Not the Jacobites!

Palace of Spies by Sarah Zettel

palace.of.spies

First Look:

Ugh.  They paid someone to design this?  Actually, my biggest problem is not the actual design, it’s more that it doesn’t fit.  To me, this says, “Time-travel or costume party novel for 11-year-olds”, when actually, it’s a historical novel (no time-traveling involved), more for 14-year-olds. Three years makes a huge difference at that age!  But also, it’s ugly.

Jacket Copy:

Sixteen-year-old Peggy is a well-bred orphan who is coerced into posing as a lady in waiting at the palace of King George I. Life is grand, until Peggy starts to suspect that the girl she’s impersonating might have been murdered. Unless Peggy can discover the truth, she might be doomed to the same terrible fate. But in a court of shadows and intrigue, anyone could be a spy—perhaps even the handsome young artist with whom Peggy is falling in love…

History and mystery spark in this effervescent series debut.

Continue reading

Dancin’ Ain’t Easy

Ten Cents a Dance by Christine Fletcher

10cents

First Look:

Oooh, I like.  Because this book is really about Ruby more than anyone or anything else, but the men in her life are important to her journey, I really like the juxtaposition of her face with their backs.

Jacket Copy:

With her mother ill, it’s up to fifteen-year-old Ruby Jacinski to support her family. But in the 1940s, the only opportunities open to a Polish-American girl from Chicago’s poor Yards is a job in one of the meat packing plants. Through a chance meeting with a local tough, Ruby lands a job as a taxi dancer and soon becomes an expert in the art of “fishing”: working her patrons for meals, cash, clothes, even jewelry. Drawn ever deeper into the world of dance halls, jazz, and the mob, Ruby gradually realizes that the only one who can save her is herself.  A mesmerizing look into a little known world and era. Continue reading

Sorcery and Deduction

The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow

Iron Wyrm

First Look:

Urban Fantasy, odd couple who become partners and probably fall in love, Steampunk variation.  It’s attractive, though.

Jacket Copy:

Emma Bannon, forensic sorceress in the service of the Empire, has a mission: to protect Archibald Clare, a failed, unregistered mentath. His skills of deduction are legendary, and her own sorcery is not inconsiderable. It doesn’t help much that they barely tolerate each other, or that Bannon’s Shield, Mikal, might just be a traitor himself. Or that the conspiracy killing registered mentaths and sorcerers alike will just as likely kill them as seduce them into treachery toward their Queen. In an alternate London where illogical magic has turned the Industrial Revolution on its head, Bannon and Clare now face hostility, treason, cannon fire, black sorcery, and the problem of reliably finding hansom cabs. The game is afoot.. Continue reading