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Book Reviews: The Constant Princess + Thinner + Articles of the Federation

The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory

This prequel to ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ was published in 2006 and centres on the drama queen Katherine of Aragon. It begins when she is a child in Spain and follows her to England for her marriage to King Henry VII’s son Arthur. Katherine is arrogant, Henry VII is a letch, Arthur is a massive jerk and Arthur’s younger brother Henry is a selfish idiot.

Katherine does not care for the Tudors or England and spends her days being selfish, annoying and whining. Despite this Arthur falls in love with her, then when he becomes sick he makes her promise to marry Henry and make England great. So Katherine tells a great lie, that she will hold to all her life. This was dull and Katherine was a smug unlovable prig.

Best Lines:
“I say, you cannot come in! If you were the King of England himself - you could not come in.”
“I am the King of England.”

“I though you were the true king,’ Catalina said hesitantly.
‘I am now,’ said Henry Tudor bluntly. ‘And that’s all that matters”

“Scandal against the queen rocks the throne itself. Be warned Henry.”

“This one desires not my husband, but my throne. She has had much work to find her way to it, but she is persistent and determined.”

Thinner by Stephen King

This was originally published in 1984 under King’s pen-name of Richard Bachman. Billy Halleck is a fat lawyer living a happy life. Sure he ran over and killed an old gypsy woman, but his friends fixed it for him. No charges, no problem.

But an old gypsy man curses him and Billy Halleck begins to lose weight and he can’t stop. Halleck is desperate to break the curse and his desperation leads to violence, blame and a cruel twist ending. This was very good even if the pop culture references were dated. No-one will take responsibility for anything, if someone had - the whole mess could have been avoided.

Best Lines:
“Your case, Billy! The paint fumes and the nervous breakdown and the psychotic episode and - “

“He was an obsessive philanderer and she started in on the whiskey sours around three in the afternoon.”

“Three or four blankets so lousy that the deputy Chalker sent out to investigate would only poke at them with a stick - a long stick.”

“All our worst revelations come in the bathroom.”

“But if you’re dealing with ####### that shoot people and then write discouraging words on their foreheads in chicken blood, you’re apt to die.”

Star Trek: Articles of the Federation by Keith R.A DeCandido

This book (published in 2005) centres on Nan Bacco, who was elected Federation President after the resignation of Min Zife. During her first year in office she has to deal with the Romulan Empire’s chaotic sundering, Reman refugees, a disastrous first contact and a reporter uncovering the true reason for Min Zife’s resignation.

This is a good read but Nan Bacco is a self righteous idiot who TPTB seem obsessed with. Bacco ignores her job to obsesses over baseball, her staff play power games and Min Zife is an utterly unsubtle George W. Bush copy. Despite all that I did enjoy it and finally the fate of Admiral Ross is revealed.
Tags: 2nd hand book store find, book review, star trek, the tudors, the white queen

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