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.

Read:

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

Started:

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.

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…

Read:

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

Started:

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, 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.

Read:

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

Started:

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.

Adventure, American imports, Book of the Week, Thriller

Book of the Week: Skin Tight

Not a lot of reading done last week – I started the week in New York and ended it on a plane back to Washington from Dallas and there wasn’t a lot of reading time other than the travelling. But luckily, I had an easy choice for my BotW pick thanks to my new local library and Carl Hiaasen’s Skin Tight.

One well-loved library copy of Skin Tight

After a Mick Stranahan stabs his unexpected guest (who came armed) using a taxidermied fish, he starts to try to figure out who it is who wants him dead. Unfortunately the intruder died so quickly he couldn’t answer any questions. And there are plenty of suspects. As an investigator at the State Attorney’s Office there were plenty of people who had a grudge against him even before he nailed a crooked judge and got fired. But then the list just keeps growing and soon it becomes clear that if Stranahan wants to enjoy his retirement, he’s going to have to figure out what’s going on before he ends up dead.

If that sounds a bit mad, that’s because it is. It’s a dark and satirical screwball comedy where every character has at least one serious character flaw, but very few of them realise it. I’ve spoken a lot about my search for more books to scratch my Steph Plum-esque itch and this definitely did that. Stranahan is much less likeable than Steph and a lot further from the straight and narrow than she is, but this is the same sort of madcap adventure you get with her.

My only real problem with Skin Tight is that it was published nearly 30 years ago and that’s making it hard to get more books by Hiaasen, although not impossible as my to-read pile will already show. It does mean though that the bad news is that Skin Tight isn’t available on Kindle or Kobo at the moment – and it may well be out of print in the US as well as the UK.  It is available on audiobook from Kobo, but if you want an actual book you’re going to have to buy it secondhand (Amazon and Abebooks have plenty of copies at various price points) or do what I did and get it from your library.

Happy Reading!

books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week In Books: October 15 – October 21

I had a very busy and exciting week – starting in New York and culminating in a couple of days in Dallas. Thus not much reading done. But je ne regrette rien.

Read:

To Obama by Jeanne Marie Laskas

Skin Tight by Carl Hiassen

Mardi Gras Murder by Ellen Byron

Miss Seeton Flies High by Hamilton Crane

Started:

Heirs and Graces by Rhys Bowen

A Conjuring of Light by VE Schwab

Still reading:

Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood

Fear by Bob Woodward

I *may* have bought a book in New York.  But what happens in New York stays in New York right?

Bonus picture: the view from the grassy knoll on Sunday afternoon.

View of Dealy Plaza from the Grassy Knoll

books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week In Books: October 8 – October 14

As suspected, I’ve been so busy with my visit from Him Indoors that I haven’t done as much reading as last week. But I regret nothing!

Read:

Royal Blood by Rhys Bowen

Naughty in Nice by Rhys Bowen

Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvis

All the Little Liars by Charlaine Harris

Death of a Russian Doll by Barbara Early

Started:

Skin Tight by Carl Hiassen

Still reading:

Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood

Fear by Bob Woodward

To Obama by Jeanne Marie Laskas

No books bought – and I now have a proper library card too!

Update: here’s a bonus picture from Sunday night in New York!