It has been–OMG–three years since my last post! Motherhood, full-time editorial work, motherhood, a long illness, and motherhood have kept me away.
My daughter is now 6. And I’m back.
I still love historical fiction. I am also testing new waters, venturing into the realm of fantasy. I have a stack (and I mean a huge! stack) of books tempting me on my bedside table. The one I’m reading right now is V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic. I’m about 60 pages in and so far so good. I have no patience for a novel that doesn’t capture my attention within 50 pages (which I know will make me miss a few gems), but this one has caught me. The concept of “location” travel in a city that has been split into four “realms” (Red, White, Grey, and Black London), not time travel, is intriguing. Add to that, only certain magically inclined people, called Antaris, can travel among the three realms, and so it is with Kell, the main character.
The author posted a list of the fun elements of her book on Goodreads:
–Sadistic kings (and queens)
–A royal who is equal parts Prince Harry and Jack Harkness
–More magic (blood magic, elemental magic, bad magic, etc. etc.)
–Epic magicky fight scenes
–And coats with more than two sides
What’s there not to like??? I’ll write a full review when I’m done.
Other FANTASY NOVELS that are staring at me from the table are:
The Curse of Challion by Lois McMaster Bujold
Daughter of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey (I read this a while ago and I remember being intrigued by the BDSM aspect of a political story, but the BDSM isn’t gratuitous. Trust me. It can’t hurt to read it and see if I have a different view this time.)
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
A Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan
The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice (not sure if this can be categorized as fantasy)
HISTORICAL FICTION on the table:
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
The Revolution of Marina M by Janet Fitch
In the past year, I’ve read Below Stairs: The Classic Kitchen Maid’s Memoir That Inspired Upstairs Downstairs and Downton Abbey. Had to, being a fan of these types of period pieces. I wasn’t impressed. This is an amateur writer–who prose is simplistic and unsophisticated, who was obviously published to feed the public’s infatuation with all things Downton Abbey. Guilty here! Really, it was a waste of time. I don’t recommend it.
Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance was another read I dug into for the same reason as Below Stairs. And that, too, I can’t say much good about. All the non-Trumpies are trying to understand the Trumpies who voted for him, and this book–so claims the publisher–will do that. Instead, it was, like Below Stairs, a simplistic, black-and-white, unsophisticated, and unthoughtful stereotyping of a certain class that even those voters wouldn’t agree fit them all. In truth, this was an autobiography. One person’s hick experience. It doesn’t apply to the rest of the world. Another waste of time.