Book Review: House of Rocamora by Donald Michael Platt

About: House of Rocamora by Donald Michael Platt is a historical fiction book taking place in Amsterdam. This is a sequel to the well received Rocamaora: Man of Masks which I wrote about last month. 346 pages Publisher: Raven’s Wing Books (November 19, 2012) Language: English ISBN-10: 1618070916 My rat­ing for House of Rocamora — 5 Buy this book in paper or elec­tronic format* More Books by Don­ald Michael Platt Thoughts: House of Rocamora by Donald Michael Platt (web­site) might not be as exciting as its predecessor (meaning there is no castle intrigue or daring escapes from under the Inquisition’s nose) however the account of the daily life of Isaac (previously Vicente de Rocamora) is just as an engrossing read. The book creates a vivid picture of the Jewish community in Amsterdam. It was very interesting to read how the Jews lived and interacted with each other and the Dutch people at the time. The protagonist has become Jewish but not an observant Jew and the community somewhat resents him for that, add that to the fact that he was a priest and even considered for the post of head of the Spanish Inquisition and you can understand their mistrust. This is an excellent companion to Rocamora: Man of Masks, however…

Book Reivew: Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
3 Stars , Fiction , Historical Fiction , Latest Posts / January 15, 2013

About: Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier is a historical fiction novel taking place in 17th Century Holland. The book has fascinating descriptions of the times, how people lived and behaved. 256 pages Publisher: Plume; Deluxe edition (August 30, 2005) Language: English ISBN-10: 0452287022   My rating for Girl with a Pearl Earring – 3 Buy this book in paper or in elec­tronic format*  More Books by Tracy Chevalier  Thoughts: Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier (website | Facebook | @Tracy_Chevalier)was neither here nor there. The story seems like an episode of the old British drama “Upstairs Downstairs” set in Holland with a coming of age story neatly tucked in it as well. The plot is somewhat interesting with one well developed character (Griet) and none others I cared about. The book is written very well but nothing happens and for awhile I was actually bored. Some of the characters are well developed but I was hoping for Johannes Vermeer’s character to  be more in depth. To my disappoint Vermeer played a minor (yet important) part in the book. However, the descriptions of 17th Century Holland, the class system and mercantile society were excellent, which by itself was worth finishing the book. The descriptions of how the paintings were…

Book Review: The Secret Servant by Daniel Silva
5 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / August 22, 2012

Article first published as Book Review: The Secret Servant by Daniel Silva on Blogcritics. About: The Secret Servant by Daniel Silva brings back Israeli spy Gabriel Allon in this seventh installment. This time we find Allon as a weary, tired agent ready to hang up his holster and, unwillingly, accept his fate in management. 385 pages Publisher: Putnam Adult Language: English ISBN-10: 0399154221 My rating for The Secret Servant – 5 Buy this book in paper or elec­tronic format More Books by Daniel Silva Thoughts: I found The Secret Servant by Daniel Silva (web­site) to be a more current, at least in atmosphere, of the Gabriel Allon series. As usual with the rest of the series, the book is difficult to put down, a fast paced adventure and thriller which brings back familiar characters. The characters age with the books, which I like. None are superheroes, but people with issues and problems who only justify their acts to themselves by holding a high moral ground. However, this high moral ground must be broken from time to time which leaves them feeling confused and filled with regrets. The book is filled with many characters, bumbling politicians, Islamic extremists, non-extremists Islamic people and other hot button issues from current day world. However,…

Book Review: Pegasus Falling by William E. Thomas

Captain Stanley Adam Malcom Parker, known as Sammy (S.A.M. Malcom), is a British captain in the Parachute Regiment during World War II. During operation Market he was captured but after attacking an SS officer, was sent to spend the rest of the war in a concentration camp. The same impulsiveness which has gotten him to the camp also helped him to survive.

Book Review: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
4 Stars , Non-Fiction / August 9, 2010

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is an epic which is meant to be read slowly and deliberately, the tale is smart and the story is fun.  Even though the book incorporates shoguns and samurais, most of the account is carried by clerks and translators.  The epic rescue attempt in a sanctuary surrounded by snow capped mountains is no less exciting than the description of diplomatic rituals and the “arse-licking pilgrimage” one must make before meeting the shogun.

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