May 31: The Fire Rose (Elemental Masters #0) by Mercedes Lackey. Again, I could stand the horror-adjacent parts of the villainy better than before. I can’t imagine I’m getting inured to horror (I’m still not seeking it out, and I’m just as disgusted when it’s disgusting) but at least I’m not completely avoiding it any more.
It’s clear this time around that Lackey was still feeling her way in the Elemental Masters universe, having some things much more complicated, and hedged about with much more ritual, than in later books in the series. I think I like the common-sense approach of the later books better than the formal-magic approach in this one, though the magic scenes are good, Lackey has a knack for magical pomp and circumstance.
It’s also clear that any reader brings themself to every reading.
(I think the rest of what I read this week is online fanfic I can’t be hedgehogged to retrieve, and the first part of Trouble and her Friends which is long and slow and complex)