Feb. 8th, 2009

dangermousie: (HYD: Rui book)
I have just finished a book I bought on a whim but cannot recommend highly enough: Dave Duncan's Sky of Swords.

Yes, it's a fantasy. I am not a big fantasy reader. In fact, the number of fantasy books I have enjoyed over the years probably doesn't exceed a dozen. But this certainly enters on that list. It's not an urban fantasy, but neither it is a high fantasy, with surreal creatures or dragons. In fact, it is a rather fantasified version of Tudor England and Europe of that time.

The story, set in a fictional kindgom of Chivial, follows the daughter of Chivial's able if monstrous King Ambrose, Princess Malinda. If Ambrose is rather inspired by Henry VIII, with his girth, ability, women problems, and fights with monastic orders, then Malinda (who is probably one of my favorite heroines) is rather modelled on Queen Elizabeth I. And you can do much much worse than that.

The book is written in a rather circular fashion: it opens with the trial of deposed Queen Malinda for treason by the new usurping ruler and goes back in time to retell what happened: of how Malinda came to power and how she lost it, as well. Even if the book is good even before that, the story really gets going when Malinda refuses to wed Radgar Aethelring, the pirate King of the Baels [this world's Vikings or similar] and history sort of...unravels. I don't want to spoil too much, because the plot is actually clever and some pivotal moments left me gasping with shock.

The fantasy element is present but relatively slight: instead of Catholic monasteries, there are conjurors. This world also has necromancers. Oh, and it also has King's (or Queen's) Blades: highly trained swordsmen who end up being bound to a liege lord or lady and whose abilities are enhanced.

This is a rare book which gives me both a strong, intelligent, ruthless heroine (who, nontheless, fits into a period as written: Malinda triumphs and rules through her brains and will, not because she is a fighter) and male characters that are every bit as neat as the protagonist. My favorites of the male characters were two. One was Lord Roland - a former Blade who is King Ambrose's extremely intelligent chancellor and whose antagonistic/mentor relationship with Malinda was my second favorite relationship in the book. The one time I did get suspiciously sniffly Spoiler for a particular plot point ) And the other was Dog, whose real name we never knew, one of Malinda's Blades, who is borderline insane [you want a messed-up background, you got it], and oh yes, also the love of Malinda's life.

After I finished the book, I went researching and found out that the Sky of Swords is actually a third in a series of interconnected novels, none of which you need to read to enjoy this. But I am quite excited because one of those two follows Lord Roland and the other Radgar Aethelring. Yay! I am so there.
dangermousie: (HYD: Rui book)
I have just finished a book I bought on a whim but cannot recommend highly enough: Dave Duncan's Sky of Swords.

Yes, it's a fantasy. I am not a big fantasy reader. In fact, the number of fantasy books I have enjoyed over the years probably doesn't exceed a dozen. But this certainly enters on that list. It's not an urban fantasy, but neither it is a high fantasy, with surreal creatures or dragons. In fact, it is a rather fantasified version of Tudor England and Europe of that time.

The story, set in a fictional kindgom of Chivial, follows the daughter of Chivial's able if monstrous King Ambrose, Princess Malinda. If Ambrose is rather inspired by Henry VIII, with his girth, ability, women problems, and fights with monastic orders, then Malinda (who is probably one of my favorite heroines) is rather modelled on Queen Elizabeth I. And you can do much much worse than that.

The book is written in a rather circular fashion: it opens with the trial of deposed Queen Malinda for treason by the new usurping ruler and goes back in time to retell what happened: of how Malinda came to power and how she lost it, as well. Even if the book is good even before that, the story really gets going when Malinda refuses to wed Radgar Aethelring, the pirate King of the Baels [this world's Vikings or similar] and history sort of...unravels. I don't want to spoil too much, because the plot is actually clever and some pivotal moments left me gasping with shock.

The fantasy element is present but relatively slight: instead of Catholic monasteries, there are conjurors. This world also has necromancers. Oh, and it also has King's (or Queen's) Blades: highly trained swordsmen who end up being bound to a liege lord or lady and whose abilities are enhanced.

This is a rare book which gives me both a strong, intelligent, ruthless heroine (who, nontheless, fits into a period as written: Malinda triumphs and rules through her brains and will, not because she is a fighter) and male characters that are every bit as neat as the protagonist. My favorites of the male characters were two. One was Lord Roland - a former Blade who is King Ambrose's extremely intelligent chancellor and whose antagonistic/mentor relationship with Malinda was my second favorite relationship in the book. The one time I did get suspiciously sniffly Spoiler for a particular plot point ) And the other was Dog, whose real name we never knew, one of Malinda's Blades, who is borderline insane [you want a messed-up background, you got it], and oh yes, also the love of Malinda's life.

