It’s Friday! One last push then reeelax. Don’t know about you but I’ve found this week more of a slog than last. It’s amazing how much a Christmas break can mess up my routine. Ah well, at least the books have been kind this week.
First off, I finished both reads from last week, Fury’s Kiss by Karen Chance and Mythos by Stephen Fry. They both ended wonderfully and were really enjoyable reads. I did a full review of Mythos here. You can check out my early thoughts on both here.
I also started and finished Imprudence by Gail Carriger, Book 2 of the Custard Protocol series. I very much enjoyed Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series but I am enjoying following Alexia’s daughter, Prudence (Rue), in the Custard Protocol books a teensy bit more. I can’t go into too many details on the plot of this instalment as it concerns characters we know and love from Parasol Protectorate and those we met in Prudence. I can say however, that it is just as fun and diverse as all the other books in the series. We continue to follow metanatural Rue’s adventures in her dirigible The Spotted Custard with her friends Percy, Prim and Quesnel and all the chaos that naturally ensues. We get to visit Egypt again and learn a bit more about this delightful Victorian, steampunk, paranormal fantasy world. This was a super quick read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Very keen for the next instalment later this year.
After Imprudence I picked up Katherine Arden’s The Bear and the Nightingale in anticipation of reading the sequel The Girl in the Tower when it’s released later this month. I am soo behind in picking this one up, especially as I was lucky enough to receive an advanced readers copy from the lovely girls at Ebury publishing last year. I was hoping it’d be reminiscent of Deathless by Catherynne M Valente (one of my favourite books, ever) and it kind of is, with the atmospheric Russian folklore-esque narrative, but that’s where the comparison ends. Which is fine, every book is different! This follows Vasilisa and her family who in the Russian countryside where everyone still believes in the Old Gods and leave offerings to the house/stable/wood spirits, that is until a new priest arrives. So far it is very magical, I love how well Arden has blended the everyday with the fantastical and the characters do jump from the page. I feel emotionally attached to all of them and while this is not a page-turner, I do want to keep picking it up. I only have 100 pages or so left and I’m hoping the pace will start to pick up now and get us to the climax. While I understand that Arden is focussing on the characters and allowing us to really get to know them I do feel it is lacking any kind of agency. I do really enjoy Russian folklore and the names are beautiful. It is definitely making me wish I could visit medieval (ish?) Russia!
I have also picked up Deadhouse Gates, again, by Steven Erikson. I really loved Gardens of the Moon, the first in Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen series and I flew straight into this one. I forced myself to put it down around half way through to try and focus on finishing my Goodreads Challenge last year and I wish I hadn’t. I flew through the first half, loving the new characters and enjoying where the story is flowing. However, the break has done me a disservice. I can’t quite get back into it as enthusiastically as I started, although I think that is because I am restarting the story when it is following the Historian character while he travels through a desert-like area with something like 20,000 fleeing refugees. Which isn’t the most action packed narrative, I must admit. I didn’t have an issue with his POV previously so not sure why I am struggling this time, especially as I know some of the other characters we are following are having some great adventures (good for me, not for them :D) and are scattered with humour. I just need to get to them. I have no doubt I will get back into this as I have been enjoying the series so far, I just need to get back into the groove. If only it wasn’t 900+ pages…
Until next week, happy reading!