So…I’m supposed to be baking a cake right now. Upside-down plum cake, to be exact (which is delicious). And instead I’m writing a blog post.
Reading-wise, my priorities were to get a couple of books off my never-ending TBR pile. I started with Kevin Hearne’s Hunted, book five in his Iron Druid Chronicles. Atticus and Granuaile are high-tailing it across Europe with Artemis and Diana not far behind. They’re a bit upset with Atticus for putting Bacchus on a Time Island, and they want revenge. His usual escape routes blocked, they’ll have to be extra clever – and extra fast – to stay ahead of the goddesses.
It took me a while to get through this one. While there’s still plenty of snark and awesome world-building (not to mention Oberon), it dragged in places and I’m not entirely convinced the story told within the book needed to be stretched out for an entire book. A lot of it was Atticus and Granuaile trying to figure out ways to get through Europe without anyone killing them, and they contemplated who was after them in the little downtime they had in between.
Keeping with my fantasy kick, A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab came in at the library. Lila Bard’s been out to sea for the past four months, while Kell’s become increasingly frustrated with the shackles tying him to the Maresh family. But the Element Games are coming up, which means even more attention on Kell and the family, so leaving isn’t an option.
AGOS was a fantastic continuation of the story Schwab started in A Darker Shade of Magic. There’s more Lila (a LOT more Lila) and some intriguing new faces to get to know. Lila’s not just spent the last few months being a pirate, she’s been uncovering some truths about herself. I do wish there’d been more Lila-Kell face time (because I’m greedy like that and I love their interactions) but with the set up for A Conjuring of Light, there’s bound to be plenty to satisfy.
Four years ago, I started Irene Nemirovsky’s Dimanche, a collection of short stories. I got about halfway through and for some reason put it back on my shelf. And I didn’t touch it and didn’t touch it until about six months ago, when I decided I was tired of it taunting me.
The thing about Nermirovsky’s work is I always feel a bit melancholy after reading it. She had a way of detailing setting without overwhelming, and it’s easy to picture a moonlit field, German soldiers sneaking out of a house. Or an old-fashioned train station, the terrified and exhausted faces of the passengers plastered to the windows. Even when she writes about joy, there’s a sadness there. Nemirovsky died at Auschwitz in 1942, leaving behind a surprisingly large body of work, mostly unpublished until recently.
Now I’m off to make that cake. I hope everyone had a relaxing weekend!