Fantasy, fiction

Book of the Week: A Conjuring of Light

Another week, another BotW post. This time I’ve gone for VE Schwab’s A Conjuring of Light, which is the final book in a trilogy, so it does break my rule about trying not to feature books that don’t stand-alone, but it also means that if you were to start the books now, you’re guaranteed a resolution. So swings and roundabouts really.

Anyway, this is the third (and final?!) book in this magical series in a universe where there are three different Londons in three parallel worlds that only a select few can travel between. In the first few books we see a lot of Grey London, where there is no magic (basically Regency Britain as we know it) and White London, where there is nothing but violence and magic. But this final book concentrates on the battle for Red London where magical and non-magical people exist side by side.

Red London is also where Kell is from, the traveler between worlds who we’ve been following since the start. Over the course of the books, Kell’s life has only got more complicated, but that also means he’s got more friends as well as more enemies. Friends like Delilah, the former thief who he teamed up with in the first book and her motley crew too. Everything that he and Delilah have learned over the course of their adventure comes to a climax in this.

And yes, I know that sounds like I’m avoiding talking about the actual plot. And that’s because I am, because saying much more will give away the plots of the other two books. And you really need to read this series in order or you’ll be lost. It’s been a couple of years since I read it and I felt a bit at sea at times and I know what happened and what the rules are. But there’s magic and pirates and peril and a big battle or two. And although it doesn’t quite reach Battle of Hogwarts levels of carnage and loss, it’s fair to say that not everyone comes out of it alive.

If you’ve read The Night Circus and The Children of Blood and Bone and thought that what you really need to read is a hybrid of the two, then try this. It wasn’t always 100% my cup of tea (I need less angst at the moment) but it’s pacey and well written and clever and really quite good.

My copy came from my library, but you should be able to lay your hands on this fairly easily on Kindle and Kobo as well as in paperback from all the usual sources, including actual bookshops.  I do suggest you start at the start of the trilogy though or you’ll be totally lost. There’s also a graphic novel prequel series that’s just started but I think you need to have read the books for that. I’ll check it out and let you know…

Happy Reading.

books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week In Books: November 5 – November 11

Check it out!  Reading more like normal – even though it was election week.  Thank you very much library.  Don’t expect this to last though – I’ve got more visitors arriving this week, so sightseeing will be back to full speed.  I’ve only got a few weeks left here now too.


A Conjuring of Light by VE Schwab

The Ruin of a Rake by Cat Sebastian

The Soldier’s Scoundrel by Cat Sebastian

It Takes Two to Tumble by Cat Sebastian

Now That You Mention It by Kristin Higgins

Turbo Twenty-Three by Janet Evanovich

Agatha Raisin and the Day the Floods Came by MC Beaton

A Terrible Beauty by Tasha Alexander

Hardcore Twenty-Four by Janet Evanovich


So Much Blood by Simon Brett

When A Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare

Still reading:

Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood

Fear by Bob Woodward

The Forgotten Room by Lauren Willig, Karen White and Beatriz Williams

Malice at the Palace by Rhys Bowen

One book bought and a few more library books borrowed…

Bonus picture:

Jasmine Guillory talking to Petra Mayer at Politics and Prose at the Wharf on Thursday.

Book of the Week, detective, Forgotten books, mystery

Book of the Week: Cast, In Order of Disappearance

Back to semi-normal service this week, in that there is a BotW post, albeit a shorter one because I spent the week working and then gadding about Washingotn with my sister.  However after she and her boyfriend left on Saturday evening I consoled myself with books and this was one of them.

Cast, In Order of Disappearance is the first novel in the Charles Paris series by Simon Brett. Set in 1974, Charles is a middle-aged actor, with a drink problem and a career problem.  But when he meets up with a previous paramour (from a seaside run in panto) he ends up getting entangled in blackmail, the murder of a theatre impresario and all sorts of other shenanigans.  It’s all set against the backdrop of petrol shortages, electricity rationing and the winter of discontent which makes for a slightly different take on the murder mystery.  Charles is very much in the mold of the classic amateur sleuth, and even as he’s being terrible (drinking, womanising etc) he’s still strangely likeable and very readable.

This is the first book in a seventeen-book series – which I came across because the radio adaptations popped up in my recommendations on audible.  I’ve been listening to some of them – which are great fun as they have Bill Nighy as Charles (he’s predictably brilliant) but they have been considerably updated.  I really liked both of them – and although the original version is probably my favourite, it does require a level of knowledge about Britain in the 1970s which may not work for modern audiences.  Anyway, I’m already stockpiling more of these to read, so you may well here more of them anon.

Yes, this is short, but it’s been a busy week – and it’s about to get even busier.  As this posts, I should be gearing up for a midterms overnight shift.  Anyone who’s known me for any length of time knows that I love elections – so it’s a big night for me and requires proper preparation.  Hence the short post.  Sorry, not sorry.

You can get Cast, In Order of Disappearance on Kindle or Kobo, but the paperbacks are out of print.  But the radio plays are available on audible and Kobo.

Happy Reading!

books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week In Books: October 29 – November 4

Another week with not a huge amount of reading done – but I had a fabulous time with my sister and her boyfriend while they were here.  I’m all on my lonesome again now, but it’s midterm elections on Tuesday so reading time may not be huge this week…


The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina 1 by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

True Blood 1 by Alan Ball

Star Trek TNG: Mirror Broken 0 by David Tipton

Tricky Twenty-Two by Janet Evanovich

Queen of Hearts by Rhys Bowen

Cast, In Order of Disappearance by Simon Brett


Malice at the Palace by Rhys Bowen

Turbo Twenty-three by Janet Evanovich

Still reading:

Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood

Fear by Bob Woodward

A Conjuring of Light by VE Schwab

The Forgotten Room by Lauren Willig, Karen White and Beatriz Williams

Little Sis left on Saturday – I consoled myself with a trip to the library and a massive pile of library books.  Which is an improvement on my usual method of cheering myself up by buying a stack of books…

This week’s bonus picture: Washington Wizards trying (and failing) to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder

Basketball game

books, stats

October Stats

New books read this month: 26*

Books from the to-read pile: 5 (although it’s more an acquired in America pile)

Ebooks read: 19

Books from the Library book pile: 2

Non-fiction books: 9

#ReadHarder categories completed: 9

Pop Sugar categories completed: 13

Most read author: Rhys Bowen (3 books and a novella)

Books read this year:  309

Books bought: 3 ebooks, 3 ebooks

Books on the Goodreads to-read shelf: 566 (I don’t have copies of all of these!)

Another dip in reading – due to this US trip and all the work and sightseeing and travel.  And I’ve bought a few books too – I think about 8 all in although i suspect they won’t all be coming home with me at the end of November!

Bonus picture: part of the mystery section at Strand bookshop in New York


The mystery section in Strand Books

*Includes some short stories/novellas/comics (7 this month)

Book of the Week

Not a Book of the Week post…

As I mentioned in yesterday’s Week in Books post, I said I wasn’t sure if I was going to have a BotW to recommend today, and I don’t. I just didn’t read enough last week to have something to recommend that’s not a repeat or clashing with a post I’ve already got planned. I was totally wiped out after a busy week at work and that trip to Texas. I fell asleep on the sofa one night at 9.30. And the last time that happened was back when I worked breakfast shifts!

Anyway, you did get a bonus post last week for Halloween reads, so go back and read that if you haven’t already, and I’ll attempt to resume normal service next week. Although my sister and her boyfriend are here this week, so I’m going to be busy again…

Bonus picture: the US Supreme Court on Sunday!

books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week In Books: October 22 – October 28

I feel like I spent the first half of the week recovering from Texas and the second half preparing for my little sister and her boyfriend to arrive. And that’s before all the news that happened this week. Which was a lot. So not as much reading done as I wanted, and I have no idea if there’ll be a Book of the Week post tomorrow. Sorry.


Heirs and Graces by Rhys Bowen

Sorrow on Sunday by Ann Purser

A Picture of Murder by TE Kinsey

Sleep Like a Baby by Charlaine Harris


Queen of Hearts by Rhys Bowen

The Forgotten Room by Lauren Willig, Karen White and Beatriz Williams

Still reading:

Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood

Fear by Bob Woodward

A Conjuring of Light by VE Schwab

No books bought, but a big stack borrowed from the library…

Bonus picture: my favorite specimen at the Botanic Gardens. It’s like a muppet and a plant had a baby.