Anne Lyle embarks on an ambitious series in The Alchemist of Souls, combining alternative history, fantasy and historical fiction in Elizabethan England. In Lyle’s England, not only has Queen Elizabeth married her devoted friend Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, but they also have two sons, Robert and Arthur, creating a twist in history that changes the world of Elizabeth as we know it. The second surprising shift in history comes in the form of an intelligent, mysterious race called the skrayling, encountered in the New World by explorers and brought back to England as allies.
The two major historical twists notwithstanding, the world Lyle creates in The Alchemist of Souls is still filled with Elizabethan tradition. Acting and the theater play a large role in the story, and Lyle’s attention to the behind the scenes backstage world of the theater is one of the high points of the novel. Court intrigue and mystery abound, which should delight the reader throughout the book. (more…)
So I guess that’s not a hint, but I’ve been working on adding some Must Have Books to our Must Have List for my readers, so check them out! I know not everyone would think of having a graphic novel by Alan Moore next to a collection of the works of Jane Austen in their library, but I think one of the most exciting things about creating your own library is keeping it well-rounded and diverse.
I also believe that reading from a wide range of genres, authors and time periods truly helps a reader enjoy all books more. The more you have to compare a book to, or relate a story to, the richer the experience becomes.
In other Excellent Library news; I’m hoping to launch a Must Have Kids Books page very soon, so be ready for that, and as always, feel free to leave me suggestions for books to review or add to our Must Have lists.
Check out the updated list here and leave some suggestions from your excellent library in the comments section! Enjoy!
The Last Policeman by Ben Winters
I don’t often seek out mystery, thriller or detective novels, but The Last Policeman caught my eye when I saw it described as “pre-apocalyptic police procedural.” The book is the first in a planned trilogy which won an Edgar award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Paperback Original for 2013. If authors like a writer, they are worth checking out. I was not disappointed, and enjoyed reading outside of my traditional comfort zone of genres.
What would you do if you knew the world as we know it would end in six months? Would you keep working? Travel the world? Or just choose to opt out of life now rather than face an uncertain future of pain and suffering? That’s the world the reader enters in The Last Policeman. (more…)by Kate