In the Reviewer Spotlight: Elysium

Welcome to the Reviewer Spotlight, where dedicated book reviewers share their thoughts on reading and reviewing historical fiction! Today's guest is Elysium!

Why do you read historical fiction?
I love history and historical fiction is a fun way to learn from the past. And to imagine that you live there!

What are you reading now?
I’m reading Flint by Margaret Redfern, which is set in 14th century Wales.

What makes a great read for you?
When the book is a great blending of historical accuracy with good story and great characters.

Whats your biggest turnoff?
Characters who have too modern values and phrasings, too graphic sex scenes.

Where do you stand on the fact vs. fiction debate within the genre?

I’m one of those who likes their books as historically accurate as possible, but I understand sometimes liberties needs to be taken. But not huge liberties that stand out from the story and I like that those are mentioned in the author’s note. But because the book is historically accurate doesn’t mean that you have to put in everything and anything you’ve learned while researching in the book.

I have enjoyed some books where pretty big liberties have been taken, but those are a rare few.

Are there any subjects that are overdone?
Tudors comes first to mind. But that doesn’t mean I don’t read about them!

Are there any subjects youd like to see more of?
I would love to read more about Philippa of Hainault and Catherine of Braganza. Usually the books are about their husbands and not many books focus on them. I’m also trying to find more books about Edward the Black Prince.

Whats the last historical fiction book you read and loved?

Lady of the English by Elizabeth Chadwick. What a great book!

Whats the last historical fiction book you read and hated?

I couldn’t finish The Traitor’s Wife by Kathleen Kent, so that’s probably it.
 Whats your favorite time period to read about?

12th and 15th centuries. And I also love to read about Ancient Egypt.

Who are your favorite historical fiction authors?
Elizabeth Chadwick, Sharon Kay Penman, C.W. Gortner

How often do you read?
I try to read every day but some days I just can’t find the time. But most days I read.

Do you read print books, ebooks, or both? Which is your preference?
I don’t have an e-reader and I don’t like the idea of sitting on my laptop reading a whole book, so only print books for me.

Do you have a favorite place to read?
I always read sitting on my bed when I’m at home.

Where do you post your reviews?
On my blog and Goodreads.

Do you write a review for every book you read?
No I don’t. I usually write reviews  if I feel like it and have something to say. Most books I read are my own so that’s not a problem and I don’t want it to become a chore I have to do.

Do you read other reviews of a book youve read before you write yours?
No, not usually. Sometimes I’ve checked if I’m the only one who thinks some particular thing was as idiotic as I thought.

Do you read your friends reviews of books youve also reviewed? If so, do you find that your thoughts tend to be similar or dissimilar?
I do and it’s fun to compare your thoughts. I think most cases I think differently than the majority.

Do you have any pet peeves about book reviewing in general?
Hmm, I’m not sure. Personally I don’t understand when people only post reviews when they give 5 stars but don’t know if that’s exactly pet peeve.

Have you ever stopped following someone because of a review theyd written?
No I haven’t.  I follow people who read the same type of books and who’s review style I like.

Where do you think readers can find the most trustworthy reviews?
On Goodreads I think. You can have quick look at both good and bad reviews and see both sides.

How much weight do you give to reviews when choosing whether to read a book?
Not that much. Many times when I see a not so great review, I’m too curious to see how I would like that. There are some reviewers who usually have the same opinions about books and I might think twice if they don’t like the book. But it won’t mean I wouldn’t read it anyway.

What do you like best about being a book reviewer?
Getting to know people who also love books, and I’m happy if my review makes someone wanting to try a specific book.

Thanks for stopping by, Elysium!
Check out Elysium's blog, Book Ramblings, and find her on Goodreads! Stay tuned for more Reviewer Spotlights!


  1. Nice your side panels and your setup.



  2. Goodreads is sure more trustworthy :)
    Nice getting to know you more :D

    I do love how many his fic books you read

  3. Great interview, Elysium. You and I share quite a few similarities when it comes to what we look for in historical fiction!


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