It's always an interesting exercise looking back on the books that you have read during a year. Today, I begin a series of posts where each of us here at Historical Tapestry picks out our favourite reads of 2009. I wonder if your favourites will appear on any of our lists?
Quite often I will look at books on my list and see a book that I marked as a particular grade but as I look back on it would probably grade differently now, some times better and some times worse. Then there are the stand out books. The books that you absolutely loved and would not change the grade of even if you read the books months ago.
You can read my review (including a synopsis) here.
If we travel back even further in time from the early 1700s, we will eventually find ourselves at the time of my other favourite book of 2009 - The Swan Maiden by Jules Watson. This isn't the first Jules Watson book that I have read, having enjoyed the three books of her Dalriaida trilogy over the last few years, but this is definitely the most confident and assured in terms of writing style yet.
This book is a retelling of a Celtic myth about Diedre, an unusual young woman who catches the eye of the King, Conor. She doesn't want to be forced into marrying him, so she escapes and in doing so comes across three young warriors who have been banished from the tribe. She falls in love with one of them, Naisi, but it is only a matter of time before Conor finds them, and when all of them have to face the consequences of their actions.
Beautifully written, and a lovely story, this is another highly recommended read. You can read our interview with Jules Watson as well as my reviews of her other books by clicking on this link.
There are lots of other Historical Fiction books that I really really enjoyed as well this year, and here are just some of those reads:
The Last Queen by CW Gortner (you can read both my own and Teddy's thoughts here)
The Water Horse by Julia Gregson
The Founding, The Dark Rose and The Princeling by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles - all part of the Morland Dynasty series of books.
Night of Flames by Douglas W Jacobson - read my review and a Why I Love guest post from this author
Cross Stitch by Diana Gabaldon (reread)
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
The Wedding Officer by Anthony Capella
Royal Harlot by Susan Holloway Scott - read Susan Holloway Scott's Why I Love guest post.
The Kingmaking and Pendragon's Banner by Helen Hollick - read Helen Hollick's Why I Love guest post
Bones of the Hills by Conn Iggulden
The Conquest by Elizabeth Chadwick