This is part of the weekly meme over at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer, where book bloggers can share the books and blogs they have written.
This has been another busy, busy week. I had visitors staying for the week who I don’t get to see all that often, so I eased off with the blogging, etc while we caught up and had long, leisurely chats over cups of tea. They left on Friday and I went up to Vegfest in London yesterday with my son, Robbie. We had a lovely time together and I learnt a lot more about feeding a vegetarian/vegan family in a friendly supportive atmosphere. Rob got the chance to talk to some lovely vegan body-builders, who were only too happy to explode some myths about needing meat to add muscle and bulk. The bonus – there was also stacks of scrummy food…
I picked up the children today and am grannying again.
This week I have read:
The Imlen Brat by Sarah Avery
Stisele of Imlen knows she’s in trouble, but not how much. The young adopted daughter of Beltresa’s sovereign longs to be a weapon in her mother’s service — even against her birth family, should Utroneth ask it. If only Stisele could master the temper that drives her to pepper the royal heir with petty kin-curses. But Stisele’s dreams are bigger than the balance of intrigues that keeps her alive and captive in this perilous royal court. She can be more than a speaker of kin-curses. She deserves a life beyond the palace islet she’s never left. Her two imaginary friends, if indeed that’s what they are, tell her so. If Stisele is to make her own life in a world that’s not ready for her, she must regain the trust of wary allies. She must begin to control the power of the kin-curse—her imaginary friends are as much hindrance as help. And she will have to give up her place in the only home she’s ever known.
This is a cracking premise – I’m always a sucker for tense political intrigue and seeing through the lens of a child where I understood more about what was going on than she did was a treat. My only grizzle – the novella ended too soon…
The Steerswoman – Book 1 of The Steerswoman series by Rosemary Kirstein
The Steerswoman is the first novel in the Steerswoman series. Steerswomen, and a very few Steersmen, are members of an order dedicated to discovering and disseminating knowledge. Although they are foremost navigators of the high seas, Steerswomen are also explorers and cartographers upon land as well as sea. With one exception, they are pledged to always answer any question put to them with as truthful a response as is possible within their own limitations. However, they also require anyone of whom they ask questions to respond in the same manner, upon penalty of the Steerswomen’s ban; those under the ban do not receive answers from the steerswomen.
I read this fantastic book longer ago than I care to remember and on discussing it with Himself, he decided to buy it now that it’s available on Kindle. I took a breath and reread it – something I rarely do and remembered all over again why it has lodged in my head when so many others have faded away…
Return to the Secret Garden by Holly Webb
It’s 1939 and a group of children have been evacuated to Misselthwaite Hall. Emmie is far from happy to have been separated from her cat and sent to a huge old mansion. But soon she starts discovering the secrets of the house – a boy crying at night, a diary written by a girl named Mary and a garden. A very secret garden…
This is the sequel to Frances Hodgeson Burnett’s classic, The Secret Garden, which was a huge favourite of mine when I was a child as my grandmother read it to me back in 1963. Webb has managed to revisit Misselthwaite Hall with another spiky heroine every bit as angry and alienated as Mary Lennox and we rediscover all over again the magic of a forgotten garden – and some hard life lessons along the way.
A Darker Shade of Magic – Book 1 of the Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab
Kell is one of the last travelers–magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one magical city. There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad King–George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered–and where Kell was raised alongside Rhy Maresh, the roguish heir to a flourishing empire. White London–a place where people fight to control magic and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now. Officially, Kell is the Red traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand…
Yes – I realise I must be one of the last people on the planet to have read this one, but I’m very glad I did. It entertained me on the train journey to and from London yesterday.
My posts last week:
Sunday Post – 16th October
Interesting/outstanding blogs and articles that have caught my attention during the last week, in no particular order:
The Character Evolution Files, No 13: Answers to Lingering Questions About the Journey Through the Character Arc https://saraletourneauwriter.com/2016/10/18/more-answers-journey-through-character-arc/ Once more Sara LeTourneau provides an excellent article on this intriguing aspect of plotting – do take note of that awesome graph she has constructed…
Space Features of the Week (16th October) http://earthianhivemind.net/2016/10/16/space-features-week-16-october/ Steph gives a quick overview on what is going on offplanet. The feature regarding Asgardia particularly caught my eye.
…eat yer heart out Mel Gibson… yer Braveheart’s got NUTHIN on Master Gallacher for courage… https://seumasgallacher.com/2014/11/18/eat-yer-heart-out-mel-gibson-yer-bravehearts-got-nuthin-on-master-gallacher-for-courage/ Successful indie author Seumas Gallacher is always worth reading – and this article had me spluttering my tea all over the keyboard.
Many thanks for visiting and taking the time and trouble to comment – and may you have a wonderful reading and blogging week.