It’s Monday and #BookBlogWriMo – Day 3

monday#BookBlogWriMo – Day 3
11/3 – Where You Read - Pretty self-explanatory. Bonus for a picture!

Right now I am reading anywhere I can. Today I read in the car while I was waiting to pick up the kids from school. I read in the car while I was waiting on my friend to walk. I read a bit on the stationary bike (I think winter might bring more of that). I read while I was standing in the kitchen waiting on the noodles to boil. And my very favorite place to read?


This week I am reading/listening to:

 
This Week: 10:33:44 This Week: Chapter 31 This Week: Page 112 This Week:
Last Week: 8:37:46 Last Week:
Chapter 20
Last Week:
112
 Last Week:
Not Started

In the Queue:

#BookBlogWriMo – Day 2

11/2 – How You Read - Paperback? Hardcover? Ereader? Smartphone? Bookmarks, note taking in the margins, or highlighting? Tell us some of your reading rituals!

I used to be a voracious reader, but this summer things fell apart. And now I barely seem to have time to get two pages in at night before bed, before I pass out cold. What has changed? Many things. I think top of the list actually is owning a smartphone. It is so easy to be distracted by Facebook and all of the other things that must have my attention RIGHT NOW!

Also I discovered around July, that I have moved from being a book reader to being a Ereader. How I discovered this was it was about this time that my Nook, which I have had for about 2 years began to die. It became more and more difficult to turn on. Once it was on it would stay on until the battery died. It was then a noticed how much a relied on that damn machine to read. 20 minutes to power up and that was on a good day.

Now I finally have a new reader (Google Nexus) but I am a seemly reformed insomniac. In August I started running. OK jogging. OK moving at a pace slightly faster than walking. And as a shall we say person of size, it is exhausting. So I am not lucky if I get one or two pages in at the end of the night before I am passed out cold asleep.

A few weeks ago I decided to make a change to my rituals, which obviously are not working for me anymore. So I am trying to set aside sitting up, wide awake reading time.

Visit Book Bumblings to join the fun!

#BookBlogWriMo

So my 14 year old decided to try NaNoWriMo this year. And I decided that if she can crank out a novel in the next 30 days I can manage to attempt #BookBlogWriMo.  Maybe just maybe I can get my mojo back. Somedays I hope it will my usual posts and features but also it will be the prompts from Book Bumblings list.

Today it begins.

11/1 – History of Your Blog - Tell us how you got started! When did you start your blog? Why? What have been some of your trials and tribulations? How many pigs did you have to sacrifice to get people to see your Facebook posts?

I started this blog to make the switch from keeping written journals of what I was reading to an electronic one.  I discovered challenges and reviews and Armchair BEA and A Novel Challenge and I fell in love with my blog.

I still am generally in a place where I care less about readers, by that I mean the numbers I am very fond of those readers who comment and stick around through my ups and downs.

One of the hardest things for me is consistency. I often find I am overextend IRL and my reading time and my blog are the first to suffer.

Here’s to November and 30 days of posting.

Visit Book Bumblings to join the fun!

”BookBlogWriMo

 

 

 

It’s Monday. What Are You Reading? (10/20/14)

monday

Working two jobs really took it out of the blog and of me. So slow start ups and no promises to you or to me. I have dropped all challenges except to read and post for the rest of the year.


This week I am reading/listening to:

 
This Week: 2:48:00 This Week:  335 This Week: Page 112 This Week:
Last Week: 8:37:46 Last Week:
Not Started
Last Week:
25
 Last Week:
Not Started

In the Queue:

Top Ten Tuesday: You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Top Ten Tuesday

Each week The Broke and the Bookish will post a new Top Ten list that one or more of their bloggers will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

So This week’s topic for Top Ten is one that shows again how weirdly eclectic my reading is.  I have gone to GoodReads to find the oldest things on my to read list that I still really want to get my hands on but I am still unable to find. And may in fact be too broke to buy. So here are my Top Ten Books I Really Want To Read But Don’t Own Yet.


