Sarah is married to a man she hardly knows and is not sure she knows how to love. Matthew, her husband of many years, has not seen Sarah since their union when she was a girl of only eight years. Raised in a convent and reunited with her husband, the knight, Sarah is in complete awe of the horrors of battle and the danger in which he must place himself to protect her. When Sarah steps in to save the kingdom from Matthew’s nemesis, she makes a sacrifice far greater than Matthew could ever have expected.
Infinity: Quest for the Holy Grail by Catalina DuBois is the third book focusing on the characters Sarah and Matthew. In varied settings and with slight name changes, DuBois manages to create stunning visuals with mind-blowing action sequences centering around a love affair for the ages. Sarah and Matthew are standouts in all three books, and Infinity: Quest for the Holy Grail features Sarah in her most unique position yet. Sarah is simply captivating in the role of the lover willing to sacrifice everything to save others. DuBois takes readers through Sarah’s thought processes in a way that is personal and moving and does so without the advantage of using first-person point of view. She has successfully created a female lead she is able to mold and shape into a woman of strength and enviable courage across time periods and ever-changing settings.
As with DuBois’s first two Infinity books, I am amazed at the manner in which the author is able to incorporate elements of fantasy into the historical romance genre. Two genres that sound worlds apart are brought together seamlessly in Infinity: Quest for the Holy Grail. With the introduction of the cyclops, I have to say I was at first a bit surprised. DuBois has a phenomenal knack for easing the reader into a realm fraught with surreal creatures and making the reader immediately comfortable with the blend of genres.
Imagery is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, DuBois’s forte. DuBois creates extraordinary images to draw readers into the reading in her masterfully crafted prologues. Infinity: Quest for the Holy Grail is no exception. As Matthew’s parents observe him from the balcony, the tension in the air is almost tangible. The image of a young Matthew riding away and being watched by parents holding a most devastating and crushing secret is poignant. DuBois manages to structure that scene to first touch the reader’s heart and then, out of nowhere, break it in two.
When reading a mix of fantasy and historical fiction, I appreciate an added level of mystery, and DuBois provides that perfect blend of genres. Readers looking for another angle on the quest for the holy grail and storylines featuring Sir Arthur, Medusa, and Lancelot will find DuBois’s writing to be a fresh look at these classic tales.
Pages: 205 | ASIN: B0791BBNZ3
Posted in Book Reviews
Tags: action, adventure, alibris, arthur, author, author life, authors, barnes and noble, battle, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, catalina dubois, classic, cyclops, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, historical, history, holy grail, ilovebooks, indiebooks, Infinity, kindle, kobo, lancelot, literature, love story, medieval, medusa, nook, novel, publishing, quest, Quest for the Holy Grail, read, reader, reading, romance, shelfari, smashwords, story, war, writer, writer community, writing
Matthaios is a prince and Sara is a slave girl. In ancient Rome, their love is forbidden. In fact, true love like theirs is not what royal marriages are made of. Matthaios is not cut from the same cloth as his father, Titus. Titus, being Caesar, is prone to all the atrocities and savagery of his title. Matthaios, kind and loving, is forced to marry a woman he does not and cannot possibly love. When Sara’s untimely death is foreseen by her trusted friend, the course of both their lives and any life they may ever have together takes a sudden and tragic turn.
Yet again, I am drawn to the characters in Catalina DuBois’s series. Infinity: A Crown of Golden Leaves is filled with a myriad of characters from all walks of life. From Medusa to Daniel, a merman and best friend of Sara, to Titus and Arrecina, his bride, DuBois pens some amazing and rich portraits of her cast of characters.
I didn’t want to be drawn to Titus. I fought hard against it for several chapters. Everything in me told me that Titus was not supposed to be my pick, but that’s exactly how outstanding DuBois’s writing is. She spins a backstory like no one else in this genre. Titus, in all his loathsome and vile glory, is truly the standout in this book. Without giving away too much, I will say the backstory the author has chosen to give him is heart-wrenching and sheds new light on his choices and his treatment of Sara. He absolutely stands as my favorite in the long list of DuBois’s characters.
I enjoy the mix of settings DuBois provides within the Infinity series. I didn’t expect to come across the element of fantasy so deeply intertwined with historical fiction. If an author isn’t careful, that cross can become an awkward and difficult pill for readers to swallow. DuBois however combines the two seamlessly. The reader quickly accepts the change of setting from above sea level to below as all part of the charm of the story.
