Mar. 7th, 2012

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David Weber's A Rising Thunder at

I haven't been myself for a while. Hopefully I will be back to being myself soon.
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Books 2012: 30-34

30. Phyllis Ann Karr, Frostflower and Thorn. Wildside Press, 1999. First published 1980.

A perfectly cromulent and self-contained fantasy novel, involving the adventures of a pacifist sorceress and a rather objectionably-mannered swordswoman, both on the run from what passes for local government. Contains rape. This annoys me less when the book is thirty years old and written by a woman. On the whole, I liked the book quite a lot.

31-33. Michelle West, The Hidden City (2008), City of Night (2010), House Name (2011). DAW.

This is where I confess to some illegality - although not, by my lights, immorality. So I bought and read The Hidden City, and immediately desired to know what came next. Upon ordering them from the Book Depo, I realised that they would not arrive before I left for my eight-week sojourn abroad. So I confess it, I did the illegal download thing, because if I had had to actually think on Sunday or Monday, I might have had to stab something. Someone. Or myself.

Thankfully, reading kept me from that.

So, the aforementioned books are part of the "House War" series. I haven't read anything else by [ profile] msagara under the name of West, although I've distinct memories of bouncing off the start of The Broken Crown. I'm glad I read these: they're epic, sprawling, city-based fantasy. With demons.

Their central figure is Jewel Markess, when we meet her a street orphan of about ten or eleven. She gathers a family around herself, and strives to protect them. Meanwhile others are engaged more directly with demons, and the mysteries of the undercity. While these books are long, and there's a lot of talking, they're also engaging, even compelling: I liked the talking more than the fighting parts, which is unusual for me.

The only thing that stuck in my craw was that The Hidden City also has rape. And d'you know, fine, I don't mind so much there. But I'm just fucking sick of it in aggregate.


34. Rebecca Jenkins, Fanny Kemble: The Reluctant Celebrity. Pocket Books, London, 2006.

A not-very-engaging quasi-biography of actress and memoirist Frances Anne Kemble in her youth. Wobbles between tedious and interesting, but the pendulum rests mostly with tedium.


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