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review 2019-03-22 19:43
The Darkest Road, Fionavar Tapestry #3 by Guy Gavriel Kay
The Darkest Road - Guy Gavriel Kay

The epic fantasy ends about where you expect it to, but Kay throws in a few surprises that prove his story of light overcoming darkness was a subtle one, too.


There is a lot going on in this book and Kay picks up on a lot of Arthurian lore and other Western myths in fleshing out the book, but the story hinges on one major act and, for me at least, two minor.


The first is of course the decision that Darien, son of Rakoth and Jennifer, must make between light and darkness. Jennifer sacrifices much to ensure that he has freedom to choose however he wishes. He's a wild card.


The minor decisions were that of Kim in refusing to heed the Baelrath's call. Instead of binding a powerful force as an ally of the light she chooses a more merciful option and it is never clear if this worked out for the best or not. The point was that Kim had that freedom to relinquish her power. Similarly, was Paul's decision to be merciful instead of vengeful to a sworn enemy. Freedom of choice is the central element of this fantasy series. Much of the language is so wrapped up in vows and tradition that its easy to forger this, but everyone in Fionavar has a choice. I'm not sure if they can say that in Middle Earth.


My previous criticisms of the place of women in this universe still stand. I'd hoped that Sharra at least would mimic Eowyn and be badass in battle but instead she tends the wounded and mourns. As a bonus we are introduced to Fionavar's very own "Lady of Shalott". Woof.


I still enjoyed reading this and was glad I took the time to revisit the place. I may have to read carefully with Kay's other work however, but that's one of the risks we take. There is a sequel, of sorts, to this trilogy that features a couple of the characters on Earth dealing with ancient magic in the south of France.


Fionavar Tapestry


Next: 'Ysabel'


Previous: 'The Wandering Fire'

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review 2019-03-22 10:11
How to Date Your Dragon
How to Date Your Dragon - Molly Harper, Amanda Ronconi,Jonathan Davis

Molly Harper is always fun.  How to Date a Dragon is no different; it is the first of a new series set in a new place (fictional Mystic Bayou in Louisiana), and new characters.  


Mostly, this story is about the romance, but there's also a nominal mystery (I say nominal because the murderer was obvious to me from the start).  There's also a much more obvious relevance to today's societal ... let's call them challenges.  Mystic Bayou is a small community where supernaturals and humans live together peacefully and cooperatively, and Jillian is the anthropologist sent to do a study of how they make it work.  Not a stretch, really, to apply this to our current climate, though Harper doesn't go out of her way to make a point out of it.  Really, it's mostly about a romance.  With a dragon.


I usually enjoy the audio for Molly Harper's books (though I skip the sex scenes, because eew... I don't need someone reading a sex scene to me).  I enjoyed this one too, but Audible decided to not only use Amanda Ronconi, Harper's usual - and excellent - narrator, but Jonathan Davis; Harper wrote How to Date Your Dragon with alternating POVs, and Davis does Bael's chapters.  He does a credible job, and I know this sounds like a good idea in concept, but the problem I had was that both narrators are narrating the same characters.  Davis tries to keep the spirit of Ronconi's interpretation, but his voice is, of course, not hers, and I found the disparity between the same character's voice between chapters jarring.  I'd have preferred Ronconi doing the whole thing.  But that's just me.


There's a second book out, with the same setting but different MCs, and I'll definitely be checking it out sooner rather than later.

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review 2019-03-22 06:57
D.A by Connie Willis
D.A. - Connie Willis


"Theodora Baumgarten has just been selected as an IASA space cadet, and therein lies the problem. She didn't apply for the ultra-coveted posting, and doesn't relish spending years aboard the ship to which she's been assigned. But the plucky young heroine, in true Heinlein fashion, has no plans to go along with the program. Aided by her hacker best friend Kimkim, in a screwball comedy that has become Connie Wills' hallmark, Theodora will stop at nothing to uncover the conspiracy that has her shanghaied."



This is an entertaining, but not particularly substantial, short story.

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review 2019-03-21 23:35
Not enough Rocket and Vision
Avengers: No Road Home (2019) #4 (of 10) - Al Ewing,Mark Waid,Jim Zub,Yasmine Putri

And it looks like there'll be less of them. I'm giving up on this series, at least for now, and maybe I'll finish it up eventually if I'm persuaded it gets better.

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review 2019-03-21 23:22
This seemed unnecessary
Saga #54 - Brian K. Vaughan,Fiona Staples

Mostly because it didn't deal with the fallout from last issue, or not the way I had hoped it would.   No, that I wanted it to. 


I understand that it's the author's story and they can tell it however they want.   That doesn't mean that I didn't want to see other things. 


And now the long, long hiatus.   So, yeah, not sure if this is the last Saga issue for me...

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