As with DuBois’s other Infinity installments, romance is plentiful. However, DuBois constructs tasteful scenes that never border on vulgar or obscene. Her writing is touching and truly conveys a sense of deep and lasting love between her main characters.
Just as DuBois writes vividly of true love, she creates excruciatingly realistic scenes of her characters’ pain and heartache. I had a similar experience with Infinity: The Fifth Bride of Pharaoh. DuBois includes some of the most engaging prologues I have ever read. She pulls you in from the first paragraphs and keeps your interest piqued throughout the reading, moving along a roller coaster track of emotions and back again.
Readers seeking a quick but gripping historical fiction book with a tasteful amount of fantasy won’t be disappointed with the love story of Prince Matthaios and the love of his life, Sara.
Pages: 185 | ASIN: B076JLW85G
Tags: A Crown of Golden Leaves, action, adventure, alibris, author, author life, authors, barnes and noble, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, catalina dubois, drama, ebook, egypt, emotional, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, historical, historical fantasy, historical fiction, ilovebooks, indiebooks, Infinity, kindle, kobo, literature, love story, mystery, nook, novel, publishing, read, reader, reading, romance, shelfari, smashwords, story, suspense, thriller, writer, writer community, writing
Sara of Nubia, a princess and free spirit in her own right, has been promised to Pharaoh Amenemhat, but she is not one to go quietly into her duties as a bride and the mother of future rulers of Egypt. When Sara and her best friend, Sobek, disguise themselves as commoners and venture out, Sara’s journey of the heart begins abruptly with a clumsy moment, a chance encounter, and a kiss born out of tradition. The stage is set for a long and harrowing struggle to be with the one love of her life and to gain back what is, and always was, rightfully hers.
Catalina DuBois’s Infinity: The Fifth Bride of Pharaoh is the tale of Sara and Matthaios, two people destined to be together against all odds and against the destiny laid out for Sara by her family. Sara is a strong, determined, and admirable main character whose tenacity makes her an easy favorite. Matthaios, imprisoned and forced into servitude, fights with every fiber of his being not to cross the line when it comes to his charge, Sara. His ability to control his overpowering feeling for Sara and the restraint he is able to maintain is touching for his love for her is genuine. DuBois constructs some of the most moving love scenes involving Sara and Matthaios. I am not a fan of romance that contains gratuitous scenes, but DuBois has maneuvered around that type of writing to create stunningly beautiful pictures of two lovers whose hearts are truly one.
DuBois has managed to change a lifelong habit of mine. I have never been a fan of the prologue. More times than not, I skim the prologue to get the gist of what is to come. DuBois, however, has written a prologue so gripping, so detailed and vivid, that I can say it hooked me within the first paragraphs. She has drawn Matthaios as a man of tragedy in juxtaposition to the horrifying Pharaoh as she quickly reveals a backstory steeped in lost love and betrayal of the worst kind.
Infinity: The Fifth Bride of Pharaoh gives readers the best of both worlds with regards to genres. DuBois manages to combine romance and history with an added layer of mystery. I appreciate an element of the unknown when reading fiction of any type. Without a doubt, readers are kept guessing as to the identity of Sara’s and Matthaios’s evil shadow, and the ultimate reveal is breathtaking given the buildup of the character to that point.
Another of my favorite characters is Dimp. A faithful and focused doctor, Dimp is ever willing to help Sara and her friends throughout the book. Not one of the characters who gets a lot of attention, Dimp stands out as one of the most loyal and caring in the kingdom.
Romance fans and those who appreciate elements of mystery in their historical fiction will be drawn to the striking cast of characters created by DuBois. Nowhere else will readers, hungry for historical fiction, find a more well-drawn plot brimming with intrigue, adventure, and perfectly-tied together story lines.
Pages: 181 | ASIN: 1973288710
Tags: action, adventure, alibris, author, author life, authors, barnes and noble, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, catalina dubois, ebook, egypt, goodreads, historical, history, ilovebooks, indiebooks, Infinity, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, nook, novel, nubia, Pharaoh, princess, publishing, read, reader, reading, romance, shelfari, smashwords, story, suspense, The Fifth Bride of Pharaoh, thriller, writer, writer community, writing