The Boys, Volume 1: The Name of the Game by Garth Ennis

THIS IS GOING TO HURT! In a world where costumed heroes soar through the sky and masked vigilantes prowl the night, someone’s got to make sure the “supes” don’t get out of line. And someone will. Billy Butcher, Wee Hughie, Mother’s Milk, The Frenchman and The Female are The Boys: A CIA backed team of very dangerous people, each one dedicated to the struggle against the most dangerous force on Earth-superpower. Some superheores have to be watched. Some have to be controlled. And some of them-sometimes-need to be taken out of the picture That’s when you call in THE BOYS.[1]


Fables, Vol. 10: The Good Prince (Fables, #10) by Bill Willingham

Collecting issues #60-69 of the hit series, collecting the epochal “Good Prince” storyline. Flycatcher is drawn into the spotlight as he discovers the startling truth about his own past as the Frog Prince. At the same time, he learns that the Adversary plans to destroy his foes once and for all. How can the meek Flycatcher stop this deadly foe?[2]


I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone by Stephanie Kuehnert

The Clash. Social Distortion. Dead Kennedys. Patti Smith. The Ramones. Punk rock is in Emily Black’s blood. Her mother, Louisa, hit the road to follow the incendiary music scene when Emily was four months old and never came back. Now Emily’s all grown up with a punk band of her own, determined to find the tune that will bring her mother home. Because if Louisa really is following the music, shouldn’t it lead her right back to Emily?[3]


Morphology of the Folktale by Vladimir Propp

Morphology will in all probability be regarded by future generations as one of the major theoretical breakthroughs in the field of folklore in the twentieth century. — Alan Dundes Propp’s work is seminal…[and], now that it is available in a new edition, should be even more valuable to folklorists who are directing their attention to the form of the folktale, especially to those structural characteristics which are common to many entries coming from even different cultures.[4]


Don’t Bet on the Prince:
Contemporary Feminist Fairy Tales in North America and England
by Jack Zipes

This anthology of feminist fairy tales and critical essays acts as an example of how the literature of fantasy and imagination can be harnessed to create a new view of the world. It demonstrates how recent writers have changed the aesthetic constructs and social content of fairy tales to reflect cultural change since the 1960s in area of gender roles, socialization and education. It includes selected works from such writers as Angela Carter, Margaret Atwood and Jay Williams, and critical essays from Marcia Lieberman and Sandra Gilbert. [5]


ArchEnemy (The Looking Glass Wars, #3) by Frank Beddor

Now it’s all about the artillery as AD52s, crystal shooters, spikejack tumblers, and orb cannons are unleashed in a war of weapons and brute force.
As Alyss searches wildly for the solution to the disaster that has engulfed her queendom, Arch declares himself King of Wonderland. The moment is desperate enough for Alyss to travel back to London for answers, where Arch’s assassins are threatening Alice Liddell and her family. But after coming to the Liddells’ assistance, Alyss discovers herself trapped in a conundrum of evaporating puddles. The shimmering portals that exist to transport her home through the Pool of Tears are disappearing!
What is happening in Wonderland? Deep within the Valley of Mushroom the Caterpillar Oracles issue this prophecy: “Action shall be taken to ensure the safety of the Heart Crystal. For Everqueen.” But who is Everqueen?
As the metamorphosis of Wonderland unfolds, enemies become allies, bitter rivals face off, and Queen Alyss and Redd Heart must both confront their pasts in this thrilling, no-holds-barred conclusion to the New York Times bestselling series.[6]

[amazon_image id="1566444268" link="true" target="_blank" size="medium" ]Good Masters! Sweet Ladies![/amazon_image]
Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from a Medieval Village
by Laura Amy Schlitz

Step back to medieval 1255 England and meet 22 villagers, illustrated in pen and ink, inspired by the Munich-Nuremberg manuscript, an illuminated poem from thirteenth-century Germany.
Hugo, the lord’s nephew, proves his manhood by hunting a wild boar. Sharp-tongued Nelly supports her family by selling live eels. Peasant Mogg gets a clever lesson in how to save a cow from a greedy landlord. Barbary slings mud on noble Jack. Alice is the singing shepherdess. And many more . . .[7]

The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls
The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls by Emilie Autumn

