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Humouress a decade on in 2020

75 Books Challenge for 2020

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1humouress
Edited: Jan 16, 2:21am Top

I'm Nina. I'm from England but living in tropical Singapore surrounded by guys - my husband (who tolerates my reading but is starting to make comments about my book acquisition habits), my two sons and their 3 year old golden retriever, Jasper.

I've introduced my 11 year old to LibraryThing; he's firelion ; sadly, superboy lost the reading habit once he acquired a smartphone. Firelion just got his first smartphone for his birthday so here’s hoping the same thing doesn’t happen to him.

I lean heavily towards fantasy (preferably high) with a smattering of sci-fi (space opera), mysteries (pre-war), young adult and juvenile fiction and school stories - or whatever else catches my fancy at the time. I'm trying to read books off my shelf, since my reading hasn't kept up with my acquisitions (anyone else have that problem?). I try (try) to review and rate all the books I read (which doesn't help my reading speed) and I don't put spoilers in (I hope). If you want to jump to a review, click on the relevant number in my monthly lists (>2, >3 & >4).

I tend towards the lighter side of things (hence my screen name) - because if you look at the dark side ... but why would you want to? Life’s hard enough. I tend to lurk more than post on LT, but I'm around, so please don't feel shy about joining me and posting here.

I am still trying to reach that elusive '75 books read in a year' target, for the tenth eleventh year.

75 Book Challenge 2019 thread 1
75 Book Challenge 2019 thread 3

75 Book Challenge 2020 thread 2 (when I get there)

Green Dragon 2019 thread

ROOTs 2020 thread

2humouress
Edited: Feb 15, 10:01pm Top




January

1. 2. 3.

4. 5.

February

6. 7. 8.

16.

3humouress
Edited: Jan 16, 2:24am Top

March

review posted/ rated/ written/ read

/ / (#) / Title

4humouress
Edited: Feb 16, 3:53am Top

February

review posted/ rated/ written/ read

/ / (#) / Title

      15) The Sound of Her Wings by Neil Gaiman et al
          14) Sound and Fury by Neil Gaiman et al
              13) 24 Hours by Neil Gaiman et al
          12) Passengers by Neil Gaiman et al
      11) A Hope in Hell by Neil Gaiman et al
      10) Dream a Little Dream of Me by Neil Gaiman et al
      9) Imperfect Hosts by Neil Gaiman et al
      8) Sleep of the Just by Neil Gaiman et al
              7) First Earl I See Tonight by Anna Bennet
      6) Forest Born by Shannon Hale

5humouress
Edited: Feb 2, 5:40am Top

January

review posted/ rated/ written/ read

/ / (#) / Title

      5) The Lost Heir by Tui Sutherland
      4) The Book of Swords. Part 1 edited by Gardner Dozois
          3) The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
          2) Ogre Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
      1) Wings of Fire; the Dragonet Prophecy by Tui T. Sutherland

6humouress
Edited: Jan 16, 2:26am Top

The constellation:

  You have got to read this one!                          
  Really good; worth reading                                ​
      Good, but without that special 'something' for me  
       Very nice, but a few issues                                   ​
           An enjoyable book                                                   ​
           Um, okay. Has some redeeming qualities                  
                Writing is hard. I appreciate the work the author did    
               (haven't met one - yet)                                               ​
                     Dire                                                   ​                         
                     Rated only as a warning. Run away. Don't stop.               

Purple stars, from Robin's thread:

5.0
4.5
4.0
3.5
3.0
2.5
2.0
1.5
1.0
0.5

Unfortunately, the coloured stars I usually use come from an insecure website and no longer show on LibraryThing, so I'll have to hunt down another source. Robin has made coloured stars for me (happy dance) so I'm back in business. The codes are now enshrined in my profile.

7humouress
Edited: Jan 16, 2:29am Top

Reading at home :

‘Waiting for the boys to finish classes’ book :

Bedtime reading :Tashi series,

Kindle :

Downtime : Skulduggery Pleasant

Overdrive :

Book club Six of Crows

online story

8humouress
Edited: Jan 16, 2:30am Top

Reading inspirations

Ongoing series:

The Dark is Rising - Susan Cooper
Chronicles of the Cheysuli - Jennifer Roberson
Chronicles of the Kencyrath - P. C. Hodgell (group read, started January 2018; thread 2)
Tashi - Anna Fienberg
The Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold (2014-2017 group read - savouring it before I run out of these glorious books)
**Farseer (group read starting March 2018)
***The Wheel of Time - Robert Jordan (relaxed group read starting January 2019)
{Tor read https://www.tor.com/2018/02/20/reading-the-wheel-of-time-eye-of-the-world-part-1...

Planning to read with the kids:
A Series of Unfortunate Events - Lemony Snickett
Ranger's Apprentice - John Flanagan (group read starting January 2019)

Ooh, what about...

Miss Fisher mysteries
Cinder
Vatta/Honor Harrington
*Ready Player One
Earthsea book 1

9humouress
Jan 13, 2:41am Top

9- I may need this

10humouress
Jan 13, 2:41am Top

10- who knows?

11humouress
Jan 13, 2:42am Top

11- come on in, if you don’t mind the dust, while I’m setting up ....

12PaulCranswick
Jan 13, 3:03am Top



Another resolution is to keep up in 2020 with all my friends on LT. Happy New Year!

13PaulCranswick
Jan 13, 3:03am Top

About bloody time, neighbour. Was about to send out a search party.

14humouress
Jan 13, 3:10am Top

>12 PaulCranswick: >13 PaulCranswick: Thanks for your concern Paul. Maybe I should have stayed hidden so I could get you to come to Singapore. Although I was actually in Hawai’i, so it wouldn’t really have done much good.

15PaulCranswick
Jan 13, 3:13am Top

>14 humouress: But far more glamorous than Singapore! Better late than never!

16humouress
Jan 13, 3:39am Top

>15 PaulCranswick: Somewhat more, yes. The boys were reluctant to come back - and school doesn’t even start this week.

17humouress
Jan 13, 3:40am Top

I’ll have to pop around to visit everyone in the new 2020 group soon, although it’ll be a choice between reading every post in your multiple threads or getting to everyone sooner. For now, I think I’ll read a book :0)

18fairywings
Jan 13, 6:22am Top

Welcome back and happy reading in 2020

19figsfromthistle
Jan 13, 6:40am Top

Great to see you!

Happy reading :)

20foggidawn
Jan 13, 8:51am Top

Happy new thread!

21drneutron
Jan 13, 9:24am Top

Welcome back!

22ronincats
Jan 13, 11:45am Top

Happy New Year, Nina!

23curioussquared
Jan 13, 1:08pm Top

Dropping off a star!

24MickyFine
Jan 13, 1:33pm Top

Happy to see you back again, Nina!

25charl08
Jan 13, 3:37pm Top

Ooh, Hawaii! Glad you made it back to LT, although could hardly hold it against you if you decided to stick with a beautiful beach!

26SandDune
Jan 13, 5:01pm Top

Great to see you back Nina!

27quondame
Jan 13, 5:12pm Top



Happy new thread, Nina!

28FAMeulstee
Jan 13, 5:58pm Top

Happy to see you started your 2020 thread, Nina!

29thornton37814
Jan 13, 10:03pm Top

Welcome back! Hope you have a great year of reading!

30Dejah_Thoris
Jan 15, 11:13am Top

Hi Nina - welcome back! I hope your trip was wonderful!

31humouress
Edited: Jan 16, 3:18am Top

What a warm welcome back, despite my long absence! Thank you all.

>12 PaulCranswick: >13 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul; nice resolutions. Looks like your search party found me.

>18 fairywings: Thank you Adrienne. I assume you’re safe from the fires where you are?

>19 figsfromthistle: Thanks Anita. I’m finally back again.

>20 foggidawn: Thanks foggi!

>21 drneutron: Thanks Doc. And thank you for hosting the group once again.

>22 ronincats: Thank you Roni and the same to you.

>23 curioussquared: Hi Natalie! Maybe we’ll meet another time.

>24 MickyFine: Thank you Micky.

>25 charl08: It was a close thing, Charlotte, but we’re home again.
;0)

>26 SandDune: Thank you Rhian.

>27 quondame: Thank you Susan. I like your book star.

>28 FAMeulstee: You know me, Anita. I’m here at last.

>29 thornton37814: Thank you Lori.

>30 Dejah_Thoris: Thanks Dejah. Our trip was absolutely fantabulous!!

32humouress
Edited: Feb 2, 2:09am Top

1) Wings of Fire; the Dragonet Prophecy by Tui T. Sutherland (2012)



{First of 13: Wings of Fire series. Children’s, fantasy}

Dragons are divided into 7 different tribes, suited to their natures, each led by a queen. The queen of the Sandwing dragons of the desert has been killed by a scavenger (human) and her three daughters - Blister, Blaze and Burn - are fighting over who gets the throne. Each daughter has allied with some of the other tribes and so a dragon war has raged for years. The inscrutable Nightwing dragons issued a prophecy stating that five dragonets will bring the war to an end. The Talons of Peace identified eggs that they believed were the ones foretold and have been bringing up the dragonets in a safely hidden cave.

Clay, solid and dependable, is a Mudwing; Starflight, who likes learning, is a Nightwing, their Seawing is Tsunami, small Sunny is a Sandwing and instead of the foretold Skywing they have Glory, a multihued Rainwing.

However, the dragonets feel restricted by not knowing about the outside world from personal experience and the story begins with them plotting to leave their hiding place and what happens when they do. They find that the world isn’t quite what they expected.

I quite liked this story although sometimes the dragons acted more human-like so it was a bit harder to envision them as dragons and the illustration on the cover didn’t help. I would put the reading age at around 8-12 years old; there is some fighting and killing but it’s not heavily focused on.

This was an e-book I borrowed from the library for holiday reading and I’m looking forward to borrowing more in the series.

33PaulCranswick
Jan 16, 3:41am Top

>31 humouress: Didn't have to pay the Detective Agency too much since we are neighbours after all.

34fairywings
Jan 16, 4:17am Top

>31 humouress: Yeah Nina we are safe here, thank you for asking. We are in Queensland so a good distance from the fires. We were safe from the fires we had up here in the beginning of the outbreak too, the closest they got were about a half hour or more drive away.
My husbands great aunt has a house in Lake Conjola though, that's one of the tourist areas on the Central Coast of New South Wales that was hit pretty hard, they were evacuated on New Years Eve when the fire raged through the town, but they were one of the lucky families. Their house was one of three left standing in their street when they were allowed back in.

35fairywings
Jan 16, 4:18am Top

>32 humouress: That series sounds interesting, may have to take a look at it.

36humouress
Jan 16, 4:42am Top

>33 PaulCranswick: Glad I didn’t put you too out of pocket ;0)

37humouress
Jan 16, 5:55am Top

>34 fairywings: Gosh! They were lucky. I’ve got folks in the Sydney suburbs who are okay at the moment but one of my Canberra cousins took her young kids to Sydney.

>35 fairywings: That was a BB from another LTer who read the whole series but I can’t work out who at the moment.

38fairywings
Jan 16, 6:26am Top

>37 humouress: I would have left the area with young kids too, even if the fire isn't threatening, the air quality is dangerous.

I'm glad to hear all your folks are ok too.

39SandyAMcPherson
Jan 16, 8:02am Top

Hi Nina, great to see you drop by.
Looks like I didn't get here yet (this year).

Like you said, I'm also trying to read books off my TBR shelf. I keep being distracted by BB's though and so far am only 1 to 3 (of my own books vs. library reads).

40humouress
Jan 16, 8:06am Top

>38 fairywings: Thank you.

Over here in Singapore we’ve lived through the Haze a few times. Even with all the air conditioning we have around, we’ve had issues with breathing and the kids have had coughs at those times.

But, hey, there’s no such thing as climate change. :0/

41humouress
Jan 16, 8:11am Top

>39 SandyAMcPherson: No problem; I’m still finishing setting up.

I tried the ROOTS (Read Our Own Tomes) challenge last year and just about made my goal, so I plan to try again this year. Not that I’m getting rid of my books but my access to library books in my preferred genres is limited. But my first book for this year was a library (e-) book.

42humouress
Edited: Feb 2, 2:36am Top

2) Ogre Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (2018)



{Prequel of 1+4: Enchanted series. Children’s, fantasy}

This is prequel to Levine’s Ella Enchanted (which I gave four and a half stars for) and I must confess to being not quite as enchanted with this book.

Evie (Evora) is fifteen years old and happy working as a healer (though I wouldn’t, personally, try her remedies at home unless you happen to like snail slime or cat saliva) with the help of her best friend Wormy (Warwick) until the day he’s egged on by the ... um ... good fairy Lucinda (who also causes Ella’s discomfiture in the other story) to propose to her. As Evie is a sensible girl who has seen what happens when folks around her married too early, she says no so Lucinda transforms her into an ogre with sixty two days to receive and accept a marriage proposal.

And so Evie travels the kingdom torn between her human and ogre natures, trying to find a solution to her dilemma and unable to resist healing people, ogres and animals along the way.

Although Evie (and Wormy) are fifteen years old, I would put the target audience at around eight to ten years old. I was impressed that Evie had the good sense to want to be her own person and hoped all the way that she would find another way around her curse. For all the ways it could have gone, I was a bit disappointed by several aspects of the ending.

2.5-3 stars ***



(Seriously, spellcheck causes more problems than it solves 😡)

43richardderus
Jan 19, 1:18pm Top

Predictive spelling makes me a crazy person. Glad you're safe and sound.

44figsfromthistle
Jan 19, 7:22pm Top

>42 humouress: I was not aware that there was a prequel to Ella Enchanted. Looks like I didn't miss much!

Have a wonderful start to your week :)

45humouress
Jan 19, 11:07pm Top

>43 richardderus: Thank you Richard.

The holiday was lots of fun but today is the first day of school and the renovations still have to be tweaked/ finished. Plus the house two doors down is being demolished and rebuilt including a new basement; the machinery looks like a diplodocus manoeuvring between the houses and sounds like a whale in pain. But it’s better than a couple of months ago when my son was finishing his exams and it felt like they were pounding the neighbourhood apart.

Personally I think if we get our contractors to drill down and extend our staircase, we’ll discover a ready-built basement underneath us ;0)

Plus my youngest has a recurring bout of synovitis (which isn’t supposed to happen). Last time the doctor sent him to get an X-ray and told me to look up Leggs-Calvé (which ironically is a disease of the hips (from memory)). Thankfully, he ruled it out after looking at the results.

So, you’re right, it’s good to be back but I’m still somewhat in the limbo one feels after returning from a long trip, especially as we spent the first couple of nights back away from home. I’m sure the school routine will soon sort that out :0)

46humouress
Jan 19, 11:46pm Top

>44 figsfromthistle: I was looking for e-library-books to borrow for our holiday Anita and I recognised the author’s name. Looking at other reviews, other readers liked it; I thought the book was okay but not great and I felt the ending was disappointing.

The kids start a new school year today; my youngest started year 6, which in this school is considered a transition year to secondary so new uniforms etc but same building. The year 6 pod is next door to the middle library.... hmmm.

47jayde1599
Jan 20, 6:29am Top

>45 humouress:: My oldest was diagnosed with Leggs-Calvé at age 3 when he was having extreme pains in his legs. The doctor described it as the ball of the hip joint scraping against the bone. Luckily as he grew, things seemed to right itself and there is no more pain. He has not had to go in for an x-ray in over a year. I have never come across anyone else who has heard of this before!

48humouress
Jan 20, 10:49am Top

>47 jayde1599: I’m glad he’s grown out of it Jess. It doesn’t sound very pleasant.

49alcottacre
Jan 20, 11:03am Top

>32 humouress: I think I would probably enjoy that series. Thanks for the review, Nina.

A belated Happy New Year!

50humouress
Edited: Jan 20, 11:22pm Top



Sunset off Hawai’i (Big Island), Hawai’i on 31st December 2019; (almost) the last sunset of the previous decade on Earth.

51alcottacre
Jan 21, 3:07am Top

>50 humouress: Beautiful!

52richardderus
Jan 21, 9:53am Top

>50 humouress: *silent awe*

53souloftherose
Jan 21, 10:41am Top

Welcome back Nina! >50 humouress: Beautiful sunset :-)

54Berly
Jan 21, 11:41pm Top

Nina--You're here!! Welcome home and into 2020 on LT!! LOL. So sorry I wasn't able to meet you in person in Seattle, but I am hoping the BIL draws you back here someday soon. Best of luck with the renovations and the startup of school (even though you are not the one going!).

>50 humouress: Love it!!

55charl08
Jan 22, 5:33pm Top

>50 humouress: That's lovely! Thank you for sharing it.

56humouress
Jan 22, 10:46pm Top

>49 alcottacre: >51 alcottacre: Thank you Stasia. Good to see you here and happy new year to you too!

I’ve just borrowed the second book (The Lost Heir) as an e-book; I’ll have to do some digging and discover where that book bullet cane from.

57ronincats
Jan 22, 10:59pm Top

Hope things are settling down there, Nina, but it has to be good to be home!

58humouress
Jan 22, 11:02pm Top

>52 richardderus: Oops! I’ve silenced Richard ;0)

>53 souloftherose: Thank you Heather.

59humouress
Jan 23, 12:43am Top

>54 Berly: Hi Kim! Yes, we decided we ought to come home from our holiday and I finally started my new thread in the new decade.

I’m sorry too that I missed you in Seattle but I was deeply appreciative that you would contemplate driving 3 or 4 hours to meet me, especially when a half hour drive here gets you to the other side of the country. I’m sure we will be back in Seattle though not very soon - I suspect the kids’ education may get in the way.

Renovations are done except for a few tweaks, which will have to wait for after the Chinese New Year holidays; I’m waiting (and waiting) for a plug point to be installed in my study before I lug my computer back in and set it up, for instance.

Boys are back in school and both doing orientation; one has just started senior school and proudly showed off his new uniform with tie this morning (he’s been in sports kit until today) and the other starts 2 years of his IB course. But they’re off school again on Monday and Tuesday for CNY.

60humouress
Jan 23, 12:53am Top

>55 charl08: Thank you Charlotte. Unfortunately, I can’t take credit for the sunset, only for the photo.

Actually, I had meant to post it as the last photo of my 2019 thread and I still intend posting some other holiday photos here ... we’ll see if I manage it.

>57 ronincats: It is good to be home, Roni. We’re easing back into routine without realising it - although I suspect the upcoming CNY holidays will throw us a bit again. I’m itching to get back into my study/ library so I can clean and polish my new bookshelves and re-organise my books.

61Berly
Jan 23, 12:59am Top

>59 humouress: If I wasn't in the middle of figuring out this dang clotting thing, I would have gladly driven the 3-4 hours to see you!!! Sigh. Guess we'll just have to keep our friendship going here until we get another chance. : )

62humouress
Edited: Jan 23, 3:07pm Top

>61 Berly: I hope you get the clotting thing sorted out as soon as possible Kim. It’s not fun.

We’ll meet ... don’t know where, don’t know when ...

63humouress
Edited: Jan 29, 1:20am Top

4) The Book of Swords: Part 1 edited by Gardner Dozoos

Not Fred Saberhagen’s saga but a Sword & Sorcery anthology. The problem with short stories is that by the time you work out what direction the author is going in, the story comes to an end.

i) The Best Man Wins - K. J. Parker a.k.a. Tom Holt

A stranger requests a swordsmith create ‘the best sword ever made’ for him.
Some amusing notes on the smith’s antisocial inclinations.
3.5-4****

ii) Her Father’s Sword - Robin Hobb

What happens in the aftermath of a village that has been recently Forged. Fitz puts in a guest appearance.
I felt the story didn’t go anywhere, but maybe that was the point, to emphasise the hopelessness of being Forged. Not as good as the Farseer trilogy books it was derived from, which were 5 star reads for me.
2.5-3***

iii) The Hidden Girl - Ken Liu

A young girl in eighth century China is trained as an assassin and ponders on the morality of her calling.
I liked this one, including its more hopeful ending and the sisters’ closeness.
3.5-4****

iv) The Sword of Destiny - Matthew Hughes

A wizard’s henchman fails to steal the Sword of Destiny and decides he’d be better off being as far away as possible from his master’s wrath.
I liked this story too; I liked the old-fashioned style and the gentle humour. I may look for Hughes’s novels.
The conversation, Baldemar saw, had meandered off and left both participants temporarily stranded

4.5-5*****

v) ‘I Am a Handsome Man,’ Said Apollo Crow - Kate Elliott

Apollo Crow accepts a mission from the emperor of a diminished Rome to steal a sketchbook from a beautiful woman; but all is not as it seems.
I like Elliott’s writing; in fact I’ve invested in her Crown of Stars series on the strength of the first book.

5*****

vi) The Triumph of Virtue - Walter Jon Williams

17 year old Quillifer is a lawyer’s apprentice at court and compares the play ‘The Triumph of Virtue’ which is performed there to situations he encounters. When a crime occurs, Quillifer turns detective.

3-3.5***

vii) The Mocking Tower - Daniel Abraham

The Mocking Tower constantly changes its appearance from moment to moment and lies in the lands belonging to a wizard, the Imagi Vert. To these lands comes a thief with the aim of stealing a sword said to have been forged by the wizard from the soul of the emperor, King Raan, whose many heirs are currently waging war and causing blight across the empire.

Beautifully crafted. I love the ending. As a short story which hints at a greater narrative, it leaves some questions unanswered but I would happily read that larger story.

5*****

viii) Hrunting - C.J. Cherryh

Hrunting was the sword lent to Beowulf for his fight against Grendel’s mother by Unferth, advisor to Hrothgar, king of the Danes. It was supposedly invincible but failed in that battle. This story tells of what happens after a disgraced Unferth died and his grandson sets out to recover the family’s luck.

Up to her usual standards.

4****

ix) A Long, Cold Trail - Garth Nix

Sir Hereward and Mister Fitz, agents of the Council for the Treaty of the Safety of the World, are tracking an inimical godlet through the cold wasteland caused by its passage. However, they have to wait for delivery of a relic which can destroy the godlet, until when they dare not get too close in case their lives become endangered.

3.5***

Averaging out: 3.8-4.1
4 stars ****

64quondame
Jan 23, 4:01pm Top

>63 humouress: The book description on the work page seems seriously off! The Best Man Wins sounds so familiar - ah I've checked and see that I've read this collection! I liked CJ Cherryh's and K.J. Parker's particularly. GRRM called it in.

65cameling
Jan 24, 12:10am Top

>50 humouress: That's a really gorgeous sunset photo, Nina. You could even print them out for greeting cards.

66humouress
Jan 24, 3:32am Top

>64 quondame: I’m still working through the collection, Susan, so I’m adding to the notes as I go along.

>65 cameling: Thank you Caroline! Good idea - should I ever be so organised :0)

67humouress
Jan 25, 8:35am Top

>63 humouress: Brain is switched off and I can’t think of a word for ‘the closeness between sisters’. If you can, please let me know what it is.

I was going to coin a new word sistership but when I looked it up, Merriam-Webster thinks I mean ships that are built from the same plans.

68richardderus
Jan 25, 12:56pm Top

>67 humouress: "Sisterhood"? "Siblingity"? "Something more often discussed than seen"?

69humouress
Edited: Jan 26, 1:15am Top

>68 richardderus: I considered ‘sisterhood’ but I wanted something that meant ‘a feeling of kinship’ rather than ‘an organisation of girls’.

And what do you mean you prefer Yorkshire to London?

70humouress
Edited: Feb 2, 3:41am Top

3) The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory (2018)



{First of 4: The Wedding Date series. Chick-lit, romance}

Alexa gets stuck in a hotel lift and suddenly realises there’s a hot guy with a suitcase stranded in the lift with her. They start chatting, there’s some chemistry going and she discovers that Drew is in town to be a groomsman at a wedding at the weekend and he needs a ‘plus one’ so she agrees to go with him. And things progress from there.

Although the story is narrated in the third person you get both protagonists’ perspectives especially as Alexa lives in San Francisco and Drew lives in LA. There’s lots of shuttling between cities, bedroom scenes, coffee and food.

A fun romp. About what you’d expect from the genre (without too much of the frustrating ‘why did they/ don’t they do that?’ Mis/ communicate, usually). I did find it distracting that her skin colour was an issue occasionally - it seemed tacked on to the narrative, the (very) few times it was mentioned - but it didn’t spoil the story for me.

3***

71fairywings
Jan 26, 1:26am Top

>67 humouress: Rapport? Bond? Intimacy? would any of these fit the bill?

72humouress
Edited: Jan 26, 1:41am Top

>71 fairywings: I was looking for one word to describe ‘the sisters’ closeness’ in >63 humouress: ‘The Hidden Girl’ but the girls aren’t physically related.

>68 richardderus: >71 fairywings: Thanks for the suggestions.

73PaulCranswick
Jan 28, 9:29am Top

>67 humouress: I cannot be a ship built from the same plans but we are neighbours at least!

74richardderus
Jan 28, 11:08am Top

>69 humouress: I have absolutely no problem with mayhem and fires and destruction being visited on London! Crime waves are fine as well! Like Los Angeles, it is a place that exists to be left.

75humouress
Jan 28, 12:20pm Top

>73 PaulCranswick: Howdy neighbour! Welcome home.

>74 richardderus: I say! Admittedly I left, but I still get homesick.

76humouress
Edited: Jan 28, 2:14pm Top

I just watched the last two episodes of ‘Sanditon’ on BBC Player. It wasn’t Austen but it was fun.

However, the ending wasn’t your typical ‘happily ever after’ either because the creators were hoping to make a second series but they didn’t have high enough viewer numbers in the UK for the television company to want to renew it. At the moment everything is up in the air unless they get enough numbers from American viewers to encourage the production of a second series.

In the meantime, there’s also this petition which I’ve added my name to.
https://www.change.org/p/itv-give-us-sanditon-series-2?signed=true

But I hope they make the second series because I want to find out how it ends!

77ronincats
Edited: Jan 28, 10:37pm Top

>76 humouress: I have that recorded but haven't seen any of it. It's been years since I read the fragment--maybe 70s?

78humouress
Edited: Jan 28, 2:12pm Top

>77 ronincats: I think I must have read it when I was at school (but we didn’t read it in class) in the eighties.

79PaulCranswick
Jan 28, 2:51pm Top

>76 humouress: I'll sign the petition for you even if i have no intention of watching it!

80richardderus
Jan 28, 2:59pm Top

>75 humouress: There are people who long for the desert, the jungle, the muddy nastiness that is Lille. Home is a weird thing, belovè of one and all.

London ≠ home to me. Great musea, theater of all sorts, LOTS of smokers and incomprehensible speakers of "English" of a sort that bewilders the average American like moi.

81quondame
Jan 28, 3:07pm Top

>74 richardderus: Nooooo! I LOVE LA. Soft weather, minimal bugs, availability of nearly everything! Fiction may do as it likes, it has hardly ever got LA right, the basic, we do not deal with snow, hurricanes, or tornadoes, earthquakes aren't that bad sanity of it's residents, though the old, I have a separate group of friends for each activity has suffered greatly under the present administration.

82richardderus
Jan 28, 3:26pm Top

>81 quondame: Chacun à son goût.

::side-eye::

earthquakes aren't that bad jeez laweez

83humouress
Jan 28, 3:40pm Top

>79 PaulCranswick: Thank you Paul.

I didn’t realise you were averse to Jane Austen. Or is it that you are such a fan of her works you don’t like seeing them adulterated? Granted, the TV show doesn’t stick to the manners we’re used to seeing from her (horror of horrors, I saw ankles - or ancles, as she would have spelled them - during the ball scene) but it was still fun to watch.

84PaulCranswick
Jan 28, 3:42pm Top

>83 humouress: No, I am not averse, but some of those costume dramas are a little bit OTT. She is a pick for the BAC this year after all.

85PaulCranswick
Jan 28, 3:42pm Top

PS Another insomniac?

86humouress
Jan 28, 3:42pm Top

>80 richardderus: Let me remind you, young Yank, that we speak English in England, even oop North.

87humouress
Jan 28, 3:46pm Top

>81 quondame: One day, Susan, Richard may even live in a big city and find out what it’s really like. ;0)

*mutters* ‘Lille, forsooth’

88humouress
Jan 28, 3:47pm Top

>85 PaulCranswick: *sigh* Yes.

I wasn’t going to reply to all these posts in case you caught me out. :0)

89humouress
Jan 28, 3:49pm Top

>84 PaulCranswick: Just a tad.

And there’s no ‘script’ to stick to this time, Sanditon being a fragment.

90humouress
Edited: Feb 2, 6:25am Top

4) The Book of Swords: Part 1 edited by Gardner Dozois (2017)



{First of 2: Book of Swords anthology series. Fantasy, short stories, anthology}

Not Fred Saberhagen’s saga but a Sword & Sorcery anthology. The problem with short stories is that by the time you work out what direction the author is going in, the story comes to an end; but I found quite a few gems in this anthology.

i) The Best Man Wins - K. J. Parker a.k.a. Tom Holt

A stranger requests a swordsmith create ‘the best sword ever made’ for him.
Some amusing notes on the smith’s antisocial inclinations.
3.5-4****

ii) Her Father’s Sword - Robin Hobb

About what happens in the aftermath of a village that has been recently Forged. Fitz puts in a guest appearance.
I felt the story didn’t go anywhere, but maybe that was the point, to emphasise the hopelessness of being Forged. Not as good as the Farseer trilogy books it was derived from, which were 5 star reads for me.
2.5-3***

iii) The Hidden Girl - Ken Liu

A young girl in eighth century China is trained as an assassin and ponders on the morality of her calling.
I liked this one, including its more hopeful ending and the closeness between sisters.
3.5-4****

iv) The Sword of Destiny - Matthew Hughes

A wizard’s henchman fails to steal the Sword of Destiny and decides he’d be better off being as far away as possible from his master’s wrath.
I liked this story too; I liked the old-fashioned style and the gentle humour. I may look for Hughes’s novels.
The conversation, Baldemar saw, had meandered off and left both participants temporarily stranded
4.5-5*****

v) ‘I Am a Handsome Man,’ Said Apollo Crow - Kate Elliott

Apollo Crow accepts a mission from the emperor of a diminished Rome to steal a sketchbook from a beautiful woman; but all is not as it seems.
I like Elliott’s writing; in fact I’ve invested in her Crown of Stars series on the strength of the first book.

5*****

vi) The Triumph of Virtue - Walter Jon Williams

17 year old Quillifer is a lawyer’s apprentice at court and compares the play ‘The Triumph of Virtue’ which is performed there to situations he encounters. When a crime occurs, Quillifer turns detective.

3-3.5***

vii) The Mocking Tower - Daniel Abraham

The Mocking Tower constantly changes its appearance from moment to moment and lies in the lands belonging to a wizard, the Imagi Vert. To these lands comes a thief with the aim of stealing a sword said to have been forged by the wizard from the soul of the emperor, King Raan, whose many heirs are currently waging war and causing blight across the empire.

Beautifully crafted. I love the ending. As a short story which hints at a greater narrative, it leaves some questions unanswered but I would happily read that larger story.

5*****

viii) Hrunting - C.J. Cherryh

Hrunting was the sword lent to Beowulf for his fight against Grendel’s mother by Unferth, advisor to Hrothgar, king of the Danes. It was supposedly invincible but failed in that battle. This story tells of what happens after a disgraced Unferth died and his grandson sets out to recover the family’s luck.

Up to her usual standards.

4****

ix) A Long, Cold Trail - Garth Nix

Sir Hereward and Mister Fitz, agents of the Council for the Treaty of the Safety of the World, are tracking an inimical godlet through the cold wasteland caused by its passage. However, they have to wait for delivery of a relic which can destroy the godlet, until when they dare not get too close in case their lives become endangered too.

3.5***

Averaging out: 3.8-4.1
4 stars

91quondame
Jan 29, 1:45am Top

>90 humouress: Crown of Stars is an amazing series - particularly if you let yourself enjoy wandering all over the place and not getting exactly where you meant to go.

92humouress
Jan 29, 10:33am Top

>91 quondame: That sounds like me.

My book doesn’t have a story by GRRM;I suspect you read the hardback version. I have the paperbacks which are divided into Part I and Part II so I’ll probably come across his story in the second book.

93quondame
Jan 29, 1:55pm Top

>92 humouress: I think I only read Part II. Or at least, only cataloged it. Though I don't recall the stories you mention it doesn't mean I haven't read them.

94figsfromthistle
Jan 29, 8:19pm Top

>90 humouress: I've never heard of this series. Sounds like a good one.

95humouress
Edited: Jan 29, 9:10pm Top

>93 quondame: Ah; you sounded familiar with them from your previous comments. But I know what you mean about remembering. Last year I read and reviewed a couple of books I borrowed and discovered I’d already read them a few years ago (borrowed from a different library, at least).

>94 figsfromthistle: Crown of Stars? Yes, I really liked it, as far as I got.

The Book of Swords? It’s an anthology. I’ve seen it in hardback but I have it in paperback as two books, Parts I & II. It averaged out at 4 stars for me - pretty good for an anthology. I also have The Book of Magic also edited by Gardner Dozois.

96The_Hibernator
Jan 30, 1:58pm Top

I haven't been to your thread either! But here I am. I don't want to get smartphones for the kids till they're in high school. However, they have tablets. I just got them Epic! Which is a reading app with "unlimited " books (whatever that means). So when they have to go off their tablets, they're still allowed to use them for reading ebooks. And I get a weekly update on what they've read. It's great!

97richardderus
Jan 30, 2:19pm Top

A good anthology! I like the sound of Hrunting particularly.

98humouress
Jan 30, 3:49pm Top

>96 The_Hibernator: Hi Rachel and welcome over! I’ve been a bit slow off the ground myself. January is almost over and (I feel like) I’ve barely started the year.

My eldest got his first (hand-me-down) smart phone when he went into year 6 so firelion was absolutely expecting to get one for this birthday - and even laying down specifications. As neither my husband nor I wanted to give up our existing phones, here I am with an iPhone 6 while he has the latest model.

And both boys have to have laptops for school. We’re still working on rules as to when and what they they can use them for (not very successfully on my part). I had actually contemplated getting firelion a Kindle of his own but that would have been one more screen for him to be consumed by. I’ll look into Epic! but it would be wasted on superboy because he’s sadly fallen out of the habit of reading.

99humouress
Jan 30, 3:52pm Top

>97 richardderus: An average of four stars for an anthology is pretty high for me, I think.

Did you like the sound of the story or or the title? It does have a charm about it; maybe a feeling that you’d have to sort of use your nose if you were saying it out loud. :0)

100humouress
Edited: Feb 2, 6:18am Top

5) The Lost Heir by Tui Sutherland (2012)



{Second of 13: Wings of Fire series. Children’s, fantasy}

This second book follows the ‘dragonets of destiny’ as they search for their families and try to work out how they’re going to fulfill the prophecy and bring an end to the dragon war. Having been taken from their families as eggs and brought up in isolation in an underground cave, the five dragonets are discovering the difference between reality and the scrolls they’ve been taught from. They’ve all dreamed of being reunited with their families but will the reality live up to the dream?

This time it’s Tsunami the Seawing’s turn to find her family and discover how they feel about her, how much she doesn’t know about her tribe’s culture, how it will affect her relationship with the other dragonets and how she feels about the Seawings. And they meet Blister, the second of the Sandwing queens around whom the dragon war is being fought.

I feel the writing has improved from the first book including the characterisation (Glory the Rainwing, for instance, is starting to get a bit irritating). The dragons are more dragon-like than in the first book for the most part except for having pots in the kitchen (considering they eat the majority of their food raw). There are still a few niggles; the constant use of the word ‘talons’ as a substitute for ‘hands’ instead of ‘finger/ nail/ claw’ for instance (and the dragons have all acquired ‘snouts’ which is ... accurate but unromantic).

This would work well for the 8-12 age group but there is violence and killing. There is a description of a dragon being electrocuted at one point and a scene with dragons dying in battle.

... body slipped over the edge into the electric eel moat.
... A blinding flash of blue sizzled up the cascading waterfall. Tsunami jumped back, and all five dragonets huddled close in the center of the island. The water in the moat churned and seethed around the spot where (the dragon) had disappeared. Thick green tails thrashed through the bubbles and sparks flew as if several bolts of lightning were striking at once.
... Slowly the flashes calmed down until only an occasional zap appeared in the wall.
And then they all stopped. The waterfall was quiet, and so was the moat.
Tsunami could see the eels, still clustered around a large, dark shape at the bottom of the pool. But their frenzy had subsided, and she guessed she was lucky she couldn’t see any details of what they were doing now.


3.5 stars

101humouress
Feb 2, 6:12am Top



From the Chihuly gallery in Seattle.

I’ve reviewed and posted all my books for January (and there were so many); onwards with February!

102PaulCranswick
Feb 2, 7:41am Top

>101 humouress: Intriguing picture, Nina. I'm not entirely sure what it is.

Have a lovely Sunday evening.

103figsfromthistle
Feb 2, 7:46am Top

>101 humouress: I am a huge fan of Chihuly's work. One day I hope to see the gallery.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend

104humouress
Edited: Feb 2, 8:02am Top

>102 PaulCranswick: The title is ‘Ikebana & Float Boats’ at Chihuly Garden and Glass which we visited when we were in Seattle.

The photo (for once) is mine which may be why it’s hard to work out, but I love the colours and shapes he creates.

>103 figsfromthistle: I forget whereabouts in Canada you are, Anita, but if you’re not too far from Vancouver I’m sure you can get to Seattle. I did see an exhibition of his in Chicago (as I discussed with Joe last year) about 20 years ago but I don’t know if it was a permanent installation or not.

I plan to post a few more of my photos as we go along; I especially love his works that are set amongst plants.

105charl08
Feb 3, 8:07am Top

>101 humouress: Silly question, but how big was this sculpture? I love the colours. More photos please!

106humouress
Feb 4, 10:44pm Top

>105 charl08: The boats could have been real; at any rate, they were row boat size.

Will do, on the photos :0)

107PaulCranswick
Feb 4, 10:54pm Top

Nice to see you met up with my old pal Caro, Nina. She's great company isn't she?

108FAMeulstee
Feb 6, 12:18pm Top

>101 humouress: Beautiful!

109humouress
Feb 7, 5:26am Top

>107 PaulCranswick: Yes; I finally managed my second ever LibraryThing meet up, this time with Caroline (cameling) and her husband - who is a reader but not on LT.

We had a long chat while having a quick bite to eat (at Paul’s café) and then popped in to Kinokuniya, where we browsed and chatted some more. We didn’t pick up anything for ourselves in this outing but at Caroline’s suggestion I bought Sandman Preludes and Nocturnes for my eldest (on LT as superboy) in the hopes of getting him back to reading.

But I’m reading it first :0)

110humouress
Feb 7, 5:29am Top

>108 FAMeulstee: Thanks Anita.

Most of the gallery (inside) is set up in black with the sculptures lit up, so it really brings out the colours. I have pictures of the outside, too, where the sculptures are set amongst plants.

111humouress
Edited: Feb 9, 3:27am Top

6) Forest Born by Shannon Hale (2009)



{Fourth of 4: Books of Bayern series. YA, fantasy}

This book could be read as a stand-alone since each book in the series is an individual story but it helps to have read the previous books as there are recurring characters. This time the story is about Rinna, younger sister of Razo, and it follows her childhood growing up in the Forest which lies between the capital cities of the countries of Kildenree and Bayern.

After Razo and all his older brothers, Ma finally has her longed for girl and everyone knows she loves Rinna best. Rin grows up with a heap of nieces and nephews and her favourite brother Razo, who teaches her to climb trees. But when Razo goes off to the city and has adventures, Rin discovers she has a power in her but using it troubles her conscience. She doesn’t want to lose Ma’s love so she does her best to suppress the power and be as good as her Ma. And then when she’s fifteen, Rin goes to the city to join Razo and his friends in the palace with the royal family Anidori, Gerric and the Little Prince Tusken and have adventures of her own with the ‘fire-sisters’ who can control the elements.

I really like the way Hale describes the familial love and affection especially between Rin and her Ma and between Rin and Razo and the way Ma and Rin are central to their family, the Agget-kin.
He spent winter nights longing for a younger sibling, someone he could call runt, someone he could push and pinch.
Ma was longing too, but for a girl to share thoughts with, a daughter cut and sewn from her own soul.
When Razo was almost five, he and Ma both got their wish. The baby girl was born on a night so hot the wind panted and the summer moon blazed like the sun.
‘Rinna,’ Ma named her.
‘A girl,’ said the father.
‘Rinna-girl,’ said Razo, peering over the side of the cot.
The baby blinked huge dark eyes and opened her mouth into a tiny circle. All desire to push and pinch hushed right out of Razo.
He bent closer to her year and whispered, ‘I’m going to teach you to climb trees.’

I like the camaraderie and banter between the characters and the thread woven through the story of Enna’s wedding, delayed because Bayern is once more at war with only Isi and her friends to protect it.

4 stars

The picture at the top is of the cover I have though I would like to have this one, to match the rest of the series.

112humouress
Edited: Feb 9, 3:52am Top

7) First Earl I See Tonight by Anna Bennet (2018)



{First of 3: Debutante Diaries series. Romance}

Fiona Hartley is an heiress whose father’s fortune comes from trade. She has received a blackmail letter concerning her adopted sister’s heritage and decides that her best course of action is to get a penniless peer to marry her within two weeks so that she can access her dowry and pay the blackmailer without letting her family know in case they get upset.

The usual fare for this genre so I was ready to suspend disbelief in spite of anachronisms and ... um ... extremely unladylike behaviour but when the blackmailer was revealed the plot took a right-angle turn into ... let’s say implausible. It didn’t work for me.

2 stars

113humouress
Edited: Feb 10, 11:18pm Top

Preludes and Nocturnes The Sandman Volume I (GN) by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg & Malcolm Jones III (1988-1989)



{First 8 of 75 The Sandman series. Graphic novel, gothic, horror}

This is the 30th anniversary edition of Sandman 1-8. Caroline (cameling) suggested it to try to coax my eldest (superboy) back to reading. I thought I’d read it first :0) I haven’t read graphic novels (GNs) except for an Ultimate Spider-Man and since the Sandman series has had good press here on LT, I thought it might be a good introduction.

8) i) Sleep of the Just - The Sandman 1



1916, England: the Order of Ancient Mysteries casts a spell to catch and imprison Death. Instead they trap another entity and while they hold it prisoner for the better part of a century, around the world ordinary people suffer the consequences.

Hmm; darker than I was expecting and not something I’d be comfortable with my 11 year old reading, certainly. I’m not sure about my 16 year old - I’ll have to read more to assess it ;0)

The drawings are so detailed; even the background behind the panels have been considered and there are special effects which the illustrators have conveyed even though it’s a 2D medium. The story runs from 1916-1988 and the passage of time is conveyed by recurring characters ageing, changing hairstyles, books that were popular in specific time periods and so on.

I must say, the Sandman character looks like a graphic version of Neil Gaiman.

3-3.5***

9) ii) Imperfect Hosts - The Sandman 2

Weakened by his long imprisonment the Sandman makes his slow way home, hoping to garner strength from his own territory but he discovers things have changed during his absence. Along the way he requests help from old acquaintances. His next quest will be to recover the tools that were taken from him when he was caught.

Still gothic but not quite so grim. I love Gregory the gargoyle; he’s so cute. There are mythical and biblical references as well as cameo appearances by DC heroes, anti-heroes and villains who may be in possession of the Sandman’s tools.

3.5***

10) iii) Dream a Little Dream of Me- The Sandman 3

This story is told in the first person from the point of view of John Constantine (a DC anti/ hero) to whom the Sandman goes for help in finding one of the tools of his trade. It’s a bit bitter-sweet but it does have a happy ending.

I do have a couple of slight criticisms about the drawing; the (main) characters don’t always maintain the same features and I don’t always know in which direction to read. For the most part the magazines follow the standard side by side format but there have been one or two pages where it goes across the double page.

3.5-4****

11) iv) A Hope in Hell - The Sandman 4

Clever title. That would be telling.

Mr. Sandman visits Hell in the hopes of finding the second of his lost tools. But Hell has changed in his absence and now that he has lost power, he has to negotiate from a position of weakness.

There is a side plot concerning John Dee, Dr. Destiny, a DC villain, but I don’t see where that’s going yet.

3-3.5***

12) v) Passengers - The Sandman 5

The Sandman searches for the Justice League of America to help him find the third tool of his trade. We meet Scott Free (as well as others, but in passing) and J’onn J’onzz, who recognises the Sandman as a Martian god. Meanwhile, John Dee escapes from Arkham Asylum (passing the Scarecrow on his way out) and makes his way to the same item, which the JLA had recovered from him.

This magazine takes the tone darker again.

3***

13) vi) 24 Hours - The Sandman 6

Well this one might as well be called ‘The depravity of John Dee’. John Dee walks into a diner and plays with the minds and actions of the people who come in. At the same time he affects world events, according to the television news that’s on the diner’s TV.

Nope. Did not enjoy this one. Especially not the animal abuse.

2**

14) vii) Sound and Fury - The Sandman 7

The Sandman battles John Dee in the dream realm. Not as grim as the previous one.

3***

15) viii) The Sound of Her Wings - The Sandman 8

This one is a bit more upbeat, even though we meet Death.

I thought this was funny:
‘You are utterly the most self-centred, appalingest excuse for an anthropomorphic personification on this or any other plane!’

3.5***

Average 3***

114MickyFine
Feb 8, 12:17pm Top

The inconsistent art is one of the things that made me give up on Sandman. Also several of the plot lines are just too dark for me.

115richardderus
Feb 8, 3:00pm Top

>113 humouress: I expect it will work on superboy; it's immensely popular among the youff of today, and roundly praised by every one of them I've encountered.

I hope the weekend finishes strong.

116humouress
Feb 8, 8:57pm Top

>114 MickyFine: Well, this is volume I which has issues 1-8 in it so I’ll read to the end and then see how I feel about continuing. Of the three I’ve read so far, 1 was a bit grim-dark, 2 was fun (especially Gregory) and 3 fell somewhere in between.

117PaulCranswick
Feb 8, 9:01pm Top

Happy Sunday from your sleep addled neighbour

118humouress
Feb 8, 9:05pm Top

>115 richardderus: Having decided to read it first partly to assess its suitability for superboy (completely altruistic), on the evidence so far I think I wouldn’t have a problem if I found him reading it but there are one or two images in there that make this mother not feel comfortable about giving her teenage son the GN to read knowing that he would know I’ve read it already.

119humouress
Feb 8, 9:08pm Top

>117 PaulCranswick: Happy Sunday Paul! Nearly missed you there. I hope you manage to catch up on your sleep - that’s what weekends are for :0)

120SandDune
Feb 9, 4:58am Top

>113 humouress: I actually found The SandMan too gory for me! But then I’m not good with that sort of stuff.

121humouress
Feb 9, 5:16am Top

>120 SandDune: Well either I haven’t got to the really gory parts, Rhian, or my imagination would be worse. I can kind of skim past the more gruesome drawings. Hell in issue 4 is populated by odd looking monsters with too many eyes or teeth; I can cope with that.

122humouress
Feb 9, 8:21am Top

>120 SandDune: Issue 6. Yup; I’ve got to the gory parts. The kids won’t be getting this one.

123humouress
Edited: Feb 15, 10:02pm Top

16) How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse by K. Eason



{First of 1?: The Thorne Chronicles. Space opera/ fantasy, YA}

What happens when a fairytale comes up against planetary politics?

Sleeping Beauty and her prince lived happily ever after and their descendants ruled the kingdom and then migrated to the stars. This story is told as a history of a time where Earth is not merely ‘the old homeworld’ but ‘the ancient homeworld’ and when only two alien species were known rather than the four of the ‘present day’.

For the past two hundred years, as the story opens, the Thorne family has been blessed with boys as the first born in every generation. When a girl is born instead of the expected boy, the royal family is unsure of what protocol to follow. To be safe, they hold a Naming ceremony and invite the fairies - and are rather nonplussed when the fairies, including the thirteenth, actually turn up and bestow blessings and a curse on the baby princess.
The thirteenth fairy said this: “I curse you, Rory Thorne: to find no comfort in illusion or platitude, and to know truth when you hear it, no matter how well concealed by flattery, custom, or mendacity.”
Then she straightened. She looked at the twelfth fairy, and her eyes were hard and hopeful. “Your turn, sister.”
(After some conversation with baby Rory:)
The littlest fairy smiled. “All right, then. Here is my gift, little princess: that you will always see a path through difficulties, and you will always find the courage to take it.”
And so we watch Rory as she grows up, adapting as politics changes her life.

I do appreciate the fact that this time it is the prince who is asleep and it is the princess who rescues - well, everyone. (There are lots of small - and not so small - feminist asides along the way.)

A couple of things to note; the thirteenth fairy’s curse manifests as Rory being able to ‘hear’ when people aren’t telling the truth so on the written page it appears as italicised font interrupting the flow of speech. It took me a couple of instances to realise that but it works well (once you’ve got the hang of it).

And rather than our computers and internet, they have turing networks which, I assume, are named after Alan Turing. (Turing was a British cryptanalyst who worked on breaking German codes during WWII and is considered the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence.)

I like the concept of alchemy and arithmancy being the science of this universe though it isn’t - quite - magic. Oh - and look out for the colour-changing sensitive Kreshti ferns, especially when the poor things try to blend in with the furniture because of the emotional overload.

I think Samur, Rory’s mother, gets somewhat short shrift; despite her duties she tries to spend as much time with her daughter as she can until events dictate otherwise and she always puts royal duty ahead of personal comfort which make her seem distant. Rory has her body-maid, Deme Grytt, who is a no-nonsense soldier and the Vizier, who is her tutor in politics and arithmancy, so as well as raising her to be a good Crown Princess they are almost substitute parents.

Cleverly done. There is a suggestion of ‘they went off and had more adventures’ at the end which hints at a sequel which I will happily read if it eventualises.

4.5 stars

124MickyFine
Feb 14, 12:13pm Top

>123 humouress: I really loved this one so I'm glad you enjoyed it too, Nina.

125humouress
Feb 14, 8:48pm Top

>124 MickyFine: I was hit by a BB and I think it came from your direction. Thanks!

126PaulCranswick
Feb 14, 8:56pm Top

Wishing you a great weekend, Nina.

127humouress
Feb 15, 2:17am Top

Thank you Paul. And to you too.

128fairywings
Feb 15, 8:30pm Top

>123 humouress: Sounds like a BB to me. I love alternate versions or variations on much loved stories.

129humouress
Feb 15, 10:44pm Top

>128 fairywings: It’s listed on LT as a series although there’s no second title in evidence yet. I’m looking forward to reading it; I wonder if it will continue the alternative fairytale trope?

130richardderus
Feb 16, 12:08pm Top

Arithmancy! I already think mathematics is black art, and trigonometry foulest sorcery.

131ronincats
Feb 16, 1:02pm Top

>123 humouress: Glad you enjoyed that one, Nina. I sure did.

132drneutron
Feb 16, 10:09pm Top

>130 richardderus: You should give topology a try sometime. Definitely spawned in hell. 😂

133PaulCranswick
Feb 16, 10:42pm Top

Love arithmetic but hate calculus, algebra and trig.

134thornton37814
Yesterday, 9:30am Top

I was always great in all things mathematical.

135humouress
Yesterday, 10:46pm Top

>130 richardderus: My kind of magic.

>131 ronincats: Thanks Roni!

>132 drneutron: With that endorsement ... maybe not.

>133 PaulCranswick: >134 thornton37814: I’m more of a pure maths fan, myself. Algebra is probably my favourite, not that I’ve done any maths since I finished my education. I’ll have to oil the gears though, now that my kids are at that stage.

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