Posted in Fantasy, Loved It

Between Two Thorns

Between Two ThornsTeaser

Max swayed, wondering if Axon had a syring in the car. Was he becoming addicted?

Author: Emma Newman

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: L

Synopsis:

Something is wrong in Aquae Sulis, Bath’s secret mirror city.

The new season is starting and the Master of Ceremonies is missing. Max, an Arbiter of the Split Worlds Treaty, is assigned with the task of finding him with no one to help but a dislocated soul and a mad sorcerer.

There is a witness but his memories have been bound by magical chains only the enemy can break. A rebellious woman trying to escape her family may prove to be the ally Max needs.

But can she be trusted? And why does she want to give up eternal youth and the life of privilege she’s been born into?

Bluestocking’s Learned Opinion: I saw this book as I was wandering the fantasy section in Barnes and Noble. I liked the premise; so I bought it. I really enjoyed entering the world of Faeries. Most of the fantasy that I read is of the witch/wizard variety. The only thing I know about faeries is that they don’t like iron.

The premise of Ms. Newman’s world is that those who are “Fae touched” live in the Nether. It is a world that is not where the Fae lords dwell, but not where mortals live. It is a land where sun and moon do not exist. It is an ageless world. The Fae touched live in houses that are anchored to the mortal world. Fae touched children spend enough time in the mortal world to reach adulthood. Once girls come of age (think Victorian come of age), they move back into the Nether and never age. Once boys come of age, they do world travel for a few years before coming back to the Nether. When both girls and boy come of age, they can ask their Patroons for a boon. Typically, children ask for what their parents tell them.

The Fae touched are part of families whose patron’s are the Fae lords. The Fae lords all have flower names i.e. Lord Poppy, Lord Iris, Lady Rose, etc. The Fae lords are a wee bit mercurial.

The main character of this story is Catherine Rhoeas-Papaver. In case you were wondering a papaver rhoeas is the scientific name for a red poppy. As you can imagine, Lord Poppy is Catherine’s family’s Patron. The family’s symbol is the red poppy. Anyway when Cathy comes of age, she asks her patroon to be able to attend a university in the mortal world. She was granted this request because these sort of requests must be granted; however, she royally pissed off her patroon as well as her family. Once Catherine gets to college (she’s also sent with two minders), she pays for a charm so that her family couldn’t track her; then she ran away. Eventually Lord Poppy finds Cathy; but he stays mum on how he accomplishes this. He seems to have taken quite the fancy to her because she is different from the rest of Society. He grants her three wishes. If you weren’t aware, wishes from the Fae are fraught with a great deal of peril.

Cathy’s story is interspersed with the whole mystery of the Master of Ceremonies being missing. As it turns out the Master of Ceremonies is her uncle, and he’s probably the only person in her world who actually likes and appreciates her for being herself. Cathy does end up being part of solving what happened to him, and she does it while trying to sort of follow the society rules. Unfortunately, she doesn’t get the credit for it. There’s a subplot. Catherine’s parents have decided to marry her off to William Reticulata-Iris (who is rather fond of the mortal world too). It is an excellent match and will bring advantages to both families. It is a strange match because Cathy is not considered to be pretty, and in the Nether beauty is everything. Of course, neither Cathy or William really wants the marriage.

Anyway, it is quite clear from the amount of characters introduced that this will probably be a really sizable series. I do like the fact that there are several types of “powers” in this book for example Fae, sorcerers, and Elements. I can tell that there is about to be a major clash between the parties. Anytime you have so many stagnant systems, it is almost inevitable that someone is going to make a power play.

The book is part Downton Abbey, part Tudor, and part Harry Potter. It is definitely not a children’s book. For all the advantages that come with living in the Nether world, the Fae-touched live on the knife’s edge of destruction. This is definitely once fantasy world that although I like reading about, I would never want to live in it. The people of the Nether are very much slaves. Immortality doesn’t make up for having no say so over one’s life.

I read this book very quickly; then I went and bought the second the book the very next day. I finished that book in an evening. There is a third book coming out in October and it’s killing me.

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Posted in Monday Morning Update

Father’s Day 2013 Update

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Mailbox Mondays
1. Any Other Name by Emma Newman

Cat has been forced into an arranged marriage with William – a situation that comes with far more strings than even she could have anticipated, especially when she learns of his family’s intentions for them both.

Meanwhile, Max and the gargoyle investigate The Agency – a mysterious organisation that appears to play by its own rules – and none of them favourable to Society.

