Royals and Authors

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Royals and Authors

Reading Roundup in Five

A privileged young girl living in Renaissance era Rome... a maid of honor races against time to solve a mystery... an author discovers a map in a library... a parson's daughter becomes a successful novelist... an empress travels the continent...Whatever the time period, each of these ladies were royals or authors who left her mark on history.  Below are a few of the books I've enjoyed reading.
All of the books can be checked out or downloaded from the library.

Sisi: Empress on Her Own by Allison Pataki
Continuing events from The Accidental Empress, this new novel about Empress Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary (best known as Sisi) focuses on the second half of her life. To escape the rigid environment of the imperial Austrian court, Sisi prefers living and traveling aboard. Her travels range from Budapest, England, Greece, among others. Wherever she went, Sisi was frequently featured in newspapers and magazines. The constant attention proves fateful in Geneva, and the shocking news reverberates through both Vienna and Budapest. Today, Sisi remains a legend.
If you visit Budapest, where Sisi loved living, the Elizabeth Bridge stands in her honor.

Charlotte Bronte: A Fiery Heart by Claire Harman
The oldest surviving daughter of a English country parson, she worked as a governess before she became an author. Her novels would establish her as one of the best known authors in English literature. Charlotte Bronte's life is told in this new biography honoring the 200th anniversary of her birthday. The book is a well-written and informative account about Bronte's life, writing career, and the world she lived. If you've read any of Bronte's novels, this book provides fascinating background behind each of them. Whether you've read other books about Bronte or discovering her for the first time, this book is a worthwhile read! The illustrated plates of photographs and archive images complement the text.

Jane and the Waterloo Map by Stephanie Barron
The Napoleonic War is over and peace has returned to England. In November 1815, Jane Austen receives an invitation to tour Charlton House, the London house of the Prince Regent. While on the tour, she discovers a dying man in the library who manages to say the words "Waterloo Map" to her.  Later Jane learns that the man was Colonel MacFarland, a British officer, who had placed a map connected to Napoleon's failed campaign in Russia in the library. Jane enlists the help of her friend Raphael West, son of the noted painter Benjamin West, in her investigation. The two soon find out they are dealing with a clever and dangerous suspect.
Want to read more about Jane Austen as a fictional amateur sleuth? Check out her earlier investigations in the Jane Austen mystery series!

The Vatican Princess by C.W. Gortner
Young Lucrezia Borgia is thrilled when her father Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia has been elected the new Pope, becoming Alexander VI.  Her older brothers Cesare and Juan are among those who receive special privileges and benefits. The siblings move into the Vatican and take their places at the papal court.  However, Rome is a dangerous place. Because of their Spanish origin, the Borgias have many enemies, including other churchmen and ruling families of major Italian city-states. Lucrezia discovers that for all of her privileges and adoration from her father, she is a pawn in the family's fortunes.
If you'd like to read more about the Borgia family and the world they lived, check out The Borgias: the Hidden History by G.J. Meyer.

Maid of Wonder by Jennifer McGowan
Sophia Dee, maid of honor to Queen Elizabeth, has the gift of Sight which allows her to see into the future. She is the ward of her famous uncle John Dee who's the court astrologer. However, Sophia is still learning how to use her gift.  When Queen Elizabeth is told there will be death at Windsor, Sophia and her uncle are chosen to find out who will be the next victim. The famed French seer Nostradamus is especially invited to join them in the investigation.  With the help of her fellow maids of honor, Sophia races against time to find out who will be next victim and to protect the English crown.
This is the third novel in the Maids of Honor series, a young adult historical fiction series set during the reign of Elizabeth I.