July 4: Bad Heir Day by Rosemary Edghill. Funny Arthurian story in which Guenhwyfar is the name of the sword, and “merlin” is a job title.
The Town Cats and Other Tales by Lloyd Alexander. Fun moralising stories, all cousins of Puss in Boots.
Victory by Susan Cooper. Very touching, with some good family and stepfamily, and real history (i.e. fictional history about a real person, very well researched).
Bedlam’s Edge, short stories in the Bedlam Bard universe. More interesting than I’d expected. With Amish! And, disconcertingly, a boss who could have been MY boss in my last job, down to “it was such a wonderful job except for that boss”. Gets their comeuppance in the story, though. Plausible mall elves. An elf and his human boyfriend in New Orleans on Mardi Gras, featuring a somewhat creepy leather-and-chains club. And more but those were the most memorable.
July 3: The Wizard’s Coming by Juliet E. McKenna. DNF at 42% (I tried!) Much too gritty. I’m glad I didn’t buy the whole trilogy that this is a teaser for. Teasers = good!
July 2: A Fairwell Friendship by Augustine Lang. I think I got it as a newsletter subscriber present. It’s cute. I’m in two minds about whether to buy the whole book about the protagonist of this story, because I do like him and his friends but romance is very much not my genre! (The story isn’t really romance; the novel is.)
July 1: Trio of Sorcery by Mercedes Lackey. I read Arcanum 101 ages ago and didn’t remember much of it at first, but the other two were new. Diana Tregarde is fun, Jennifer Talldeer is okayish (I don’t know how much of the Native American stuff is cultural appropriation, and it doesn’t help that it’s called “Indian”) and the cyberpunkish last one is intriguing and I wouldn’t mind reading a lot more about those people.
June 28: Time Cat by Lloyd Alexander. Fun, though there’s some cringey orientalism (including Peru which is just about the opposite of the Orient, but YKWIM) around the middle. But it gets better! At one point I thought “that girl is exactly like Eilonwy” and only then realised that Lloyd Alexander invented Eilonwy. Leonardo da Vinci in his teens is in it, and a Japanese boy emperor who learns to stand up to his guardian/regent.