A Trail Through Time (The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #4), Jodi Taylor

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We were going to die. But we’re St Mary’s and we weren’t dead yet

Max and Leon are re-united and looking forward to a peaceful lifetime together. But, sadly, they don’t even make it to lunchtime. The action races from 17th century London to Ancient Egypt and from Pompeii to 14th century Southwark as they’re pursued up and down the timeline, playing a perilous game of hide and seek until they’re finally forced to take refuge at St Mary’s – where new dangers await them.

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3 / 5

Reading A Trail Through Time was an experience in conflicting emotions. On the one hand, I wasn’t sure how to feel about the “big twist” that this book is based on, and wasn’t entirely sold on it by the end. On the other, Max and Leon seemed a whole lot more mature, which was a relief, and Tim had a fair chunk of page-time, which was great.

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A Second Chance (The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #3), Jodi Taylor

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The silence was deafening. The weight of the heat was unbearable. The world held its breath. The gods were poised.

The action jumps from an encounter with a mirror-stealing Isaac Newton to the bloody battlefield at Agincourt. The long awaited jump to Bronze Age Troy ends in personal catastrophe for Max and just when it seems things couldn’t get any worse – it’s back to the Cretaceous Period again to confront an old enemy who has nothing to lose.

* * *
3 / 5

A Second Chance was a solid four star read right up until the end when I put the book down and wanted to tear my hair out. Ugh. Definitely threw me for a loop. I’m currently approaching the next book in the series with extreme caution.

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A Symphony of Echoes (The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #2), Jodi Taylor

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History is a symphony of echoes. every little action has huge consequences.

In the second book in the Chronicles of St Mary’s series, Max and the team visit Victorian London in search of Jack the Ripper, witness the murder of Archbishop Thomas a Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, and discover that dodos make a grockling noise when eating cucumber sandwiches.

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3 / 5

It is rare that a sequel is quite as good as the original, particularly when the whole series of books rests on the premise “historians go back in time”, because obviously each book is going to involve going back in time to various events. A Symphony of Echoes was a solid book, but it didn’t capture the magic of the original.

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Just One Damned Thing After Another (The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #1), Jodi Taylor

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“History is important. Far more important than most people believe. And it is under attack.”

Behind the seemingly innocuous façade of St Mary’s, a different kind of historical research is taking place. They don’t do ‘time-travel’ – they ‘investigate major historical events in contemporary time’. Follow the catastrophe curve from 11th-century London to World War I, and from the Cretaceous Period to the destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria. For wherever Historians go, chaos is sure to follow in their wake…

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5 / 5

Hilarious, witty, banterous, serious, disturbing, and light-hearted. Just One Damned Thing After Another made me feel just one damned emotion after another: I felt intrigued and amused and in awe and afraid and disgusted and impressed. I ran the whole gamut of emotions and closed the book feeling both extremely satisfied and yet wanting more.

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The Binding, Bridget Collins

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Which was worse? To feel nothing, or to grieve for something you no longer remembered?

Young Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a strange letter arrives summoning him away from his family. He is to begin an apprenticeship as a Bookbinder. Bookbinding is a sacred calling, Seredith informs her new apprentice, and he is a binder born.

 If there’s something you want to forget, a binder can help. If there’s something you need to erase, they can assist. Within the pages of the books they create, secrets are concealed and the past is locked away. Just as Emmett begins to settle into his new circumstances, he makes an astonishing discovery: one of the books has his name on it.

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4 / 5

Sometimes a novel really, truly sucks you in. Enthrals you. The Binding is one such novel; it drew me in and left me spellbound, swept away in this unique world that Collins has wrought.

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The True Queen (Sorcerer Royal #2), Zen Cho

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I believe I should have liked that – to have been married to magic

When sisters Muna and Sakti wake up on the peaceful beach of the island of Janda Baik, they can’t remember anything, except that they are bound as only sisters can be. They have been cursed by an unknown enchanter, and slowly Sakti starts to fade awayIf Muna is to save her sister, she must learn to navigate high society, and trick the English magicians into believing she is a magical prodigy.

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4 / 5

I didn’t realise that The True Queen was a sequel Sorcerer to the Crown but it was the best kind of sequel – loosely connected to the first book, but exploring something new with new characters. In this case, we move to Janda Baik in Malaysia and two sisters, Muna and Sakti, who woke up on a beach with no memories of their past. ~ A mystery ~

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Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1), Robin LaFevers

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Yes, I think. Yes. This is what I want to be. An instrument of mercy, not vengeance

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. 

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4 / 5

Grave Mercy had murder, mystery, politics, and an interesting historical setting. Against the background of the tumultuous situation of the independent duchy of Brittany, seventeen year-old girl Ismae is saved from an arranged marriage and taken to the convent of the old death god, St. Mortain, to train to become an assassin.

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Romanov, Nadine Brandes

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Yes. With all of my broken Romanov heart

Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them . . . and he’s hunted Romanov before.

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2 / 5

I’m not particularly familiar with Russian history, but I am a sucker for magical realism and I enjoyed Brandes’ other book, Fawkes, so I decided to give Romanov a shot. The spells and magic aspect of the book is awesome, but the story itself was so incredibly slow. Perhaps this was my fault, not knowing that Anastasia Romanov spent most of her life under lock and key in a house, but I do feel like the book needed a much faster pace.

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Enchantée, Gita Trelease

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All the world comes to Versailles hoping to be someone else

When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire—Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But now Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

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4 / 5

I didn’t know how much I wanted a magical realism book set against the background of the French Revolution until I read one. Enchantée is full of glitz and glamour and the seduction of wealth and power, but it’s also about poverty and fear and the struggle to survive. There’s a touch of romance, high stakes tension, and a large splash of magic.

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Bright We Burn (The Conqueror’s Saga #3), Kiersten White

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Lada loved Wallachia above all else

Haunted by the sacrifices he made in Constantinople, Radu is called back to the new capital. Mehmed is building an empire, becoming the sultan his people need. Lada’s rule of absolute justice has created a Wallachia free of crime. But Lada won’t rest until everyone knows that her country’s borders are inviolable. 

This book is the third in a series. Read my review of Now I Rise.

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3 / 5

Bright We Burn is the beautiful and tragic end to the Conqueror’s Saga trilogy, and the conclusion of Lada, Radu, and Mehmed’s tale. I don’t think it was quite as good as the first two, but it was still amazing! This trilogy is an absolute journey, one that I thoroughly recommend that any reader undertake.

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