W…W…W… Wednesdays

Image for weekly meme W... W... W...This is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB, over at €˜Should Be Reading’. I’ve been reading it for a while and have not contributed before. It is quite simply to answer the following three questions€¦

€¢ What are you currently reading?
€¢ What did you recently finish reading?
€¢ What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m currently reading two books:

Daughters of Fire by Barbara Erskine. This is a long book, taking me longer to read than I like. I’ve read 66% (statistic from Goodreads). I am enjoying it, although wishing the pace would pick up. Maybe it will from now on.

Two thousand years ago, as the Romans invade Britannia, the princess who will become the powerful queen of the great tribe of the Brigantes, watches the enemies of her people come ever closer. Cartimandua’s world is, from the start, a maelstrom of love and conflict; revenge and retribution.

In the present day, Edinburgh-based historian, Viv Lloyd Rees, has immersed herself in the legends surrounding the Celtic queen. She has written a book and is working on a dramatisation of the young queen’s life with the help of actress, Pat Hebden.

Cartimandua’s life takes one unexpected turn after another as tragedy changes the course of her future. But the young queen has formidable enemies €“ among them Venutios, her childhood sparring partner, and Medb, a woman whose jealousy threatens not only her happiness but her life.

Viv’s Head of Department, Hugh Graham, hounds her as she struggles to hide her visions of Cartimandua and her conviction that they are real. Her obsession grows ever more persistent and threatening as she takes possession of an ancient brooch that carries a curse. Both Pat and Hugh are drawn into this dual existence of bitter rivalry and overwhelming love as past envelopes present and the trio find themselves facing the greatest danger of their lives.

The other book I’m reading is Balthazar Jones and the Tower of London Zoo by Julia Stuart. This is very different from Daughters of Fire and I like the contrast of this quirky book. I’ve only read 29%, so I’ve yet to decide whether I really like it.

Meet Balthazar Jones, Beefeater at the Tower of London. Married to Hebe, he lives and works in the Tower, as he struggles to cope with the tragic death of his son Milo, three years ago.

The Tower of London is its own magical world; a maze of ancient buildings, it is home to a weird and wonderful cast of characters – the Jones’s of course, as well as Reverend Septimus Drew, the Ravenmaster, and Ruby Dore, landlady of the Tower’s very own tavern, the Rack & Ruin. And, after an announcement from Buckingham Palace that the Queen’s exotic animals are to be moved from London Zoo to the Tower’s grounds, things are about to become a whole lot more interesting€¦

Komodo dragons, marmosets, and even zorillas (‘a highly revered yet uniquely odorous skunk-like animal from Africa’) fill the Tower’s menagerie €“ and it is Balthazar Jones’s job to take care of them. Things run far from smoothly, though €“ missing penguins and stolen giraffes are just two of his worries!

I’ve recently finished reading:

After Flodden by Rosemary Goring, historical fiction due out in June. I loved it.

This is a fantastic book and I’ll be writing more about it, but for now I’ll say that it’s a dramatic story of what happened to several of the characters involved in the Battle of Flodden that had taken place on 9 September 1513 between the forces of James IV of Scotland and Henry VIII of England. Well written, well researched this is a compelling and powerful book, bringing the characters and the Edinburgh and Borders of 1513 vividly to life.

What am I going to read next?

I’m not sure, as I have several new books crying out to be read as well as books that have been sitting unread on my bookshelves. It could very well be The Frozen Shroud, Martin Edward’s new Lake District mystery, but then again it could be something else.


12 thoughts on “W…W…W… Wednesdays

  1. I do like Barbara Erskine’s books, those I’ve read (about 4) anyway. I have her book set in Egypt near the top of my tbr pile, I think it’s called Whispers in the Sand. Looks rather good. So far I think the witch-finder one has been my favourite.

    I must catch up with the Lake District series.

    Oh and I reserved On Trying to Keep Still by Jenny Diski from the library. Looking forward to reading it when it comes in.


  2. Hi Margaret,

    What a great selection of books on offer this week, although I have to say that my eye is very firmly on ‘The Frozen Shroud’, as mystery / crime / thrillers, will always remain my favourite genre and the one that I keep coming back to. I can’t believe that I haven’t come across Martin Edwards books before and after checking him out on FantasticFiction, it looks as though I have some serious catching up to do!

    The only Barbara Erskine book I have read, was ‘Lady Of Hay’ and even though I enjoyed it, I am nor overly keen on very lengthy, wordy books and this was just a little too much for me.

    Enjoy all your books,



    1. Yvonne, you some treats in store with Martin Edwards’s books!

      I think you’ve put your finger on my impatience with Daughters of Fire – it is too wordy and getting a bit repetitive, but I like the idea behind it.


  3. Margaret – Thank you – nice summing up of what you’ve been reading. I often read more than one book at once myself. Like you I read a variety of books so I like it when one book I’m reading is quite different to the other. Looking forward to your opinion of The Frozen Shroud – I very much like that series!


  4. Julia Stuart novels are quirky and you kind of have to go along with it all for a while and then suddenly it all fits and works. Her first move The Matchmaker of Perigord is the same. I am looking forward to her next novel out this year.


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