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Books read, early July

Lloyd Alexander, The Beggar Queen, The Book of Three, The Illyrian Adventure, The Kestrel, and Westmark. All rereads. Well, let’s see, what panel was I on at Readercon this year. It overlapped nicely with the “rereading the Westmark trilogy phase of grief” in my life. Every time I read that series I find something new in it. This time there was a new gut punch in The Kestrel, which I’ve been gutted by over and over since I was in the single digits, but…the Regians were eating the seed corn. The seed corn, and I gasped and had to close my eyes because I am 40 now and that means so much more to me and every line of these books, oh, oh.

Gwenda Bond and Christopher Rowe, The Supernormal Sleuthing Service: The Lost Legacy. This was charming and fun, some kids saving the day in a hotel full of magical creatures. So many shenanigans. Definitely looking forward to the next one.

Chaz Brenchley, Dust-Up at the Crater School, Chapter 21. Kindle. This was a quite short chapter, but it moved the non-school plot forward, so…we’ll see where it’s all going.

Roshani Chokshi, Aru Shah and the Song of Death. The second in its series, and I heartily recommend starting with the first to get the character dynamics down. Which for me are the best part. I hope the up-to-the-moment contemporary references age well, but this is that moment, and right now they’re doing great. And this is another that was just so darn much fun. I needed a lot of fun this fortnight, and I got it. Yay.

Max Gladstone, Empress of Forever. Adventures in space, time, and the human mind–or perhaps soul!–with Max! Whooosh. Tech geniuses! Various kinds of goo and despotic reality-warping rulers and earnest monks and friendship being–well, magic. But the kind that helps you do the hard work of fixing, not the kind that fixes stuff just by being. Who are you, who are your friends, who are you with and without your friends–across the galaxy. Very different from the Craft Sequence, in ways I love to see people branch out. Yay.

A.J.R. Russell-Wood, The Portuguese Empire, 1415-1808: A World on the Move. This was a lot about the interaction of various Portuguese colonies with each other, and particularly about logistics. If you want to think about equipping ships and how long things took, this would be very useful. If that’s not your jam, probably give it a miss. Also there is a lot of pleading on behalf of the Portuguese as better than the other colonizers, which…let’s say I am not entirely convinced in every particular that this is a total ordering worth making.

Snorri Sturluson sort of we think maybe, Egil’s Saga. Reread. Good heavens is Egil a pill. Which is why this is a lasting work of literature, no one would want to read it if he was Egil the Snuggly. I read this as research for a future project, and I got everything I needed and more, but…mostly in the form of notes to myself rather than to you.

Bogi Tak√°cs, The Trans Space Octopus Congregation. Discussed elsewhere.

Troy L. Wiggins, DaVaun Sanders, and Brandon O’Brien, eds., Fiyah Issue 11. Kindle. Interesting to see what happens with an unthemed issue and authors free to roam the galaxy and the human heart. I like the themed issues too, but having a bit of Fiyah that just goes where it will was very cool.

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