I finished the second and third books of Jo Walton’s Still Life With Fascists trilogy. Ha’Penny was decent - the sisters reminded me a bit of a Diana Wynne Jones family, probably The Time of the Ghost sisters, but without the affection. The Viola Lark, cross-dressing actress bits reminded me of The Privilege of the Sword. I disliked the ending of Ha’Penny, though; Viola going mad seemed to be a cop-out and I had really wanted that bomb to kill me some Hitler. I think it was this book that made me fall in love with Carmichael, after being a bit indifferent to him in Farthing. I read some reviews of Half a Crown that felt the ending was strangely happy for such a depressing series, but I don’t agree. I mean, Carmichael looses Jack, and that part was awfully hard to read.
I have given up on trying to read Mercedes Lackey’s Bedlam’s Bard. I only made it to the part where the elf shows up in the protagonist’s apartment. It wasn’t the story that put me off, it was those dratted italics. Every other paragraph was italicized! I really did try to read them, but I am biologically programmed to ignore italics, and in the end, I couldn’t stomach any more of it.
I am reading the first volume of L.M. Montgomery’s journals and it is amazing how many turns of phrases and events I recognized from her books. She was quite a flirt. Her descriptions of Mr. Mustard were hilarious.
I just got Tim Power’s On Stranger Tides and Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle from the main library. I wanted to read the first to see what elements the new Pirates of the Caribbean stole from it, and I am dying to read the second.
I read Ellen Kushner’s Swordspoint a few years ago and thought it was excellent, but The Priviledge of the Sword is even better, I am happy to say. It takes place after Swordspoint but before The Fall of the Kings, which I haven’t read yet.
It’s ripping good fun, like any book about swordsmen and mad dukes ought to be. I found myself liking Alec more as a discontented duke given to odd whims better than the capricious student he was in Swordspoint.
I loved the way Katherine and all the other female characters are obsessed with the novel The Swordsman Whose Name is Not Death. Katherine and Artemisia signing their letters as characters from the novel made me laugh.
I wish there were more books like the Riverside books: books about swashbuckling and shoes and Society.
My mailbox is going to be overflowing soon with books from PaperBackSwap!
Ellen Kushner’s The Privilege of the Sword, Vivian Vande Velde’s