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review 2018-02-27 17:13
An Enchantment of Ravens / Margaret Rogerson
An Enchantment of Ravens - Margaret Rogerson

A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.


Actual rating: 4.25 stars. Better than your average Fae tale, but not quite up to the same bar as Cold Hillside by Nancy Baker, which for me sets the standard. I’ve been addicted to the Fae ever since I ran across them in Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series and I am fortunate that so many authors continue to indulge my fascination!

This is the Fae the way I like them—dark, powerful, tricksy, slippery, unreliable and unaccountably interested in humans. As a portrait artist, Isobel must always be careful in her requests for payment, as a Fae spell can work for you for a while, but twist into something damaging later. She is always aware that she is only seeing the glamour of her portrait-sitters, not their true appearance—and they seem fascinated to discover exactly what Isobel sees. Does she see too much? As a seventeen year old, is she too innocent for her own good?

I am almost sad that this is a stand-alone volume and I will definitely be picking up anything that Ms. Rogerson publishes in the future.

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review 2018-02-26 18:20
The Lost Plot / Genevieve Cogman
The Lost Plot - Genevieve Cogman

In a 1930s-esque New York, Prohibition is in force, fedoras, flapper dresses and tommy guns are in fashion, and intrigue is afoot. Intrepid Librarians Irene and Kai find themselves caught in the middle of a dragon vs dragon contest. It seems a young librarian has become tangled in this conflict, and if they can't extricate him there could be serious political repercussions for the mysterious Library. And, as the balance of power across mighty factions hangs in the balance, this could even trigger war.

Irene and Kai find themselves trapped in a race against time (and dragons) to procure a rare book. They'll face gangsters, blackmail and fiendish security systems. And if this doesn't end well, it could have dire consequences for Irene's job. And, incidentally, for her life . . .


I admit I am very much a fan of Irene Winters and the Invisible Library series. So much so that I will actually be purchasing a copy of this, book 4, to become part of my Nursing Home Collection (all those books that will make the transition with me to said nursing home when the time do come).

I read too damn fast—The Lost Plot went by much too quickly. It is action-packed, putting Irene in many tight spots, between gangsters, plotting dragons, and unpredictable fae assassins. Luckily, she and Kai have been through several of these rodeos before and they are pretty good at judging what their partner will do.

The ending, while obviously leading us on towards book 5, was nearly perfect! I know that I’ve previously been a fan of Irene + Vale, but after book 4, I am really shipping Irene and Kai. It’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind!

Ms. Cogman, bring on book 5! And could I be lucky enough that you are planning more?

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review 2018-02-22 21:58
The Cruel Prince / Holly Black
The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air) - Holly Black

Holly Black is my latest author crush. It helps that many of her books feature the Fae and Fae characters are one of my favourite things.

The Cruel Prince was one of those books that I asked my public library to order and then fidgeted while I waited for it to arrive and to be catalogued. It was worth the wait, in my opinion. It may be a young adult book, but that didn’t prevent me from enjoying it too.

I like Black’s version of the Fae—they don’t play nice, they aren’t always fond of mortals, and there are rules that both sides have to follow. Jude is a mortal girl, living in the Fae world, trying to fit in despite the sneers of her contemporaries at school. She and her mortal sister are picked on and disparaged by the princes and princesses of the Realm of Faerie. And, of course, there’s a boy—Prince Cardan, the cruel prince of the title—who captures her imagination, though maybe not in a good way. Jude decides that if she can’t be accepted by playing nice, perhaps she can scheme and plot her way to a protected position in her adopted world and she proves to be highly adept at it.

It’s pretty obvious where this story will be heading in the second book—Jude & Cardan obviously have some chemistry, despite the rather evil trick on Cardan that Jude indulges in. However, it’s not immediately clear how Black is going to change these passionate enemies into a couple. Now I just wish there wasn’t a whole year to wait for the next installment.

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text 2017-12-30 14:51
December Wrap-up
Old Celtic Romances - P.W. Joyce
Sigil Witchery: A Witch's Guide to Crafting Magick Symbols - Laura Tempest Zakroff
Fairies:: A Guide to the Celtic Fair Folk - Morgan Daimler
Dreamtime Dragons - Nils Visser
The Grand Phantom - Harold Cloninger
A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
Plum Dandi Knits: Simple Designs for Luxury Yarns - Alicia Plummer,Melissa Schaschwary
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock - Imogen Hermes Gowar
The Toy Makers - Robert Dinsdale
About Time: Einstein's Unfinished Revolution - Paul Davies

Yes, there's one more day but although I'm getting close to finishing Uprooted by Naomi Novik, I definitely won't be finishing any other books before January 1st.


I seem to have given myself a lot of non-fiction to read this month. Mostly from Netgalley.


I expect to finish Uprooted between today and tomorrow so I'm counting 11 books for the month. Not bad for me!


The stand out ones besides Uprooted (which I'm really enjoying) would be The Toy Makers and the Dreamtime Dragons Anthology. Both have given me a lot of reading pleasure. I enjoyed the re-reading of A Christmas Carol too. 5 of the books are non-fiction so only a couple of meh books.


I also got through some of the samples backlog again. I've only got about 80 left. I collected a LOT over Halloween!


I still have some non-fiction reads in progress so that may slow me down for January reading, but I seem to be averaging more in a month than I used to. I blame all of you.

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review 2017-12-16 11:00
Fairies:: A Guide to the Celtic Fair Folk - Morgan Daimler

by Morgan Daimler




This book is about the folklore and fairy tradition of Ireland. It may well be the most down-to-earth book on the subject on the market to date. Rather than the airy-fairy Victorian ideas of pretty little girl fairies that popular culture has spread, this is about the original tales and beliefs that are still prevalent in a mostly Christian Ireland.


The book is well researched. Tales from many places in the British Isles and Europe are cited and the folk beliefs are given context. Actual belief in fairies isn't required to enjoy the relation of the stories, though the author is mostly directing the information at a Pagan readership where some degree of belief is relevant.


There is a lot of repetition. Perhaps it was needed for context but I've seen the same information about fairy behavior in three different chapters and that gives the impression of padding. My only other complaint is that in an early chapter there was a promise to explain the difference between fairies and nature spirits, but only a passing reference to the latter later on. I pretty much understand the difference but would have liked to see it put into words to clarify.


Overall a good reference for anyone new to the subject, although the classic reference books are cited so often that I wonder if someone with more than a passing interest should just reading those works. Mostly well written, though it meanders in the last couple of chapters.

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