The Armoured Saint – Myke Cole (Review)

tasThe Order protects. It might not always seem that way, when they kill children and exterminate entire villages, but they do what they do for the good of everyone. It would be worse without the Order, if the world was filled with wizards and demons once again.

Heloise has never been as discreet as a village girl should. She breaks rules and keeps secrets. It’s all harmless, until the Order arrives, and unquestioning adherence to tradition becomes the safest path.  Continue reading “The Armoured Saint – Myke Cole (Review)”

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Slouch Witch – Helen Harper (Review)

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Ivy is a talented witch. Talented, but extremely lazy. So much so that she’s not really a practicing witch at all; instead, she’s a taxi driver who happens to do magic occasionally. Doing magic professionally would involve working with the Order, and their stuffed-shirt early-morning way of doing things is definitely not to Ivy’s taste.

When Ivy ends up magically bound to work with Nicholas Winter, the most stuffed-shirt of all the Order witches, she is less than thrilled. Tracking down a stolen scepter involves danger, diplomacy, and waking up before dawn, three things she would rather not be involved with. But with the binding in place, she doesn’t have a choice. She has to either find a way to break the powerfully magical bond, or to work with the irritating and irritatingly handsome Winter.

Continue reading “Slouch Witch – Helen Harper (Review)”

Wicked Appetite – Janet Evanovich (Review)

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Lizzy Tucker makes cupcakes. And cookies and other baked goods, but she’s really good at cupcakes. That’s her talent. She works in a bakery, and leads a quiet life free from troublesome pets or romantic entanglements.

Her quiet life is disrupted when two dangerously attractive and simply dangerous men appear in her life. They think she has another talent, one that’s more significant than baking. They think she can find magical objects, the sort that might bring about the apocalypse.  Continue reading “Wicked Appetite – Janet Evanovich (Review)”

Top Ten Tuesday – Fictional schools that would be better to teach in than an actual school

Top Ten Tuesday

“Top Ten Tuesday” is a feature started by “The Broke and the Bookish“, in which people list their top ten books that match some given criterion. It changes every week, and happens on a Tuesday. Lots (a frankly ridiculous number) of bloggers take part.

This week the theme is “back to school”, which is not normally something I enjoy thinking about. In the spirit of that theme, I’ve decided to list fictional educational establishments which – in one way or another – would be preferable to real-world schools. Importantly, this list is about schools it would be preferable to teach in, not to learn in – most fictional schools would give you a terrible education.  Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday – Fictional schools that would be better to teach in than an actual school”

Faithless – Graham Austin-King (Review)

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In the temple of the Forgefather, fallen priests chant endlessly to an absent god, shaping metal through ritual and half-forgotten arts. Beneath them, in the subterranean city of Aspiration, miners scrabble for ore in cramped tunnels and try to resist the lure of the hungry dark. Continue reading “Faithless – Graham Austin-King (Review)”

Dead Witch Walking – Kim Harrison (Review)

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It took me a long time to get round to reading Dead Witch Walking. The book gets a lot of praise, but it was first mentioned to me as “urban fantasy about killer tomatoes,” and that description did nothing for me. It sounded like comic fantasy, and the list of authors who can manage to do that well is extremely short.

Dead Witch Walking is not comic fantasy, and killer tomatoes don’t really feature. Instead, a weaponised virus used tomatoes as a carrier, eventually wiping out a significant proportion of the human population. In the aftermath of this tragedy, vampires/witches/et cetera revealed themselves to humanity. The book takes place long after this, in a post-masquerade world where monsters are feared but accepted as part of reality.

Rachel Morgan is tired of dealing with bad assignments and unreasonable orders. For years, she’s been an employee of Inderland Security, tasked with solving supernatural problems – rogue vampires, black magic, that sort of thing. Now she’s ready to strike out on her own.

Life outside the I.S. isn’t easy though. With only a pixie and a vampire as backup, Rachel has to find steady work and stay alive, all the while dealing with demons, drug lords, and an agency that really doesn’t like people breaking their contracts.    Continue reading “Dead Witch Walking – Kim Harrison (Review)”

Darien – C. F. Iggulden (Review)

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The Empire of Salt has declined and fallen. What is left is Darien – a city ruled through a puppet king by twelve noble families. Magic has faded too, and only the wealthy manage to hoard anything more than trinkets. Plague ravages the countryside, and children steal to survive. Society is old and tired, looking back to an earlier age to avoid thinking about the failures and compromises of the modern day. There’s no pride, justice, or nobility left.

Darien focuses on a cast of characters who want something more. A thief who dreams of a treasure hoard, a girl who dreams of justice. A gang leader with memories of a nobler calling and a general tired of pointless orders. Darien has been in placid decline for centuries, but times are changing. Plans and paths converge, beginning a chain of events that will either destroy the city or redeem it.  Continue reading “Darien – C. F. Iggulden (Review)”