New book arrivals

I’ve acquired some new books recently and thought I would share them here with you:

New books May 2014

The first three books were bought last week on a trip to my favourite book shop, Barter Books:

The Heaven Tree by Edith Pargeter – I’ve wanted to read this for years and was so pleased to find a copy. It’s the first in a trilogy and set during the reign of King John.

The Last Light of the Sun by Guy Gavriel Kay – I’m looking forward to reading this as I enjoyed the other two Guy Gavriel Kay books I’ve read.

Bellarion by Rafael Sabatini – I don’t know anything about this book but I love Sabatini so of course I had to pick this one up!

The next book is a review copy received from Random House:

The Second Duchess by Elizabeth Loupas – The story of Barbara of Austria and her marriage to the Duke of Ferrara. I can’t wait to read this.

I won the final two books in Goodreads giveaways.

The Shining by Stephen King – I’ve read this before, as a teenager, and thought it might be fun to read it again. I didn’t really expect to win it!

The Walls of Byzantium by James Heneage – The first of a new series, The Mistra Chronicles, set in the final decades of the Byzantine Empire.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?

13 thoughts on “New book arrivals

  1. Leander says:

    Oh wow, what a treasure trove, Helen! I hope you like The Last Light of the Sun… and I can’t wait to hear what you think of The Heaven Tree, because that’s on my wishlist too. Similarly intrigued to hear your thoughts on The Walls of Byzantium, which has crossed my radar a few times (largely because I’m attracted by anything with the word ‘Byzantium’ in it) but I’ve never quite been motivated to go for it. And the Sabatini is CLEARLY going to be awesome. Looks like you have a few fun-filled weeks of reading ahead of you. I’m quite jealous. Maybe it’s time to start thinking about getting my own summer stash together. 🙂 Happy reading!

    P.S. I must go to Barter Books one day. I went past it on the coach when I was up your way last summer and it looked incredible. I’ll have to make my way back somehow one day and you can show me round. 😀

    • Helen says:

      I have one or two other books to finish before I can start any of these, but I’m looking forward to all of them, especially the Edith Pargeter and Sabatini books. I hope you enjoy your summer reading too!

  2. Rachel B. says:

    The Heaven Tree is the first in a trilogy (Heaven Tree, The Green Branch, The Scarlet Seed) that are among the best things Edith Pargeter ever wrote. I do not reread this series very often, however, unlike the other Pargeter (and Ellis Peters) books; it is so well done that I can never get past the particularly tragic portion without being a total wreck. If you have not read this, I predict you will like it–and that you will race out and find the other two immediately upon finishing this one.

    Guy Gavriel Kay is also definitely worth your time.

    • Helen says:

      I’ve been meaning to read The Heaven Tree trilogy for a long time, but never got round to actually looking for copies. I’m pleased to hear you recommend them so highly. And I loved Tigana and The Lions of Al-Rassan, so I’m really looking forward to The Last Light of the Sun.

  3. jessicabookworm says:

    I’d really like to read The Shining but haven’t been brave enough to read a, what I call ‘proper King horror’, novel! I also like the sound of The Walls of Byzantium by James Heneage. I hope you enjoy your new books 🙂

    • Helen says:

      I’ve read some very positive reviews of Elizabeth Loupas’ books, but haven’t read any of them myself yet. I’m really looking forward to reading The Second Duchess.

  4. Alex says:

    Having once been into Barter Books while on holiday part of me has always been very glad that I don’t live within easy reach of it. That of course is not the book loving part, rather it is the practical part that says, “Yes, but where would you put them?” ‘Fortunately’, our local Oxfam Bookshop has been closed since January so my book buying habits have been curbed, but I noticed yesterday that its replacement looks almost ready to open so this is a state of affairs that won’t last for long. Enjoy your finds.

    • Helen says:

      I love Barter Books. I don’t think they’re particularly cheap – you can find better bargains in charity shops – but the attraction is the sheer quantity of books they have (and the unusual setting).

  5. elainethomp says:

    i’ve read the GGKay, and like it perhaps the best of all his work – but I’ve always liked that spare Northern air.

    I used to love THE HEAVEN TREE (just that one book of the trilogy) and probably still do but have been afraid to reread it recently because some books discovered in my teens haven’t held up well. It took years for me to find the rest of the trilogy, and I never liked the other two as well. They aren’t bad or anything, they just aren’t quite the same (or I wasn’t so they hit me differently).

    Haven’t read any of your others, but look forward to hearing about the Byzantium one, and the Sabatini. I’ve enjoyed what Sabatini I’ve read, but not run across that one.

    • Helen says:

      I’m glad to hear you liked The Heaven Tree, even if the other two in the trilogy weren’t quite as good. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Edith Pargeter’s books and am pleased I’m finally going to have the opportunity to read one.

      As for Sabatini, I loved Scaramouche and Captain Blood, so I’m looking forward to reading Bellarion – although I was really hoping to find a copy of The Sea Hawk.

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