Thursday, June 5, 2014

Death Comes For the Archbishop

Death Comes For the Archbishop by Willa Cather

This is not a story of action. I knew here was a death expected but still I was sad at the loss of the Archbishop and his friends.

This is a slow but engaging saga of two catholic priests who are sent from France to Ohio and then from Ohio to New Mexico. This was in the days when the Comanche still ruled the plains and so the voyage was made long by having to go around Indian territory. New Mexico had only just become part of America rather than Mexico. The arrival of a French Bishop and his French Vicar did not sit well with everyone.

Willa Cather was able to capture the look and feel of the wide open spaces that had not yet been settled. She does this over again and again in her books and this is no different.

I highly recommend this book. I was surprised how fast I was able to get through the book. It was an easy read and very engaging.

The Bridge

The Bridge by Kay Bratt

There is a bridge in China and the legend says that children left at the bridge will have eternal luck. This means that people who cannot take care of their children, infants even, might leave their children on this bridge with the hope that the child will have eternal luck.

Across the street from the bridge lives a solitary old woman. Over the years she has rescued many children left at the bridge and has taken them to the orphanage across town. Today, a mother has left a four-year old boy who is blind.

This is a short story, a novella. It was a super deal because I bought another book on my kindle. It was a good story but I was dismayed to learn how short it was. I would have liked her to continue the story.

The Beggar King

The Beggar King by Oliver Potzsch

This is the third book in the Hangman's Daughter series and it does not disappoint.

I really enjoy this series.  There is intrigue and mystery as well as the peek into life in a historical world.  I'm not sure if I'll ever need to know about various forms of torture or the implements used in torture but it is interesting nonetheless.  Also interesting is that the hangman would need to be able to heal his victims so that they could endure more torture the next day.  Just proves what sick creatures humans are to come up with that idea.

The hangman's daughter, Magdalena, and her secret lover, Simon, get themselves into trouble as usual but this time they are also having to save Magdalena's father, the hangman.  Complete with politics, medicines, poisons and social commentary, this book offers it all.

At the end of the book, just like the last, the author provides a modern guide through the city of the story.  He takes you through the streets of the novel and gives you information on the main buildings that you can see if you were to travel to Regensburg Germany.

I highly recommend this book but if you haven't read the others, start with The Hangman's Daughter and then read them in order.