starlady: Galadriel in Caras Galadhon, with an ornate letter "G" (galadriel is a G)
What I'm Reading
A.S. King, Glory O'Brien's History of the Future - Still, yes. I'm increasingly annoyed that the horrible future Glory sees is just an update of The Handmaid's Tale for the 2010s, and increasingly irritated at people who write first person narratives that are horribly undescriptive of everything in the book including the characters. John Green, who blurbed this book, is clearly a pernicious idiot.

Natsume Soseki, Kokoro - "Everyone loves Kokoro," my advisor told me. "Except maybe you." My expectations are low.

What I've Read
C.S. Pacat, Captive Prince and Prince's Gambit - These books are so good, and Pacat subverts so many tropes, I love them so much, you should read them, the end.

Megan Whalen Turner, The Queen of Attolia, The King of Attolia, and A Conspiracy of Kings - Someone on tumblr remarked that these books are similar to Pacat's, and I devoured three of them on my plane back from Japan, and that tumblr person was right. I'm not sure I'll be able to take it if there's never a fifth one. If you haven't read them, you should read them, but start with the first one, The Thief, and don't read the backs of any of them. They are amazing.

Fran Wilde, Updraft - All the reviews say the worldbuilding is interesting but the plot and characters are predictable and paper-thin, respectively. All the reviews are right. I don't plan to read any of Wilde's future books; I for one didn't find the worldbuilding interesting so much as frustrating. They live in bone towers! Cool! BONE TOWERS OF WHAT?? NO ONE KNOWS OR CARES. ARGH.

Marie Rutkoski, The Winner's Kiss - Yes, this is the third book in a trilogy, no, I haven't read the first two. I liked Rutkoski's Cabinet of Wonders books quite a lot, and while this story seems more ambitious I'm not sure I was sold on it. On the other hand I stayed up til 2am and read it in four hours, so.

What I'll Read Next
Hopefully something I actually enjoy.
starlady: (but it does move)
Rutkoski, Marie. The Jewel of the Kalderash. New York: Farrar Strauss & Girroux, 2011.

I borrowed this, the final volume in the Kronos Chronicles, from [personal profile] shveta_writes as usual. This final volume sends Petra, Neel and Tomik to the Roma homeland in India (and then, eventually, back again to Europe), and mostly resolves a number of plot threads along the way. I would happily read more books about Petra, but it seems clear from the denouement of this book that this is the end. I really enjoyed the previous books in the series, and if you're looking for alternate Renaissance historical fantasy with clockwork spiders, scheming sorcerers, and intrigue galore, I recommend these books highly.

I share Shveta's complaint that, for all that a good chunk of the book takes place in India, there's very little of India about the setting, though this lampshaded in text by the Roma living on an island. I thoroughly enjoyed Petra, Astrophil, Neel, Tomik and their friends and enemies (there are a number of great characters, both male and female, introduced in this volume), and I liked the ending to their stories too, and the fact that the gains made are not without cost. I will definitely be on the lookout for more of Rutkoski's books.
starlady: (but it does move)
Rutkoski, Marie. The Celestial Globe. New York: Farrar Strauss & Girroux, 2010.

So I really liked the first book about Petra Kronos, The Cabinet of Wonders, and I think I actually liked this the second book even more. Thanks again to [personal profile] shveta_writes for recommending them to me!

Petra and Neel's accomplishments in the first book are revealed to have in fact made their families' situations far more precarious; Roma in Bohemia are being rounded up and imprisoned on the orders of Prince Rodolfo, and Petra's cousins only just manage to flee to the south of the realm before the prince's foulest servants, the Gristleki or Grey Men, come for her and her father. In the confusion of their attack Petra is separated from her father and brought to London by her erstwhile protector John Dee, while her friend Tomik stumbles onto the seacoast of Bohemia no, I'm not kidding )
starlady: (but it does move)
Rutkoski, Marie. The Cabinet of Wonders. New York: Farrar Strauss & Girroux, 2008.

What an excellent, excellent book! [personal profile] shveta_writes handed it to me last week and said, "I think you'll like it," and she was so right.

Petra Kronos lives a fairly ordinary life in the Bohemian village of Okno, despite the fact that one of her closest friends is an animate metal spider named Astrophil, until the day when her father, an artisan and clockmaker, returns home from Prague blinded: the prince of Bohemia, who commissioned Mikal Kronos to create the world's finest astronomical clock, blinded him so that he could never make another, and so that the prince himself could finish the last portion of the clock's construction. Naturally Petra won't take this lying down, so she concocts a plan to go to Prague, sneak into Salamander Castle, and get her father's eyes back. Along the way Petra meets many interesting and complicated people, including a countess whose skin produces acid when she's upset, a Roma boy who opens Petra's eyes to many things, including the concept of zero and the way the world works, and begins to learn things about herself that she had never even guessed.

Where the fire burns hottest )

Interested? You should be! The first chapter of The Cabinet of Wonders is available to read here on Rutkoski's website.

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