Recent reads

Saga vol. 4, Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Fantastic, as always. I love the art, I love the snark, and I love the characters. I just wish comics didn’t take so long to make. I need more Hazel and Friendo and Lying Cat in my life, please.


Illusions of Fate, Kiersten White

I picked this up because the main character is an islander girl and it looked like it would deal with colonialism but with bonus magic thrown in. And that’s what it was, kind of, but with a bit too much melodrama for me personally. I’m never a huge fan of having a love interest foisted on the reader as soon as the book starts, without any background to make them seem attractive other than their golden shining hair.

Royal Airs, Sharon Shinn

Sequel to Troubled Waters, which I read last year. I find Shinn’s books very comforting to read — I’m not constantly trying to guess a plot twist, I’m just interested in following the characters’ decisions and seeing what happens next. I also like the culture of Welce, the different elements that can be detected in someone’s personality, the everyday ritual of getting your blessings drawn from the temple. And going back to what I was saying earlier about love interests, this was a great example of a naturally growing attraction which doesn’t derail the main plots. And also of a main character who starts off as someone who’s kind of cruising through life, working from day to day being relatively content but not especially fulfilled, and then by the end of the book has found something he’s passionate about and also true to his nature. In fact, both the main characters have separate projects they work on and enjoy and support each other in. Always nice to have a realistic, positive relationship modelled in a book!

Fleabrain Loves Franny, Joanne Rocklin

Fairly solid middle-grade book. The story begins with Franny recovering from polio, trying to regain the use of her legs and dealing with sudden isolation. Her friends drop “Get Well Soon” cards in her letterbox and shout “We miss you!” when they pass her house, but they won’t get too close or touch her because of the mistaken belief that Franny is contagious. In the background is the witch hunt for communists lead by McCarthy, so there’s an obvious parallel. I enjoyed these aspects of the novel, but I wasn’t so sold on the magical flea friendship. Sorry, Fleabrain.




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One response to “Recent reads

  1. Lobster

    What you said about colonialism reminded me Glenda Larke, specifically the series The Isles of Glory. On these Isles there are normal people, ‘good’ magic users, whose magic mostly deals with illusion and healing, evil magic users (who do death and decay) and the Aware, who are immune to the effects of both types of magic. The good magic users can be corrupted and made evil, but not the other way around. The series is narrated by a character who lives some decades after the events of the books, when the Isles of Glory have been visited by a big powerful empire and absorbed into the empire (Which is basically the British empire), and magic of both types has mysteriously died out. It kind of deals with the story from the point of view of the colonists at some point – they don’t actually believe magic ever did exist, and the natives are just silly and superstitious.
    It also has some other cool stuff in it, like powerful and weird tides (I think it is a 2 or 3 moon planet) which can cause a wave to rush all the way up the length of a river on one of the islands, which is used by the locals as a method of transporting materials up and down the river.

    Unfortunately I’ve only read the 1st and 3rd books, as I can’t find the 2nd book anywhere.


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