Today for Armchair BEA we are to list our top reads of 2012 (so far) and/or offer a giveaway. I'm going to do both! Since the focus on this blog is primarily historical fiction I will be listing my top five historical fiction reads so far this year. The giveaway will be for one of my favorite HF books of all time (details below). Now...on with the list!
If you like, you may click the title to read my review of each book.
The King's Agent by Donna Russo Morin
The Crown by Nancy Bilyeau
At the Mercy of the Queen: A Novel of Anne Boleyn by Anne Clinard Barnhill
The Sister Queens by Sophie Perinot
The Sumerton Women by D.L. Bogdan
Now for the giveaway! One of my most favorite historical fiction books, arguably my number one favorite, is The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. I read it long before it became a selection for Oprah's Book Club, but once she selected it, it gained in popularity and received the recognition it deserved.
About the book:
This book tells the tale of a twelfth-century monk driven to do the seemingly impossible: build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has ever known.
Everything readers expect from Follett is here: intrigue, fast-paced action, and passionate romance. But what makes The Pillars of the Earth extraordinary is the time—the twelfth century; the place—feudal England; and the subject—the building of a glorious cathedral. Follett has re-created the crude, flamboyant England of the Middle Ages in every detail. The vast forests, the walled towns, the castles, and the monasteries become a familiar landscape. Against this richly imagined and intricately interwoven backdrop, filled with the ravages of war and the rhythms of daily life, the master storyteller draws the reader irresistibly into the intertwined lives of his characters—into their dreams, their labors, and their loves: Tom, the master builder; Aliena, the ravishingly beautiful noblewoman; Philip, the prior of Kingsbridge; Jack, the artist in stone; and Ellen, the woman of the forest who casts a terrifying curse. From humble stonemason to imperious monarch, each character is brought vividly to life.
The building of the cathedral, with the almost eerie artistry of the unschooled stonemasons, is the center of the drama. Around the site of the construction, Follett weaves a story of betrayal, revenge, and love, which begins with the public hanging of an innocent man and ends with the humiliation of a king.
At once a sensuous and endearing love story and an epic that shines with the fierce spirit of a passionate age, The Pillars of the Earth is without a doubt Ken Follett's masterpiece.
I will purchase a gently used copy of the book from Better World Books (their used books are great quality. I've ordered from them many times) and have it shipped to you. Since they ship free worldwide, this giveaway is international! Please do not enter if you are not okay with a gently used copy. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form and complete both entries. Giveaway will end on Friday, June 8 at 11:59pm EST. Good luck!a Rafflecopter giveaway