Book of the Night by Oliver Potzsch

Book of the Night (The Black Musketeers #1)

Publisher: AmazonCrossing

Date of publication: October 4th, 2016

Series: The Black Musketeers

Book of the Night – Book 1

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Genre: young adult 

Goodreads synopsis:

In this thrilling adventure by bestselling author Oliver Pötzsch, thirteen-year-old Lukas has been trained as a swordsman by his father, a nobleman who was once a famed Musketeer. When the threat of war and accusations of witchcraft spread across the land, Lukas’s life is forever changed. He flees his home and vows to find his missing sister.

Surviving as an outcast, Lukas encounters thieves and mercenaries, a strange astrologer, and a master swordsman. He also meets three other fencers—Giovanni, Paulus, and Jerome. Each brings a special talent to their team that leads them to the Black Musketeers, the best fighters in the army. But living with the black-armored Musketeers is nothing like they imagined. In his quest to find his sister, Lukas learns of a legendary book that holds powerful magic. As he fights to keep the Book of the Nightout of the hands of his greatest enemy, Lukas discovers the secrets of his own family and what it really means to be a Musketeer.

My review:

I rarely read historical fiction even though I like reading it. I don’t know why I don’t read that genre. Maybe because 90% of the historical fiction that I have read is dry. It becomes boring because the authors usually stick to the facts.

That is what I liked about this book. While it was accurate, the author built a fictional story around those events.

I felt awful for Lukas. His whole world was ruined within a day. His father murdered, his mother accused of being a witch, and his sister kidnapped. If that wasn’t enough to break someone,he happened into town when his mother was being burned at the stake. Talk about traumatizing, and my heart broke for him.

After almost freezing to death and a run in with a group of children who were not good to be around, he fell in with a traveling group of performers. There he met Giovanni, Paulus, and Jerome, fencers who put on an act. He proves his worth against the Master fencer and is incorporated into their act.

After the troupe is attacked, the foursome decides to seek out the “Black Musketeers”. They are a group of legendary fighters in the King’s army. Lukas had found out that his father was part of the “Black Musketeers” and the fencing master in the troupe was also.  After a journey, they find the “Black Musketeers” and beg to join. After proving themselves to the leader, he allows them in.

Not going to go into the book from there. All I have to say is that Lukas finds out a lot of things about his mother, sister, and father from a few people. Also his fencing skill is put to the test as well.

The end was a bit surprising to me because I wasn’t expecting it. I thought that the opposite was going to happen and was preparing myself for it. I also loved that the author did leave the book open for a second book.

How many stars will I give Book of the Night? 4

Why? A great, engrossing read. I was up most of the night and got emotionally invested in Lukas’s character.

Will I reread? Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends? Yes

Age Range: Adult

Why: Violence

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

The Last Pilgrim (Tommy Bergmann: Book 1) by Gard Sveen

The Last Pilgrim (Tommy Bergmann Book 1) by [Sveen, Gard]

Publisher: AmazonCrossing

Date of publication: August 23rd, 2016

Genre: Mystery, Crime, Thriller, Fiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, War, European Literature, Scandinavian Literature, Spy Thriller, Espionage, Adult Fiction

Series: Tommy Bergmann

The Last Pilgrim – Book 1

Hell Is Open—Book 2

Blod i dans—Book 3

Bjornen—Book 4

Drommenes gud—Book 5

Purchase Links: Amazon | Audible | B&N | AbeBooks | Alibris | IndieBound | Indigo | BetterWorldBooks

Goodreads Synopsis:

Young, lovely Norwegian Agnes Gerner is waging a dangerous and secret fight. Outwardly, she is a devoted Nazi sympathizer engaged to a prominent businessman. In fact, she is part of an underground resistance doing everything to win the war against the Germans. The only hope she has of being reunited with the man she truly loves—who serves under the code name “Pilgrim”—is if the Nazis are defeated. Of course, there’s no guarantee that she’ll be alive when that happens…

Many years later, three sets of remains are found in a popular Oslo forest—two adults and a child. Despite his boss’s call to not spend extra time on the old case, Detective Tommy Bergmann cannot help but dig deeper, especially as he uncovers connections to a more recent murder. As he unravels the secrets of the past, it becomes clear that everything is permissible in war—and that only those who reject love can come out victorious.

