The Owl Service – Alan Garner

0006742947.01._sx142_sy224_sclzzzzzzz_We’ve got owl plates that apparently turn into owls, a whole British Romeo and Juliet-ish across classes love story in a cottage in Wales on summer break, and the ancient Welsh myth of Blodeuwedd. I suspect I would have gotten a lot more out of this story when I was in the midst of my Celtic mythology obsession, and was therefore a lot closer to the source material, but I mostly found myself confused.

Blodeuwedd was a woman created of flowers, made to wed one man, but who falls in love with another. In this book, the story has carried on through the ages, and step-siblings Allison and Roger, as well as Gwyn, the son of the house keeper, are fated to play the parts of this tragic love triangle. It ends very abruptly – there’s all this building of tension, and then it’s just over. Like I said, I think I would have enjoyed it more if I were still immersed in the source material.


Magic Breaks – Ilona Andrews

25e2bf7a55fe074597169326867434f414f4141It’s the part of the Kate Daniels story the whole series has been leading up to – Kate finally meets her father, Roland. Aka Nimrod – the biblical tower builder, all powerful being who built a magical civilization so advanced and powerful it triggered a tech revolt, and magic went into retreat for several thousand years. The man Kate was trained all her life to kill.

And this book does not go how that meeting should go. It was great – it’s not like any of it was unexpected if you’ve been paying attention, but it was so nice to see the authors just not go there. And by not going there, we get more story.

There’s a bonus short story about Kate’s adopted daughter Julie’s first day at a new school, which was definitely a nice counterpoint to the rest of the action of the book. Another great entry in this series.

Penric’s Fox – Lois McMaster Bujold

4d1aaa6c6cd6740597449546f77434f414f4141Penric’s back in the capital city visiting friends when he’s called to help investigate murder. The victim is another temple divine, who like him, carries a demon. However, in this case, she’s not had the demon long, and no one can think why she would have anyone that would want to kill her.

And, there’s the small matter of the demon – they will usually jump to the nearest available person when their current carrier dies. This particular demon was a learned healer – is she now imprisoned in the killer?

I liked this story, but it was a little on the short side, even knowing it’s a novella up front. It was actually perfect for the Sunday afternoon I read it in, but I wish it had been a little longer.

Knitting Notes


Pattern: Immie Tee by Carrie Bostick Hoge
Yarn: Quince and Co Tern in the Buoy Colorway
Needles: Size 3 Circs

Here’s my Immie Tee, for M, whose current favorite color is “yelrow”.    I made it in the Age 4 size, but kept the normal needle size (I normally go up a size to get gauge because I knit pretty tightly).   So hopefully this will fit her soon, and for a while.

I have to give huge kudos to Madder customer service.   I was making this out of the Madder Anthology 1, and I suspect I was the first one knitting it out of the anthology itself, because when I got to the last page of the pattern, it just was not right.   I popped off an email, and by lunch the next business day, had the errata, as well as the standalone pattern so I could keep working on it.   So they’re completely awesome.

It’s a cute little pattern, not too difficult, but enough to keep things interesting.   And per usual, I love the Quince Tern.

Sweep of the Blade – Ilona Andrews

f9d0cacb665cc8b59702b657377434f414f4141The last book in the Innkeeper series introduced us to Dina’s sister Maud. Maud had married a vampire knight, but was recently widowed when his machinations had gotten the three of them (including their five year old daughter Helen) exiled to one of the nastiest planets in the galaxy.   She and Helen had managed to avenge his death before she was able to get word to Dina for rescue.

After swearing off vampires for good, she meets Arland, Marshall of one of the oldest vampire houses in the galaxy. During the course of the last book, they fall in love and he asks her to marry him. She says no, but follows him home anyway. Helen is half vampire, and it’s clear she’s more vampire than human. It would be best for her to grow up on a vampire world. And there’s also the fact that she does love Arland.

This book goes surprisingly quickly. I adore Arland’s family. They really don’t want to like Maud, but she wins them over quickly, because she really is awesome. (Probably more awesome than Dina, I have to admit.) The book is so fast paced, it’s hard to recap it without giving things way, but suffice it to say, Maud is thrown in the deep end, and manages to make things work in spades. Love this book – I want more!

Corsets and Codpieces – Karen Bowman

8cfd3ab30d5d8505970572b6f77434f414f4141This is a nice survey of costumes through quite a bit of history, with a lot of period illustration. However, if you’ve read up on the subject before (which I have), you’re probably not going to run into anything substantially new.

Not that this is a bad thing, but let’s just say I’m glad I got it at a bargain price, with a gift certificate.