I want my temporal vortex back. Where was it during all those extra hours I worked this week? Those were some long hours dealing with fussy people, an unexpected bill, headaches, and not enough sleep.
Fortunately for my sanity, there were some lulls in my busy days that allowed me to dive into a couple of books. I finished up The Return of the King and started reading both Sharon Kay Penman’s Falls the Shadow and Conn Iggulden’s The Gates of Rome.
Falls the Shadow is set in Britain during the reign of Henry III and tells the story of such people as Simon de Montfort and Llewellyn ap Gruffudd. The book begins a bit slowly, with a lot of character development and setting, but the pace speeds up as you get into it and deals with larger events and touches on the deaths of prominent historical figures. It’s almost as though Penman is running through the mid thirteenth century so she can make it from the 1230s to the Second Barons’ War of 1263-4. I haven’t gotten that far yet so I don’t know if that’s the goal, but we’ll certainly get there at the current pace.
The Gates of Rome is the first of a five-part series about Gaius Julius Caesar, and opens when Gaius is an eight year old who, along his his friend Marcus, keeps getting beaten up by the fourteen year-old neighbor boy, and then the story continues on into their earliest military training as the boys reach their teenage years. So far, it’s wonderfully written and would be captivating even if it wasn’t about a fascinating historical figure.
Both Falls the Shadow and The Gates of Rome, having shifting points of view, but unlike The Forever Queen, those shifts are not so bothersome, and do not interrupt the flow of the narrative.
I was too busy to stop by any bookshops, so no new acquisitions this week. I have one more long day tomorrow, and then things should quiet down a bit. I hope they will, anyway. Last week was long enough!