My review:

I wouldn’t say I liked this book when I first started reading it. I had a lot of problems keeping my attention focused on it. Once I got past the first few chapters, I started to like the book.

I didn’t expect that I would like Tommy Bergmann by the end of the book. In the beginning, I detested him. He admitted that he beat his girlfriend over their 12-year relationship. He did have an awesome work ethic, and his remorse for his past behavior came across the pages. Even though he is a fictional character, I wanted to slip him a card to a psychologist. When he had a chance with another woman, he called it off because of his issues with his ex-girlfriend.

Agnes annoyed the ever-living out of me. I can’t put a finger on it, but I read her chapters with a bad taste in my mouth. I did find it fascinating how female spies were regarded during World War 2. Agnes proved them wrong. Her scenes with The Pilgrim also didn’t ring true to me. I figured out that he wanted a piece of ass and a place to crash, and she fell in love with him.

I liked the dual storylines. The author kept them apart and devoted entire chapters to Tommy and Agnes. I got confused was the beginning of the book when Kaj and the detective were killed. I got confused in the 2003 chapters when Tommy came to the crime scene. And then when he was called the woods when they found the bones.

The author did a great job keeping the killers under wraps until the end. He took me on a multi-country jaunt to find out how those two cases were connected. I did figure out the 1942 storyline about halfway through the book. But the 2003 storyline (and how they connected) did take me by surprise, and I was a little shocked by the ending.

I would recommend The Last Pilgrim to anyone over 21. There is sex and lots of violence.

If you liked The Last Pilgrim, you will enjoy these books:

Rage (Teodor Szacki: Book 3) by Zygmunt Miloszewski

Rage by [Miłoszewski, Zygmunt]

Publisher: AmazonCrossing

Date of publication: August 1st, 2016

Genre: Crime, Fiction, Mystery, Polish Literature, Thriller, Poland, Mystery Thriller, Audiobook, Contemporary, Suspense

Series: Teodor Szacki

Entanglement – Book 1

A Grain of Truth – Book 2

Rage – Book 3

Purchase Links: Amazon | Audible | B&N | AbeBooks | WorldCat

Goodreads Synopsis:

Bestselling Polish crime by award-winning author Zygmunt Miloszewski.

All eyes are on famous prosecutor Teodor Szacki when he investigates a skeleton discovered at a construction site in the idyllic Polish city of Olsztyn. Old bones come as no shock to anyone in this part of Poland, but it turns out these remains are fresh, the flesh chemically removed.

Szacki questions the dead man’s wife, only to be left with a suspicion she’s hiding something. Then another victim surfaces—a violent husband, alive but maimed—giving rise to a theory: someone’s targeting domestic abusers. And as new clues bring the murderer closer to those Szacki holds dear, he begins to understand the terrible rage that drives people to murder.

From acclaimed Polish crime writer Zygmunt Miloszewski comes a gritty, atmospheric page-turner that poses the question, what drives a sane man to kill?

What drives a sane person to kill? That question could be answered by looking at today’s headlines. “She cut me off,” “He cheated on me,” and “She grabbed the last pair of socks in the discount bin” as a few examples. I mean, we have all heard them. What the author did is backtrack from the murder and examined the circumstances.

This is the 3rd book in a series, so it could be a standalone book. There were a few references to past books, but other than that, this book was its own animal.

I was not too fond of Helena’s (Hela’s) or Teodor’s characters. Hela came across as a spoiled brat, and Teodor came across as a cold, unfeeling person. He had this edge when comforting people, which made me uncomfortable.

The plot was fantastic, and it was fast-paced. The two storylines meet up towards the end of the book. The way that the author did it was great!!! I couldn’t put my finger on the murderer/vigilante. It could have been anyone. The big twist at the end was a surprise.

I would recommend Rage to anyone over 21. There is explicit sex, instructions on how to kill someone with lye balls, a descriptive scene where a man is throat raped with a pole, and mild language.

If you enjoyed reading Rage, you will enjoy reading these books: