Showing posts from May, 2018

Monday Musings: Attolian Intrigue and Eddisian Cleverness

After finishing The Queen of Attolia last week, I picked up its sequel, The King of Attolia almost immediately. The twists and turns of QoA's finale left me craving more, and boy does KoA deliver more. The King of Attolia picks up where its predecessor left off: with the marriage of Irene (Queen of Attolia) and Eugenides (Gen, Thief of Eddis, now King of Attolia or Attolis). After offering glimpses of the wedding night from various parties within and without the Attolian capitol, the story moves to Costis, a young squad leader in the Queen's Guard. He's in trouble, you see. He punched Gen for baiting Teleus, the Captain of the Guard. By rights, Costis should be executed. But Gen has other plans. He makes Costis a lieutenant and assigns him to be Gen's personal guard and sparring partner. It makes Costis' life difficult, but his brothers in arms support him in his trials. No one in Attolia likes Gen, except his wife. Everyone sees him as a buffoon

Monday Musings: Circles are the Perfect Shape

And yes, that is a Tow'rs reference. Go listen . I just finished rereading The Queen of Attolia (only a year after I reread The Thief in hopes of reading the whole series again before getting to Thick as Thieves ). As I plotted out how to do this month's ThrowBook Thursday post (delayed from last week due to a sick Samwise, who's now on the mend), I realized that I'd already used QoA for last year's TBT in May . I'm pretty sure I blinked. Then I laughed. Then I said, "What the heck, let's review it again anyway." Everything I said last year remains true (minus me thinking QoA has multiple myths; it just has the one). But I want to add a few things that I appreciated even more on this, my third time through the book: Eugenides and his sass. "I'll stop shouting, but I won't sit down. I might need to throw more ink bottles." Attolia and everything we learn about her history Ruby earrings (if you've read the books,

Monday Musings: Dan Wells' The Devil's Only Friend

I've previously written about my love for Dan Wells' John Cleaver books, specifically the third in the series, I Don't Want to Kill You . I finally picked up book 4 (after saying recently that I probably wouldn't get to it till later this year; my reading muse is a fickle beast) and let me tell you: Dan Wells (still) isn't pulling any punches. After reading the novella/short story "Next of Kin" that (sort of) bridges the two John Cleaver trilogies, I wasn't expecting this book to pick up where it did. John has left Clayton to work with the FBI in tracking down the Withered -- the demons of the previous books -- but life isn't all that great. He doesn't actually get to kill the Withered, which means that his usual routine of getting to know a Withered's weakness and then put them down is disrupted, providing him with all of the build-up and none of the release. What's more, his teammates don't exactly see him as trustworthy,

Watercolor Wednesday: AprilFae, 100 Myths, and More

I didn't get around to uploading more art last month, so here's the rest of the AprilFae pieces, along with some other projects I've had going in the last couple of weeks. The AprilFae pics got loaded all out of order, so I'm just going to tell you what the prompt was and what I was aiming for rather than which day it was for. This one was "faerie fruit" and I thought an acorn was the most faerie fruit. I did a little postcard with an acorn, a pebble, and a dandelion seed. This is a little trading card for "spellbound." I wanted to do something related to Sleeping Beauty, which led me to thorns, and somehow that led to a ring of thorns. This is another postcard, this time for "harebells" (which are the flowers). I couldn't quite get the idea of an actual hare and an actual bell out of my head, so we wound up with this strange little picture: These are two bookmarks, one for "goblin egg" and the

Monday Musings: A Monster Calls Review

Last week I picked up a book I'd heard about but never looked into for myself: A Monster Calls . I'd recently bought a copy at our local used book store and after some rousing recommendations from friends I decided I wanted to read it sooner rather than later. Reader beware: SPOILERS abound. It's the movie cover, but it's gorgeous and it's the copy I read. A Monster Calls has one of the best opening lines I've read in a while: "The monster shows up just after midnight. As they do." (Apparently, this is something of a trope in stories now; follow-up a sentence about extraordinary things with the statement "as you/they do" as though it's perfectly normal. I've heard it used that way in real life, but this was the first time I encountered it in fiction.) From there we're introduced to Conor, a 13-year-old boy with a cancer-stricken mum (this is the UK after all) and a recurring nightmare whose ending he won't even l

Top 10 Books in My TBR Pile (Revisited)

Back in January I listed the books in my TBR pile/shelf that I was most looking forward to reading. This month, I'm going to update that list because a) I have read a few from that list and b) my reading desires change with the hour. Cold Days by Jim Butcher Now that I've read Changes and Ghost Story (and have given myself some time to recuperate), I'm ready to dive into the next Dresden Files book. I'm really interested to see where the series goes after the stunning duo that was books 12 and 13. A Report from Group 17 by Robert C. O'Brien This is the last book in the O'Brien read/watch series, and I've partly been holding off on it because after this, there will be no more new-to-me O'Brien books. Yes, there are the NIMH sequels written by his daughter, but still. I'm going to read it because I need to finish the series, but please don't be upset if it takes me a little longer. The Witchwood Crown by Tad Williams I t