Presenting Emilie Autumn’s long awaited autobiographical, reality-bending thriller, “The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls.” This beautifully bound hardcover volume measures 8″ x 11.5″ and clocks in at a massive 274 fully illustrated pages. Positively packed with hand-written memoirs, photos, and paintings, this profoundly empowering epic not only deserves a place on your tea table, it is also one of the most complete accounts of bipolar disorder ever penned, and will take readers behind the doors of both modern day psych ward and Victorian insane asylum in this true life horror tale of madness, murder, and medical experimentation.
But reader beware: It’s much easier to get into the Asylum than it is to get out.[8]

The Last Burning of New London
The Last Burning of New London by Danielle Myers

London Ruins is the head of a post-apocalyptic empire that spans across all the habitable land of Western Europe, and survives under the rule of Donovan, a reclusive, self-serving monarch. Donovan’s Royal Task Force carries out the assignment of eliminating all who oppose him by burning them alive within their houses. One group stands up against him, a legendary group of rebels called The Flames whose members are never seen, never heard, their actions only known after they have vanished.[9]

The Never King
The Never King by George Tyson

The once-great democracies of the West are slowly crumbling. In Britain, there is talk of revolution as anti-government demonstrations are met with lethal force. Then in an obscure English country carnival, a young man pulls a sword out of a boulder and is hailed as Britain’s mythic savior, its Once and Future King.
Enter Peter Quince, a professor of theology whose specialty is the old folk religions of the Celts – the so-called “Fairy Faith.” He’s recruited for a manhunt in which he quickly becomes the hunted. His flight to save his life takes him across a prehistoric landscape and climaxes in a shocking confrontation in the ruined castle in which King Arthur was allegedly born. Along the way, he must summon his old courage and confront his secret fear that he’s always been insane.
Quantum mechanics and a wizard’s prophesy, future weapons and ancient legends, mankind’s fate and an undying love for a crazy, beautiful woman – they’re all right here in The Never King.[10]

Line

1. GoodReads – The Boys
2. GoodReads – Fables 
3. GoodReads – Joey Ramone
4. GoodReads – Morphology
5. GoodReads – Don’t Bet on the Prince
6. GoodReads – ArchEnemy
7. GoodReads – Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!
8. GoodReads – Wayward Victorian Girls
9. GoodReads – New London
10. GoodReads -The Never King

It’s Monday. What Are You Reading? (8/25/14)

monday

Believe it or not school has been in session for almost three weeks here already and I have found that my reading has not picked up.  Due to an adorable 9 month old who I am watching 4 days a week it is crawled to a a pace much slower than her crawl.  I had forgotten how much attention these little ones require at all times.

Since Last Time I FInished:

The Patron Saint of Ugly

This week I am reading/listening to:

 The Rift Walker (Vampire Empire) The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World
This Week: Page 168 This Week: 4:35:57 This Week: Page 25 This Week: Page 21
Last Week: Page 0 Last Week: Not Started Last Week: Not Started Last Week: Not Started
This Week: Page This Week: Page 211
Last Week: Page Last Week: Page 211

On the Back burner:

This Week: 2:48:00 This Week: Page 5
Last Week: Chapter 2:48:00 Last Week: Page 5

In the Queue:

Company of Liars: A Novel

50 Word Friday: Poison Princess


Title: Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles, #1)
Author: Kresley Cole

Summary:

Sixteen-year-old Evangeline “Evie” Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they’re still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux. But she can’t do either alone. With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can’t totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him? Who can Evie trust? As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side.[1]

Review:

Likes: Post apocalyptic and dystopian. The idea that people are the Major Arcana is interesting. The quest to find Evie’s Grandmother makes for compelling forward movement. Dislikes: Jackson is supposed to be roguishly charming but is an ass. She plays a bit loose with the tarot. YA Escapism = Yes!

Line

1. GoodReads.com

Thought’s on a Thursday: A Conversation With Lev Grossman

Thoughts on a ThursdayToday I am going to step aside and go back to mourning the end of The Magicians trilogy by Lev Grossman and present a conversation with Lev Grossman. So today is Lev Grossman’s Thoughts on a Thursday. [1]

Remember Grossman’s The Magician’s Land dropped August 5.

Q:  People considered The Magicians to be Harry Potter for grown-ups and an homage to writers like C.S. Lewis and J.K. Rowling. But in THE MAGICIAN’S LAND, Quentin is nearly thirty years-old. Can we expect any new allusions to those books? How has the series grown up over the years?