Over in Mundanus, Sam has discovered something very peculiar about his wife’s employer – something that could herald a change for everyone in both sides of the Split Worlds.

What Are You Reading on Mondays?
I finished The Weird Sisters, Between Two Thorns, and Any Other Name. I’m re-reading Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix.

Posted in General, Liked It

The Weird Sisters

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Teaser

“What if something had happened?

“Then I’m sure one of the three other able-bodied adults in the house, if not all of you, would have handled it with alacrity.”

Author: Eleanor Brown

Genre: General

Rating: LI

Synopsis:

There is no problem that a library card can’t solve.

The Andreas family is one of readers. Their father, a renowned Shakespeare professor who speaks almost entirely in verse, has named his three daughters after famous Shakespearean women. When the sisters return to their childhood home, ostensibly to care for their ailing mother, but really to lick their wounds and bury their secrets, they are horrified to find the others there. See, we love each other. We just don’t happen to like each other very much. But the sisters soon discover that everything they’ve been running from-one another, their small hometown, and themselves-might offer more than they ever expected.

Bluestocking’s Learned Opinion: Well if there was ever a reason not to name your children after characters in a book, this book shows you. Rose, Bianca, and Cordelia grew up on Shakespeare the way the rest of us grew up on, well, everything else. They identified themselves with the characters for which they were named; they also identified with the three witches in MacBeth. Of course the word weird in this play is really “wyrd” which means fate. These women were desperately trying to escape fate. The problem is that they really didn’t know what their fates were. At the beginning of the book, all the women were trying to live what they saw as their destinies. It didn’t work very well. All of them ended back at home with their parents.

The thing about coming back home is that you come back to take your place in the old family pecking order without considering whether things should stay that way. Most people stay trapped. These three didn’t stay trapped in the family pecking order. They changed and grew.

I disagree that the women “didn’t like each other very much.” Throughout the book, there was example after example of the fact that they did like each other. Sure they exasperated one another, but even best friends do that. I was glad that each of the women were brave enough to move passed their hang ups and make better choices. I have to say Rose irritated me the most. I mean if my fiancé got a good job in England, I’d move there in a heartbeat!!! Shoot my enthusiasm would probably scare him into wondering was he making the right choice.

Ultimately, all the women were crippled by the fact that they were living in their father’s shadow. He was brilliant, no doubt about that. I can understand that. My dad’s side of the family is very educated; I think there are only 3 Ivy League schools that have never had a member of our family grace them with our presence. I definitely felt the pressure when it was time to go to college. (I went to Johns Hopkins if you were wondering.). But for your own sake, you just have to break away and find the beat of your own drum. I think the mom and dad could have made this a lot easier on their children, if they’d been paying more attention.

Posted in Monday Morning Update

June 9, 2013 Monday Morning Update

I’m back. The past couple of weeks at my job have been a little rough as we are trying to adjust to my boss’ death. We are all trying to find a new normal. It’s not easy. Anyway, onto the memes.

Mailbox Monday
I got two books over the past couple of weeks.

1. Star Trek The Folded World by Jeff Mariotte

En route to a diplomatic mission, the U.S.S. Enterprise receives a distress call from the U.S.S. McRaven. As the Enterprise approaches the area where the McRaven appears to be, Captain James T. Kirk and his crew encounter an anomaly unlike anything they’ve ever experienced. Space itself seems inconsistent here . . . warping, changing appearance. But during the brief periods of calm, the McRaven is located along with other ships of various origins—all dead in space and devoid of any life forms, all tightly surrounding and being held in place by an enormous unidentified vessel that appears to have been drifting for a millennium. As incredible and impossible as it seems, this anomaly is something that can only be described as a dimensional fold, a place where the various dimensions that science has identified—and the ones it cannot yet name—have folded in on one another, and the normal rules of time and space no longer apply. . . .

2. Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman

Something is wrong in Aquae Sulis, Bath’s secret mirror city.

The new season is starting and the Master of Ceremonies is missing. Max, an Arbiter of the Split Worlds Treaty, is assigned with the task of finding him with no one to help but a dislocated soul and a mad sorcerer.

There is a witness but his memories have been bound by magical chains only the enemy can break. A rebellious woman trying to escape her family may prove to be the ally Max needs.

But can she be trusted? And why does she want to give up eternal youth and the life of privilege she’s been born into?

What Are You Reading on Monday?

I finished The Judgement Stone, Star Trek The Folded World, and I’m currently reading The Weird Sisters.

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