How Secret Immortal Servants, Wily Shapechangers, and the Wonderful Powers of Really Pure Water in 18th Century France Filled Up My Week
Dearest Reader, it feels like it’s been so long since our last little talk. I FINALLY got to the new Brandon Sanderson book Shadows of Self, which has been eying me suggestively for weeks. And it did not disappoint in the least.
Now, I have to acknowledge having a rocky history with the Mistborn world, as I loathe both Kelsier and Vin (for very different reasons) in The Final Empire and so I never finished the series. I, of course, know the broad strokes of how the trilogy finished, but I feel it is only fair to warn you that there are details I may have missed.
I also want to clarify that it is not a failing on Brandon’s part that I don’t like either character. In fact, I look at it as a sign he successfully made them real characters. If they had been Mary Sues or cardboard cutouts, I wouldn’t have responded so strongly.
Shadows of Self starts out with some of the best humor writing Brandon has done. His earlier weakness in writing banter has really solidified in this book to moments of genuine delight, before the book gets more serious. The characters he’d written in Alloy of Law get enriched, and newer characters start to develop as well.
To avoid spoilers, I’ll just say that both fans of the Mistborn world, as well as fans of the greater Cosmere mythos will find plenty to chew on in the background of the story, and readers who have just started with Alloy of Law will not find themselves bogged down or confused. It takes a remarkably deft hand to manage both at the same time.
For the Brandon Sanderson fans, this book won’t need me to convince them to try it; for those of you who aren’t fans, pick up his Hugo-winning The Emperors Soul or Alloy of Law and give him a try.
The Song of Mavin Manyshaped by Sheri Tepper
The first of Tepper’s Mavin Trilogy, this one is a fun story that moves fast. I think this is probably my 10th or so reading. Always fun.
The Search of Mavin Manyshaped by Sheri Tepper
The third of the Mavin trilogy, this one begins to develop the bigger story that she later really explored in the Jinian trilogy, which is where the story really reaches her best writing in the True Game novels, and where a lot of the payoff for the first two trilogies comes together.
In Midnight’s Silence by T Frohock
My buddy Joel told me to read this quick novella, which I really enjoyed. I think fans of ‘The House of Shattered Wings’ and Storm Constantine will get a lovely dose of dark angel lore in this one.
Vision of Light by Judith Merkle Riley
I revisit Riley’s books on a regular basis, and below I’ve actually picked a different book by her as my Forgotten Gem.
Conversion by Katherine Howe
I’m still reading this, but really enjoying Howes mixing of modern and historic storyline, though in a much different way than she did with ‘The Physik Book of Deliverance Dane’.
Dear Reader, you know when you start to read a book, and you just know from the beginning that you’ll love it? That’s how I felt when I read The Oracle Glass by Judith Merkle Riley for the first time. A dash of unexplained magic heightens the intrigue in this delightful romp through 18th century Paris, where we meet the delightfully precocious Genevieve Pasquier, and learn how she rose to become the remarkable society fortune teller known as the Marquise de Morville, and the desire for revenge that drove her.
My first appearance in the world gave little hint of the splendor that I was to attain as the Marquise de Morville. At the very least, there should have been a comet or a display of Saint Elmo’s fire. I have, of course, remedied this defect in my official biography, adding as well a thunderstorm and an earthquake. In the narrative before you, however, the truth will have to suffice.
-from The Oracle Glass
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