 A:  On some level all the Magicians books are written as a conversation with Lewis and Rowling. It’s a complicated conversation – sometimes it’s affectionate, occasionally it’s rather heated – and it continues in The Magician’s Land. I thought Rowling let Harry off a little easy by never showing him to us at 30. We never really saw him having to deal with his traumatic past – his abusive childhood, his experience of violence and death, his massive world-saving celebrity as a teenager – and struggling to figure out what the rest of his life is about. Those are things Quentin has to do in The Magician’s Land. When you’re a magician, and there’s no ultimate evil to defeat, when you’re not a kid anymore, what is magic for?

As for Lewis, Narnia fans will pick up echoes of The Magician’s Nephew and The Last Battle, the stories of Narnia’s creation and of its destruction. Lewis made a bit of fetish of childhood and innocence: Narnia was a place for children, and when you grow up and get interested in adult things, you lose that special magic. You see that in Peter Pan too – it’s one of the dominant tropes of 20th century fantasy. In The Magician’s Land I wanted to think not just about what you lose when you grow up, but what you might gain. You lose the magic of innocence and wonder, but do you gain a richer, more complex kind of magic?

 Q: You come from a family of serious academics. What was their reaction when you chose to write genre fiction rather than something more “literary”?

 A: It sounds funny to say it, but writing The Magicians was a serious act of rebellion for me. Coming from the family I do, it was an act of calculated treason. I had to nerve myself up to do it. But I had to – it was the only way I could say what I wanted to say.  I couldn’t do anything else.

I think it’s fair to say that reactions were mixed. My mom was cautiously enthusiastic, and my brother and sister have been hugely helpful with the books. But I don’t think my father ever read any of The Magicians books.

 Q: The Magicians books have stirred up a lot of controversy among readers.  They attack or invert the most sacred conventions of fantasy, and as a result, have divided the fantasy world.  Can you speak a bit about this diverse reader response?

 A:  No question, the Magicians books are polarizing. They’re supposed to be. The same way Neuromancer did with science fiction, and Watchmen did with superhero comics, the Magicians books ask hard questions about fantasy. What kinds of people would really do magic, if it were really, and what would the practice of magic do to them? What would really go on in a school for magic, with a bunch of teenagers in a fairy castle being given supernatural powers? What would happen if you put in all the depression and the violence and the blowjobs and the drinking that Rowling leaves out? What would happen to those kids after they graduated? What would happen if you sent these kids through the looking glass, into a magical land that was in the grip of a civil war?

These aren’t the kinds of questions everybody wants asked, but that’s how genres evolve. Watchmen was a brutal interrogation of the superhero genre – and it was also the greatest superhero story ever written. You couldn’t write a comic book the same way after Watchmen was published. I’m not saying the Magicians books are the greatest fantasy novels ever written, but they’re asking the same kinds of questions.

 Q:  What were your major influences from science fiction or fantasy genres? What about more mainstream, literary works? How do you see these manifesting themselves in THE MAGICIAN’S LAND?

 A:  What got me started writing The Magicians was reading Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell in 2004. There were several novels around that time that did things with fantasy that had never been done before, used it to say things that had never been said before. George R.R. Martin’s books were like that, and so were Neil Gaiman’s, especially American Gods. So were Kelly Link’s. When I read those books, I knew that I had to be a part of whatever they were doing.

I also have a bit of an academic background – I spent a few years in graduate school, and I studied the literary canon, particularly the history of the novel, pretty intensely – and that comes out in the Magicians books too. You can find bits of Proust in them, and Fitzgerald, Woolf, Donne, Joyce, Chaucer, T.S. Eliot. You can find a lot of Evelyn Waugh – Brakebills owes a lot to Hogwarts, but it owes a lot more to the Oxford of Brideshead Revisited. I wanted to see what happens when you take techniques and tropes from literary fiction and transport them, illegally, across genre lines.

Q:  As a literary critic, you’ve worked to promote the value and respectability of genre fiction – one year you put George R.R. Martin at the top of Time’s list of books of the year. You did the same with Susanna Clarke and John Green. Does that fit in with what you do as a writer of fiction?

