One of the wonderful things about being a bookworm online is that when someone gets excited about a book, we can all pile in and read along. Lovely Lynn of Little Lion Lynnet’s is our ringleader for this week’s discussion of Of Oysters, Pearls and Magic (book one of The Tale of Yin). We’ll be reading for the next three weeks if you’d like to join us.
When an assassination attempt goes awry, Regan is left with no memory of who, what or where he is. Club singer Evelyn Calliope – like Regan, more than she seems – takes him under her wing. But they live in a quarantined police state, and Regan is on a Kill List. Welcome to Parole, the doomed city suspended above a river of fire.
Ellen Kushner’s Swordspoint gets regular mention as one of the classic modern fantasies that I should have read by now. But why oh why did nobody ever say ‘it’s fantasy Dangerous Liaisons with gay fencing’?
Seriously, if that doesn’t do it for you…
Cas Leung trains genetically-engineered monsters to keep the rising seas safe. Kidnapped by a pirate queen to train a stolen monster and turn the tables, Cas must decide what she values most: the code she was raised to follow, or the lives of those she loves.
I picked this up in the wake of links highlighting award nominees beyond this year’s poisonous Hugo debate. Winner of this year’s Philip K Dick award, The Book of the Unnamed Midwife is a brutal apocalyptic novel set in a nearly-now. The world has been ravaged by a flu-like sickness that has spread like wildfire, killing 98% of infected men – and more women.
Billed as ‘the bastard child of Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Sarah Waters‘, this more or less lives up to that promise in terms of plot: some City businessmen wish to purchase titled husbands for their daughters, and come up with a hare-brained scheme involving piano lessons to show off the girls’ wealth and accomplishments. Unfortunately, their French music master has been incentivised to seduce each girl before they master Herr Bach.