It’s been a while since I finished Mélusine and The Virtu, but my flatmate has been reading them and I thought I should continue to be one step ahead so that when she wails about Felix being awful I can nod wisely and say, ‘Ah, but he gets much worse in book three.’ (He does.)
I think taking a break from the series has calmed me down, which is both good and bad. I’m not quite as invested in the plot, but I also don’t get quite as upset with Felix for being a douchecanoe to Mildmay. (For those who don’t know about the series, it concerns two brothers — Mildmay and Felix — and Felix is often cruel and cavalier about Mildmay’s feelings. You would think that would make him the villain, and he could certainly turn into one, but he’s complex enough and haunted by his unpleasant past enough that he’s more grey than totally awful. But still upsetting to read about.) I do not recommend this series to people of a sensitive disposition! But I do absolutely recommend Goblin Emperor, which is by Monette but under the name Katherine Addison. Anyway, I enjoyed the new perspective of Mehitabel in this book.
The third in a series I haven’t read. Sharon Shinn is a good comfort author because the plots don’t tend to be super tense and are more about character development. This isn’t my favourite of hers but only because I like straight rather than urban fantasy generally. I liked all the animals. (The main character is a vet who happens to be a shapeshifter.) And I loved the quiet, sensible love interest. My favourite kind of unobtrusive romance! I’m looking forward to reading the two preceding books.
I saw a positive review of this book by Elizabeth Wein, and because she is amazing I went out and got it from the library. And she’s right, it is a light version of I Capture the Castle. It’s the 50s, and the main character lives in a crumbling old castle that her family can’t afford (father died in the war, neither sibling is earning much money and the mother constantly overspends). It begins with Penelope’s burgeoning friendship with the bubbly and self-possessed Charlotte. I love Charlotte — she makes her own clothes, she has a clear idea of what she wants to do (open a shop and sell her designs), and she’s warm and loyal to those she cares about. I like Penelope too, but Penelope is still in the process of working her way loose of the secrets mentioned in the title.