 A:  In my own nerdy way I’m trying to start a revolution, or maybe I’m just trying to join one that got started without me. It’s a literary revolution, but not the usual kind, where people who are writing difficult, avant garde literature figure out a way to make it even more difficult and avant garde. I’m talking about a revolution of pleasure, where the question of a book’s worth is de-coupled from the question of whether or not it’s hard or unpleasant to read.

Q:  If The Magicians, The Magician King, and THE MAGICIAN’S LAND were made into movies or a television series, who would you envision playing Quentin and his friends?

 A:  The challenge with the Magicians characters is to convey a lot of intelligence, and also to not be overly good-looking. They’re a clever lot, and they’re also very real – they look like real people. Ben Whishaw has probably aged out of the Quentin role, but people mention him to me a lot, and that seems right. Sometimes I pictured specific actors while I was writing – Eliot, for example, I imagine as something like Richard E. Grant in Withnail and I. I often imagine Alice as Thora Birch from Ghost World.

Q: There are a lot of tech references in The Magicians books that would seem more at home in science fiction than fantasy, ie. the origin of magic is described in hacker language.  Why did you choose to juxtapose so much tech with magic?

 A: I’m very committed to the project of making the Magicians books feel real, and to that end I made a deal with myself: everything that’s real in our world would be real in Quentin’s. And that means including contemporary technology, cell phones and the Internet and so on.

But beyond that, I think the same people who are interested in technology in our world would be drawn to magic if it were real, as much as the Wiccan crowd. Magic is interesting and complicated and powerful the same way technology is, and it requires some of the same mental discipline.

Also, I’m a science fiction writer manqué. I like the way SF writers look at the world. I like to think I write about magic the way good SF writers write about technology.

Q: You have a degree in comparative literature from Harvard but dropped out before getting your Ph.D. from Yale. What made you decide not to become an academic yourself?

 A: I can’t even remember what made me decide I wanted to be one in the first place, except that I was unemployed and wanted to read books and talk about them as much as possible. Which I did get to do, and I loved it. But I knew from watching my parents that the life of an academic is not a glamorous one. It is frequently an underpaid and inglorious one, except for the superstars, and it quickly became apparent that I wasn’t going to be one of those. Fortunately I married one instead.

Q:  You have an identical twin brother, Austin Grossman, who is also a Harvard grad and successful fantasy novelist. Why do you think you’ve traveled such similar paths professionally? How do you think growing up as twins shaped your writing, respectively?

 A:  It’s a mystery. I don’t know if twins have much more insight into it than regular people have. Austin was a very successful video game designer in his 20s, whereas I spent most of that decade looking for a career of any kind. But then somehow, for some reason, we re-converged. It happens all the time, not just with our writing. We live on opposite coasts, and only see each other a few times a year, but there’s always some uncanny coincidence in what we’re doing, or wearing, or listening to, or reading.

Though I’m very conscious of the differences in our work too. We’ve read the same things, seen the same movies, and watched the same shows, so our cultural points of reference are all the same. We know all the same words. But he writes only in the first person, and I only write in the third person. We use the same raw materials to construct very different stories.

Q.  Over the past decade, fantasy has become more accepted in mainstream and literary circles. What do you think has changed and where do you see the genre going? Does fantasy get the respect it deserves among scholars?

 A.  A lot has changed for fantasy in the last decade or so. The 1990’s were all about science fiction—Star Wars, Star Trek, the Matrix—but something changed around the turn of the millennium. After 2001 the popular imagination became focused on fantasy — Harry Potter and Twilight and The Lord of the Rings. En masse, we turned to fantasy for something we needed and weren’t finding elsewhere. What that is, it’s hard to say, but it’s led to a glorious resurgence of the genre. Fantasy is evolving and maturing. It’s definitely not just for kids anymore. Writers like Neil Gaiman, Susanna Clarke, China Mieville, George RR Martin and Kelly Link are making it more complex and interesting and sophisticated and powerful than it ever was before.

But no, as far as I can tell, it still gets very little respect from the academy.

Q:  What’s your favorite part of writing outside of reality?

 A:  What makes fantasy interesting to me is what it can’t do. Magic doesn’t solve everybody’s problems. You have characters who are capable of drawing energy from invisible sources, making it crackle from their fingers, performing miracles. But when they’re done, they’re still who they are. Life is still life. Magic doesn’t change relationships. It doesn’t fix your neuroses. Those basic problems are still what they were, and they have to be solved the old-fashioned way, just like in any other novel.

