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David Bremner Locked account

Joined 1 year, 2 months ago

computer scientist, mathematician, photographer, human. Debian Developer, Notmuch Maintainer, scuba diver

Much of my "reading" these days is actually audiobooks while walking.

FediMain: is also me. Trying a smaller instance to see if the delays are less maddening.

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Darkspell (Deverry Series, Book Two) (Paperback, 1994, Spectra) No rating

On the long roads of Deverry ride two mercenaries whose fates like hidden deep in …

Content warning sexual violence mention

The Wee Free Men (Discworld, #30; Tiffany Aching, #1) (2004) 5 stars

The Wee Free Men is a 2003 comic fantasy novel by British writer Terry Pratchett, …

Crivens, more Feegles please.

4 stars

I might just be a shallow person, but I enjoyed the earlier, more Feegle-heavy parts of this book the most. In the later interactions with the Queen of Fae, I had the uncomfortable impression Pratchett had one or more serious points about psychological abuse.

reviewed Daggerspell by Katharine Kerr

Daggerspell (Paperback, 1993, Spectra) 4 stars

In a world beyond physical reality, Nevyn, the wandering and mysterious sorcerer who relinquished a …

Traditional sword and sorcery, with enough twists to keep me interested

4 stars

I think it is fair to say the setting is inspired both by Tolkien and the Celtic (e.g. Mary Stewart) take on the King Arthur/Merlin myth.

There are some interesting plot twists that also serve as character development.

As someone who grew up around the time the book was written, I found the "New-agey" take on magic a bit jarring. Reincarnation plays a big role, as do things like "the astral plane" and "auras". It might be just me, but it feels like that terminology ties the book to the 1980s a bit.

Full credit to Kerr for giving her female protagonists agency and complexity in a way that works in a traditionally patriarchal setting.

Foundryside (2018) 4 stars

A thief in a city controlled by industrialized magic joins forces with a rare honest …

swashbuckling, romantic, techno-fantasy

4 stars

I mainly read this through the lens of a fan of "City of Stairs" and its sequels.

The magic system here didn't grab me as much as the one in Bennett's "Divine Cities" books. The book telegraphs that the series it starts may turn into political thriller closer to the City books, but this first installment is mainly about the adventures of a small band of extraordinary characters.

The main character Sancia is a heroic thief with a tragic past. There are several romantic-ish subplots, but no sex to speak of. The fact that Sancia can't touch other humans might have something to do with that

Africa Risen (2022, Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom) 4 stars

From an award-winning team of editors comes an anthology of thirty-two original stories showcasing the …

A rich sample of speculative and fantastical short fiction

4 stars

This is an extremely varied collection from African and African Diaspora writers of speculative and fantastic fiction. For whatever reason(s) I'm not a huge fan of short form fiction in general, but I did find some of these stories quite memorable/compelling.

The Blue House (Dilman Dila). IRL (Stephen Barnes) Mami Wataworks (Russell Nichols) A dream of electric mothers (Wole Talabi; nebula nominee) A Knight in Tunisia (Alex Jennings) The Sugar Mill (Tobias Buckell) When the Mami Wata Met a Demon (Moustapha Mbacke Diop) Some of the stories I found a bit tough going. In at least some cases (Peeling Time / Deluxe Edition by Tlotolo Tsamaase) this is arguably because they are too powerful at conveying certain horrors.

Other stories were quite whimsical and fable like. So there is probably something for everyone in the book, but perhaps will love everything.