May 17: Nettle and Bone by T. Kingfisher. OH WOW!! I’m so glad I didn’t download the teaser chapter, because I’d have thought it was horror! and/or postapocalyptic! In fact it was fantasy with T. Kingfisher-signature darkish elements, and it actually became better later on though there was a lot of, well, bone. I love the idea of dust-wives who can talk to the dead. And curses that actually turn out to be blessings — or was that the other way around?
May 18: Uhura’s Song by Janet Kagan. Comfort-reading favourite.
May 19-20: Suddenly, a lot of fanfic. An exchange I wasn’t in because there wasn’t enough I could write revealed, and I went down several rabbit holes from it. Can’t be hedgehogged to list everything, if you’re curious check it out for yourself! (Except this one, In Which Cimorene Visits an Ocean. Not only more than excellent, but also lots of small cameos from other fandoms. I got most though not all of them.)
May 21: Unnatural Issue (Elemental Masters #6) by Mercedes Lackey. I started this with some dread because I remembered that the villain is very disgusting (a person, rather than the monster in Reserved for the Cat, making it worse) but much like other books in the series I could bear it better. Perhaps it’s just because I know this book practically by heart and I know it’s going to end well, or because the good parts are very good. Goodreads reviewers complain that the romance is understated, but that’s one of the good parts of the book for me (though I dislike the protagonist pining for C forever and then ending up with P without any drama except very minor enmity between her and C’s fiancee, but never mind).
Things that struck me this time: it’s such a blatant Lord Peter Wimsey ripoff that I kept trying to find all the parallels. (And Dorothy Sayers does Lord Peter so much better!) Also, the instant coldness of C’s family, who were so warm to the protagonist in the beginning, when the villain catches up with her. To their credit, they don’t abandon her, after all they’re good people pledged to fight villains of this type, but it’s hinted that it’s a good thing her study as a nurse, and her eventual marriage to P, will take her away from their sphere.
Nitpick: the protagonist creates a magic item early-ish in the book and makes a point of destroying it after use, and then near the end of the book she’s still got it and is glad she saved it. Copy editors of the world, unite, and go over Mercedes Lackey’s books with a nit-comb!
And yes, the villain is disgusting. Necromancy of any sort is a kind of horror I still hate, even though I seem to be able to cope with it better these days.
Index of reading notes is here.