Line

1. Thanks to Cat Boyd over at Viking Books for this Q&A.

Wordy Wednesday: The Magician’s Land

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Title: The Magician’s Land Author: Lev Grossman
Publisher: Viking Adult Rating: 5star
Publication Date: 2014 Genre: Fantasy

Why Picked: My complete adoration of the first two.
First Line:

“The letter had said to meet in a bookstore.”

Summary:

In The Magician’s Land, the stunning conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Magicians trilogy—on-sale from Viking on August 5—Quentin Coldwater has been cast out of Fillory, the secret magical land of his childhood dreams. With nothing left to lose he returns to where his story be­gan, the Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic. But he can’t hide from his past, and it’s not long before it comes looking for him. Along with Plum, a brilliant young under­graduate with a dark secret of her own, Quentin sets out on a crooked path through a magical demi­monde of gray magic and desperate characters. But all roads lead back to Fillory, and his new life takes him to old haunts, like Antarctica, and to buried secrets and old friends he thought were lost for­ever. He uncovers the key to a sorcery masterwork, a spell that could create magical utopia, a new Fillory—but casting it will set in motion a chain of events that will bring Earth and Fillory crashing together. To save them he will have to risk sacrific­ing everything. The Magician’s Land is an intricate thriller, a fantastical epic, and an epic of love and redemp­tion that brings the Magicians trilogy to a magnifi­cent conclusion, confirming it as one of the great achievements in modern fantasy. It’s the story of a boy becoming a man, an apprentice becoming a master, and a broken land finally becoming whole. [1]

 

Review:

I just moments ago put down The Magician’s Land. I was lucky enough to be contacted by Cat over Viking and get an ARC (no strings attached). But this was a read I did not and could not rush. I have been in love with this world since the very beginning and even knowing there is the possibility of a television show, getting to the end of this is book means the end of Quentin’s story (as well as so many others) as told by Mr. Grossman. And I was not ready to let go of this story yet. But Quentin’s story is over. And it was a wonderful ending.

Let me get my issues out of the way up front. If I had it to do over again, I would have gone back and reread the first two of the trilogy. I did read summaries to refresh my memory but Grossman’s worlds are so full and stories so well crafted I was caught a few times trying to remember exact details of what happened. Also I will mention, and again these are personal preferences, there are portions I would have thinned out and plot points I would have like to see more of. These are difficult to explicitly comment on without being spoiler-ly but more of the characters at the end and less of those in the middle would have made this redhead much happier.

So you know I loved the earlier books, what about this one? Well, Quentin having been tossed out of Fillory goes crawling back to Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic. For a while it seems like things might settle into a professorial routine for our petulant hero, but through the shenanigans of a young fourth year student, Plum, both she and Quentin find themselves tossed out of Brakebills and suddenly part of a magical Ocean’s Eleven-like heist. Oh, and by the way, Fillory’s Royalty, Elliot, Janet, Poppy and Josh, might have just found out that their realm is set for a mighty apocalyptic, you can’t stop it, end. How these two plots merge and resolve is plotting and story-telling by a master.

There are enough encounters with past characters and settings to keep devoted readers happy but not so much that it seems forced and unnatural. Like I mentioned I would have love to see more of my old favorites but as with things like this are a personal quibble. I will be honest about the character of Quentin, for most of the story up to now, he has been a twit. I am firmly in the Catherynne M. Valente school of magic:

I would have run wild through a magical kingdom and never looked back. Talking animals? Yes. Witches and monsters? Yes. Dark queens? Absolutely. Give it right here. I would have said yes to all of it. [2]

So Quentin getting every damn thing he has ever wanted and being all “meh” or “It is hard” bothered me to no end. Non-magical life is meh and hard and boring and “shut up Quentin!” But these books were a fine example of how you can dislike a main character and love a world. That said, something about Quentin in this book is different, or I am different now, because he feel much less that Quentin and much more a man ready to begin again and again and again, understand that life is just damn hard and having gotten to that point he receives what fictional characters get and us mundanes may never find which is the chance for a happy ending.