After I finished the book, I went researching and found out that the Sky of Swords is actually a third in a series of interconnected novels, none of which you need to read to enjoy this. But I am quite excited because one of those two follows Lord Roland and the other Radgar Aethelring. Yay! I am so there.
dangermousie: (HYD: Rui book)
I have just finished a book I bought on a whim but cannot recommend highly enough: Dave Duncan's Sky of Swords.

Yes, it's a fantasy. I am not a big fantasy reader. In fact, the number of fantasy books I have enjoyed over the years probably doesn't exceed a dozen. But this certainly enters on that list. It's not an urban fantasy, but neither it is a high fantasy, with surreal creatures or dragons. In fact, it is a rather fantasified version of Tudor England and Europe of that time.

The story, set in a fictional kindgom of Chivial, follows the daughter of Chivial's able if monstrous King Ambrose, Princess Malinda. If Ambrose is rather inspired by Henry VIII, with his girth, ability, women problems, and fights with monastic orders, then Malinda (who is probably one of my favorite heroines) is rather modelled on Queen Elizabeth I. And you can do much much worse than that.

The book is written in a rather circular fashion: it opens with the trial of deposed Queen Malinda for treason by the new usurping ruler and goes back in time to retell what happened: of how Malinda came to power and how she lost it, as well. Even if the book is good even before that, the story really gets going when Malinda refuses to wed Radgar Aethelring, the pirate King of the Baels [this world's Vikings or similar] and history sort of...unravels. I don't want to spoil too much, because the plot is actually clever and some pivotal moments left me gasping with shock.

The fantasy element is present but relatively slight: instead of Catholic monasteries, there are conjurors. This world also has necromancers. Oh, and it also has King's (or Queen's) Blades: highly trained swordsmen who end up being bound to a liege lord or lady and whose abilities are enhanced.

This is a rare book which gives me both a strong, intelligent, ruthless heroine (who, nontheless, fits into a period as written: Malinda triumphs and rules through her brains and will, not because she is a fighter) and male characters that are every bit as neat as the protagonist. My favorites of the male characters were two. One was Lord Roland - a former Blade who is King Ambrose's extremely intelligent chancellor and whose antagonistic/mentor relationship with Malinda was my second favorite relationship in the book. The one time I did get suspiciously sniffly Spoiler for a particular plot point ) And the other was Dog, whose real name we never knew, one of Malinda's Blades, who is borderline insane [you want a messed-up background, you got it], and oh yes, also the love of Malinda's life.

After I finished the book, I went researching and found out that the Sky of Swords is actually a third in a series of interconnected novels, none of which you need to read to enjoy this. But I am quite excited because one of those two follows Lord Roland and the other Radgar Aethelring. Yay! I am so there.
dangermousie: (WSAYF by theheaven)
I rather adore the OTP of the Kim Rae Won and Jung Ryo Won starrer Which Star Are You From (there is a reason this drama made it on my fave kdrama list). They are angsty but functional and fun. And with so much chemistry. She is a lookalike younger sister of his dead girlfriend, who couldn't be more different, and he can't help but fall for her...



I could picspam a lot - I adore his love confession at the end of ep 10/11, with dramatic running, and hugging, and cuteness and angst - it's both awwww-inducing and hilarious. But, the one ep I currently have on my HD is ep 8 which is just as well - it's unspoilery.

Enter here for cuteness )
dangermousie: (WSAYF by theheaven)
I rather adore the OTP of the Kim Rae Won and Jung Ryo Won starrer Which Star Are You From (there is a reason this drama made it on my fave kdrama list). They are angsty but functional and fun. And with so much chemistry. She is a lookalike younger sister of his dead girlfriend, who couldn't be more different, and he can't help but fall for her...



I could picspam a lot - I adore his love confession at the end of ep 10/11, with dramatic running, and hugging, and cuteness and angst - it's both awwww-inducing and hilarious. But, the one ep I currently have on my HD is ep 8 which is just as well - it's unspoilery.

Enter here for cuteness )
dangermousie: (WSAYF by theheaven)
I rather adore the OTP of the Kim Rae Won and Jung Ryo Won starrer Which Star Are You From (there is a reason this drama made it on my fave kdrama list). They are angsty but functional and fun. And with so much chemistry. She is a lookalike younger sister of his dead girlfriend, who couldn't be more different, and he can't help but fall for her...



I could picspam a lot - I adore his love confession at the end of ep 10/11, with dramatic running, and hugging, and cuteness and angst - it's both awwww-inducing and hilarious. But, the one ep I currently have on my HD is ep 8 which is just as well - it's unspoilery.

Enter here for cuteness )

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