May. 25th, 2012

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Druid's Blood (Friesner), 3+/5 - There is a lot going on on this Sherlock Holmes With Magic! alternate universe pastiche, complete with cameos by almost everyone you can imagine of interest in Victorian England (Arthur Conan Doyle, of course; Lord Byron; Ada Lovelace; Victoria herself). Written before racefail was even dreamt of, so, you know, complete culture!fail where brown people = Kali-who-eats-humans! Yey! I think, though, that from an entertainment standpoint, the big problem is that there's too much going on; there are some nice moments, but it sort of falls under its own weight.

The Hall of the Mountain King (Tarr), 4/5 - Another of those I might feel differently about if I read it for the first time today, but my principal feeling on reading it this time was holy cow how did I not realize that The King of Attolia has the exact same plot? Because the emotional plot is the same: peon that everyone else respects is called to be the reluctant servant to royalty who must prove himself to the world but also forge a beautiful friendship with the peon. Except with more magic and sex and plot and death than in Attolia. (And I really liked Moranden this time through.) And I really like that emotional plot, as it turns out. Although I like Attolia better. But I was pretty excited to reread the next book in the series after rereading this one.

Also, cool that everyone in this book is dark-skinned and it's not really a thing, but it's rather more descriptive about it than the Earthsea books (in the sense of, I didn't actually realize the Earthsea residents were not pale-skinned until the third book or so, whereas I was pretty clear on it in these; the covers helped).

The Lady of Han-Gilen (Tarr), 3/5 - Heroine hair color: red. I really liked this one as a kid, and I don't think it's bad now -- but I'm so over the bratty teenage kid thing and the love triangle thing. I mean, yes, it's nice that she gets called out for being bratty, I can't fault Tarr for her handling of it, I just don't particularly want to read it any more. I also kind of lost my momentum for wanting to read the third book, despite the big plot twist in A Fall of Princes blowing my mind as a naive teenager.

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