Mar. 24th, 2016

hoursgoneby: (Hourglass)
What I Just Finished Reading: A Queer Trade (Rag and Bone #0.5), by K.J. Charles. This is a short story set in the same world as the Magpie Lord, and takes place I think sometime in the last 2 books of the Magpie trilogy. Returning to London after visiting family, apprentice practitioner Crispin Tredarloe finds his master is dead, and the landlord has sold off his possessions, save those specified in his will, but including piles of paper that could prove very dangerous in the hands of anyone other than Crispin. He tracks down the papers and finds them in the possession of waste paper dealer Ned Hall, and together they try to prevent a disaster.

I like the ideas, the characters, and the overall story, though I quibble with the idea that Crispin, having just learned of his master's death that morning and in the midst of a desperate search for dangerous magical items, would pause in his frantic search to briefly fantasize about Ned, let alone make out with him in public, however briefly. Grief can make people do strange things, and sex is definitely a way of dealing with it, but it was jarring here. Still, it was a nice setup for the Rag and Bone, the full novel featuring Crispin and Ned.

Jackdaw, by K.J. Charles. Also set in the world of the Magpie Lord, Jackdaw picks up the story of Jonah Pastern (the young windwalker from Flight of Magpies, and this book will not make sense if you haven't read that) and his former lover, Ben. This didn't really have a plot the way the other books in the 'verse do, it's more of a 'slice of life' type of thing, though at times a fearful one (Jonah) and an angry one (Ben, and damn justifiably too), fraught with worry about being caught, both by society and the justiciars.

Rag and Bone (Rag and Bone #1), by K.J. Charles. This overlaps with both Flight of Magpies and Jackdaw and if the series continues in that vein I may have to start drawing diagrams to figure out who's doing what where and when. After the events of A Queer Trade, Crispin is now apprenticed at the justiciary, trying to learn how to use his powers properly and it's not going well. Graphomancy may not be viewed as legitimate magic, but more and more it seems to be the only kind he can use. He's viewed with suspicion by other practitioners and his relationship with Ned is under strain. Worst of all, old, wild magic is stirring in London, and there are no justiciars to handle it, or even hear about it, meaning it's all up to Crispin and Ned.

Sadly, there was no Saint, although there was more of Mrs. Gold. I enjoyed it, and I definitely felt the relationship between Ned and Crispin was slightly better done than Lucien and Stephen. I also definitely picked up on the feeling of trying to get something DONE when everyone above you is busy with something else and this is important too. (Granted in my case it was 'this software change will completely nuke 90% if our procedures, we need a workaround', while everyone else was worrying about budgets or something, but...)

SPECTR: Series 1, by Jordan L. Hawk. I opened it up to do a search on something for a discussion I was having with [livejournal.com profile] hamsterwoman and, um, ended up reading it again, though not from the beginning. Oops?

What I'm Reading Now: Hellebore & Rue: Tales of Queer Women and Magic, by JoSelle Vanderhooft. This short story collection is working better for me than the last few I tried. It's another of the ones I picked up during Lethe Press's sale. With just one exception so far the shorts tell complete stories all of which, well, do what they say on the tin. :) You've got women dealing with problems without being defined either by their orientation or their relationship with a man. You've got urban fantasy mixed wtih regular fantasy mixed with science-fantasy and while I'm not reading it straight through I am pleased to come back to it, unlike the last two collections that I felt I was just slogging through.

Still going with The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in Regency and Victorian England too. (It's my upstairs book and I haven't been upstairs much.)

What I'm Reading Next: I haven't decided yet. I've still got a lot of the Lethe Press stuff to get through, plus physical books.

I also already hit the goal for the Goodreads reading challenge I set up at the beginning of the year! Probably because I've had the space I used to use for work filled up with time to read instead. So I just upped the number, we'll see how that goes.

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