongly suggest you pick up this fantastic novel. I will be checking out Thrope’s other books soon!

Real Women of the Regency – Book Review

Real Women of the Regency by Leah Gail is an entertaining dive into history. Written in a casual tone this book is easy to read and follow. While not as in-depth as if we were presented with the work of each individual covered in the book, in fact, in some cases, there is so little known of the women mentioned that their book would be impossible, we are still given a fair amount of information on each one. We are given information on romances, fashion, authors, etc. Some of the information is widely known. Other bits I was excited to learn. As a reader from the US, I found some of the information on Regency UK and Europe to be particularly interesting. For instance, women who worked towards abolishing slavery in the UK are not something they cover in our schooling over here. (They barely cover it in our own case.)

Back to the book. As said above, Leah Gail’s writing is easy to follow, and she moves smoothly between each individual covering several women in each chapter. We are given dates of birth, where they are known, the most well-known details of each individual, and eventually, the date of their passing. Despite the many lives covered in this book, each woman seems to be given the perfect amount of time needed to tell their story. None of the tales feel rushed. So if you are looking for an entertaining and informative view of Regency-era women, you should certainly pick this one up.

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