'Night's Master' - 4* - a collection of linked myth tales about the darkest of demon lords and his manipulation games with humanity, the first in this'Night's Master' - 4* - a collection of linked myth tales about the darkest of demon lords and his manipulation games with humanity, the first in this series reads more like a vintage mythology book than a plot-driven fantasy novel, and that's a wonderful thing. vain kings, wicked sorceresses, blind seers, and lovers of all stripes have their lives cracked and shaped by their collisions with Azhrarn's power. by the end, little pieces of story that were dropped in the beginning get picked back up and placed into a satisfying conclusion that's all about the subtle delicacy of her writing craft. Lee's lushly dreamy language was already well-honed, despite this being one of her earlier books....more
after a pair of somewhat lighter historical-fantasy-romances (albeit, ones with a darker undercurrent in the form of nasty villains), the series divesafter a pair of somewhat lighter historical-fantasy-romances (albeit, ones with a darker undercurrent in the form of nasty villains), the series dives much more deeply into that dark tone with the 3rd installment. Hobson has apparently completed the tale of the delightfully-named Dreadnought Stanton and his dirt-witch bride, moving on to tell the story of the couples' youngest son here. from the get-go, the main character is a pretty gawd-awful jerk (his willful carelessness likely killed his elder brother's favorite horse), but again, the interesting little twists on both the world Hobson has built for these interesting people to walk through and their own personal foibles keeps being engaging. there's a lot going on here (Tesla and his super secretive factory, the remains of the magic rock system, a whackadoo preacher, some "cursed" children), and with the book ending on an almost-cliffhanger, we're left wondering how much of it is red herrings or real plot anchors....more
an occasionally unevenly-written "normal people end up in a fantasy land" sort of tale, only SWEET BABY MONKEY IT'S ABOUT VETERINARIANS TREATING UNICOan occasionally unevenly-written "normal people end up in a fantasy land" sort of tale, only SWEET BABY MONKEY IT'S ABOUT VETERINARIANS TREATING UNICORNS AND WHATNOT.
BJ is a 4th year vet student in the middle of a brutal life upheaval that makes her question whether she can finish school. on the verge of walking out the door, she's invited by a large animal prof to join an ambulatory rotation, where she finds herself again by finding herself in an entirely different world. there's a somewhat superfluous bad guy plot tacked on the end, but that bit is easy to ignore in favor of the droll but deadly griffin and his ilk.
the fun of this for me was absolutely in the details. the afterword says that O'Donohoe's wife was a vet student during the writing of this novel, and her influence on accuracy of both the vet student experience and the practical realities of emergency equine surgery are utterly evident. this one is highly recommended for anyone who's both a fantasy lover and an IRL veterinarian....more
it's clear by every "god's teeth!" and "zounds!" that 'alchemist of souls' was lovingly researched. it tells the story of a down-on-his-luck minor nobit's clear by every "god's teeth!" and "zounds!" that 'alchemist of souls' was lovingly researched. it tells the story of a down-on-his-luck minor nobleman/swashbuckler/body gard and an Elizabethan-era theater company brushing up on a new play as part of a competition to be judged by the skrayling ambassador... and that's about as far as the plot goes. apparently, good queen Bess did in fact marry Dudley, and more unusually, there are some magic-y creatures called skraylings populating the new world right alongside the red man, but none of those situations gets examined in any detail. we the readers are never completely sure what's up with this race of not-humans - they may or may not have fangs or tattoos based on rank/assumed gender, they're sorta england's allies and they have cool healing technology, but they're quite aloof and the alliance could break down at the quirk of an eyebrow. the theater competition worked on so diligently for 3/4 of the novel is apparently only there to introduce an overly broad cast of characters, which includes only one female (dressed as a boy, of course, cuz chicks of the era certainly didn't do so much as go OUTSIDE or anything).
the long and short of this bloated, leisurely paced novel is that Lyle has created a rich and interesting world, and unfortunately spends so long showing us it's little nuances that she forgets to craft a compelling plot....more
5 books into the series, we finally find out what the hell is going on.
it's a testament to Hill's storytelling that one thought one knew what was goin5 books into the series, we finally find out what the hell is going on.
it's a testament to Hill's storytelling that one thought one knew what was going on, having pieced together all the insanity of the keys and the house and the threat right along with the Locke kids... and yet, nope, it was a surprise just how much i was still in the dark... just as much as they still are at the end....more