And on the non-ranty side


Books read recently:
Unseen Academicals: the latest Terry Pratchett about the wizards of UU playing football. A lot of the pleasures of the Pratchett books currently is the reccurrence of the main players such as Lady Margoletta, Sam Vimes, Rincewind and the witches, and this one is mostly the same. There’s a couple of hilarious set pieces (the chicken-powered computer is awesome), and the new characters are nice, though not all are memorable (I loved Glenda, wasn’t such a big fan of Juliet, who’s too good to be true, though I got it was the point).
The Sea Thy Mistress: Elizabeth Bear was kind enough to provide me with an ARC of this one, and I leapt at the chance. The Edda of Burdens is one of my absolute favourite series out there: All the Windwracked Stars had this awesome meld of technology, magic and post-apocalypse, and By the Mountain Bound has all the gravitas and sense of impending doom of the Norse epics. The prose is always a pleasure to read, and there’s a couple of really strong characters (the wolf Mingan, and Muire, the least of the waelcyrge, who learns that she can grow and come into her own). Short, non-spoilery version: the book is made of awesome, and you should go read it and its predecessors. It’s available for pre-orders now; I think it’s not out until Jan 2011.
(more spoilery discussion under the cut)

The Sea Thy Mistress picks up some time after the ending of All the Windwracked Stars, but it sees the events of prequel By the Mountain Bound come to a head. Heythe the witch and deceiver, who set the apocalypse into motion, has travelled forward in time, expecting to find only a charred ruin. But due to the events of All the Windwracked Stars, the world is actually undergoing a renaissance–and Heythe determines to put a stop to that, by threatening, cajoling and seducing whoever she has to. The central characters in this one are the trio of Cathoair, his son, and Mingan, but a number of characters from the previous books make a comeback, and everything is wrapped up very satisfactorily. If I had anything to complain about, it’s that the book is too short. There’s bits and pieces of the universe I wouldn’t have minded seeing in greater detail, and it sometimes feels like too many fireworks to be taken all in. On the plus side, I’m looking forward to rereading the whole series–except more slowly this time.


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