On the currency of the true cost of things
Oh dearest reader, there is nothing as satisfying as the perfect conclusion to a series, is there not? This week we finally got the final installment of Gail Carriger’s Finishing School quartet, and it’s amazing. Carriger has, in a remarkably short time, become one of the highlights of the publishing schedule for me (and delightful in person as well). This past spring when ‘Prudence’ finally came out, I was treated to one of the most entertaining books I’d read in ages. I giggled, I laughed, and I was enraptured by the world once again. With Manners and Mutiny this same magic returned. At this point I’m not certain if Carriger could misstep. Which is all to the good, because the Finishing School series had a lot of loose ends to cover, including the fate of the odious Monique, and how the world of the Finishing School became the world of Soulless.
Spoiler: she nailed it perfectly.
You know I don’t hold with true spoilers, but oh how I want to burble on about /REDACTED/, I truly do! And the ending! So perfect, if just the slightest hint of bittersweet. If you haven’t given them a try, I can’t recommend them enough, they’re the perfect antidote to the dreary endless volumes of dark and gloomy that the Houses have decided is all we want to read.
Tremontaine: episode two by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Also a delight. I’m almost feeling spoiled by the amount of witty writing going on currently. And I’m intrigued by the idea of a regular infusion of Kushner’s lovely world. I hope it continues forever.
Jeweled Fire by Sharon Shinn
Any new book by Shinn is a delight, and if this one didn’t have quite the charm and delight of the first book in this world that’s because Corene is a more complex and difficult character than Zoe, and less sure of what she wants.
A Gem, perhaps not forgotten, but not read nearly enough
Dearest reader, I finished this post while sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at night. Contemplating so many things; liberty and sacrifice, and the bonds between people and institutions.
Lois Bujold talks in her book Memory, about those who sacrifice to make Vor real. We read speculative fiction to see our own world reflected in ways that can make it clearer to see, and to examine. In our own world, Lincoln was such a man. Someone who made the ultimate sacrifice to make America real.
So today I decided to include a bit of poetry for you instead of a forgotten gem. An homage, if you will, to he who preserved the Union of the states. And perhaps as a reminder to myself about where the real America is.
‘O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring,
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning,
Here, Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head;
It is some dream that on the deck
You’ve fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult, O shores, and ring O bells!
But I with mournful tread
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.’
Walt Whitman – 1865
Latest posts by Tracy J. Erickson (see all)
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