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‘The First Man in Rome’ by Colleen McCullough

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‘The First Man in Rome’ is a historical novel set in the late Roman Republic. It covers the career of Gaius Marius and Lucius Cornelius Sulla, and the life of the parents of Julius Caesar. The detail and research that went into it is phenomenal. It covers a lot of ground and goes into a lot of detail, while remaining fast and exciting. It focused on a few key players, but details the politics and wider world within which they act as well. In some ways it was a challenging read (mainly due to the names…), but overall, I really enjoyed it.

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Review: ‘The Year of Our War’ by Steph Swainston

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Jant, the Immortal Messenger, is the only man in the world who can fly. However, he’s not the only immortal. The Fourlands are beset by a plague of giant insects. The fight has raged for over a 1000 years. The story starts with another in a long line of fights, which initially goes well. Soon, however, the insects are surging across the land, further than they’ve reached in centuries. Jant is tasked with finding out why, which is something of a problem given his drug addiction.

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‘Fire Emblem Fates – Conquest’ on 3DS

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Fire Emblem Fates comes in 3 parts – Conquest, Birthright and Revelations. The first 6 chapters are shared, and then you need to pick: will you return to the family that kidnapped you and raised you, or the family of your birth?

I started with Conquest, which was described as the hard one. I’ve just finished Birthright and Revelations. I played all games on hard and I can say, Birthright and Revelations on hard are walk in the park compared to Conquest on hard.

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Review: ‘Bird by bird’ by Anne Lamott

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I came across this book while reading a book on scientific writing. A few passages from Anne Lamott were quoted, and that was enough for me to decide I needed to read it. So I did, and now I’m recommending it to everyone, even those who aren’t interested in writing. It’s ostensibly a book about creative writing, however it’s more of a humorous, insightful collection of stories on her experiences as a writer, than an instruction manual.

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Review: ‘big little lies’ by Liane Moriarty

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big little lies starts with a murder at a school trivia night. It then backs up to 6 months before the murder. This is where most of the tension comes from; trying to guess who, out of all the people you’re slowly starting to care about, ends up dead. It was tense, thrilling, funny and sad. I rushed through it, needing to know who was the victim, and finished it in one night.

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Review: ‘Lord Valentine’s Castle’ by Robert Silverberg

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Valentine awakes on a sun-drenched ledge overlooking a bustling town. With only vague memories of the day before, he follows a young herdsman into town. Slowly, in vivid dreams, his memories begin to return, though they’re hardly believable. His crown and memories stolen by an usurper, Valentine must travel across half the world to regain his rightful place.

Note: The title on the image is for the sequel, yet the image is otherwise the same as the copy of the book I have.

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Review: ‘Anansi Boys’ by Neil Gaiman

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While alive, all Fat Charlie’s father ever did was humiliate him. Even with his death, he manages to embarrass him. If that wasn’t bad enough, Fat Charlie learns his father was really the spider god, Anansi, and he has a brother, who inherited all the magic and charm, as well as the love of getting Fat Charlie in trouble. Within days of meeting his brother, Fat Charlie’s being investigated by the police and has lost his fiancee. Funny, tense, exciting, scary and heart-warming all at the same time, ‘Anansi Boys’ was a lot of fun to read.

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