The Girl with No Face – M. H. Boroson

Xian Li-Lin is a Daoist priestess in 19th century San Francisco. After the events of the first book of this series, Li-Lin has left her father’s temple after he disowned her, but she still tends to the dead. Which is why she’s brought the body of a young girl who was killed by a plant growing out of her.

I really enjoy these books – it’s nice to see a non-Western mythological background explored, and having it set in such an interesting period of San Francisco’s history is an added bonus. I really don’t know how accurate these stories are to the traditions they draw from, but they definitely make for great story telling.

I’m interesting to see where this goes next – Li-Lin’s relationship with her father definitely has room to grow, and there are several side characters I’m interested to know more about.


2022 Knitting Projects

That’s a lot of hats…

I thought I made more socks this year, but I guess I was coasting on memories of last year. My biggest failure was a shawl I cast on three separate times – I do plan to start it again this year, but I definitely needed some distance before I could try it again. I’m going to lifeline the crap out of it this time.

Komarr – Lois McMaster Bujold

I’ve got the BF reading the early Cordelia and Miles books, which made me realize I’ve been hoarding a few of the other books in the series in my TBR pile (a habit I really need to shake).     So I picked one up, and enjoyed the heck out of it, as I always do.

Miles is older now, forced out of the military due to injuries (I mean, he did actually die).     So the emperor has made him one of his auditors, a small group answerable only to Gregor himself.    Miles is the youngest, and this book is his first big job.     He and another auditor are sent to Komarr, the planet next to the only wormhole with access to Barrayar (the empire’s home planet).     Vorthys, the other auditor, has a niece there, who’s married to one of the administrators of the terraforming project.    Since this series was written jumping around in Mile’s life, I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by saying that this is our introduction to Ekatrin, Mile’s wife, and she is every bit as awesome as you know she should be to end up marrying Miles.

This is a pretty good political story – Komarr has a very uneasy relationship with Barrayar, and the case that’s brought the two auditors there ends up being very interesting indeed, with a couple great twists at the end.    I love Bujold’s work!

Knitting Notes

We had a historic storm yesterday. We actually got rain (it was in the 50s the whole day), with tons of wind, and the height of it coincided with the monthly highest high tide. Needless to say, there were tons of trees down, and the coastal impacts were pretty epic.

I mention this in a Knitting Notes post, because we were very fortunate to not lose power, but we did lose the internet. (Which drove everyone to the cell network – it was hilariously bad reception all day.) And, to make things more fun, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve developed weather forecasting headaches when the barometric pressure starts wildly swinging. So, what’s a girl to do with no internet, and a bad head? Stash bust!

Here’s my existing DK/Sport weight 10 stitch blanket, now with Malabrigo Rios in Stonechat!

I’ve been kicking around the idea of starting another blanket, and I do have some worsted weight yarn saved up. Turns out both BF and my mother would take another scrappy blanket, so I started another one last night. Let’s see how many worsted scraps I can use up by the end of the year.

Briarheart – Mercedes Lackey

This is a sweet take on Sleeping Beauty. Miriam is the king’s stepdaughter, the only child of the King’s Champion, who tragically died in battle. After this, his widow marries the king. (Don’t worry- it’s not an evil step parent situation – the king is very fond of Miriam, and treats her like his own daughter.) So when the king and queen have their own child, Miriam is just as besotted with little princess Aurora as everyone else.

The kingdom is well familiar with planning christenings and other important events for their royal family. It’s very important to invite all the local Dark Fae so they have no excuse to curse anyone. Aurora’s christening is going along swimmingly until a Dark Fae woman no one recognizes shows up, and attempts to curse the little princess. Until Miriam stands in the way, and manages to kill the Dark Fae woman.

Turns out Miriam’s father may have had Fae blood, and she’s got some touch of Fae magic. So she decides to train to be her sister’s protector. This story takes place entirely while Aurora is still a baby, so it’s really about Miriam, and growing up, and learning to make good decisions. I really enjoyed it.

Knitting Notes

Pattern: Bough by Leila Raven
Yarn: Cascade Alpaca Lana D’Oro in the Ruby colorway
Needles: Size 4 and 7 circs and size 7 DPNs

Another quick hat – this one successfully achieving the size I actually needed.    It was really fun to knock some patterns I’ve already enjoyed out of yarn I had kicking around.

Sweep of the Heart – Ilona Andrews

I don’t often pay full price for ebooks, but when this one first came up available for preorder, I jumped on it. This is one of my favorite series going at the moment.

Dina and Sean agree to hold what amounts to the royal version of the Bachelor at their inn, after Sean’s mentor Wilmos is kidnapped. The Sovereign will allow them to use the one gate that leads to where Wilmos was taken, so they really have no choice.

Turns out, this Sovereign is their permanent guest Caldenia’s nephew, the son of the brother she killed, that turned her into an exile. I was so happy to get more of Caldenia’s backstory.

I also really enjoyed watching Dina and Sean’s relationship evolving – they’re both very powerful in their own ways, ways which could implode a relationship, but they’re making it work.

And the end!

All in all, this was another very enjoyable book – I’m just sorry I have to wait for more!

Come Tumbling Down – Seanan McGuire

This outing in the Wayward Children stories sees an ending of sorts to the story of Jack and Jill – the twins who had found their way to the Moors. Jack had had to sacrifice Jill to get them back to the Moors, but all was not lost, because Jack’s mentor on the Moors can restore life. So when Jack returns to the school, in Jill’s body, her friends journey back with her to save the Moors from Jill.

I enjoyed this story, but I’ll admit, I didn’t necessarily need to see more of what happens to the twins – their story is so macabre that I don’t want to know there’s what seems to be a definite end to it. I do hope the author brings us some more stories of the other students we haven’t covered yet in the books I have not read yet.

Disenchanted – Brianna Sugalski

Lilac is the heir to the throne of Brittany, in the Middle Ages. She has one big problem – she has the ability to speak the Darkling tongue, and so can communicate with all the creatures in the Broceliande forest. All the regular people, her rather unpleasant fiancé included, don’t like that ability, so she’s been hidden away in the castle, awaiting the day she’s crowned queen. When a message comes from a witch, claiming she can take away the Darkling tongue, Lilac jumps at the chance, and runs away into the forest, where she meets a charming man who turns out to be a vampire.

I did enjoy this story, but I really wish it wasn’t set in the Broceliande forest. There are connotations there with Arthurian legend, and the book is blurbed in such a way that you want a historical book. But Lilac is way too modern for that. It’s a fun, modern, fairy tale that I would have enjoyed more if I hadn’t expected something a bit different.