In I Shall Wear Midnight, Tiffany Aching is beginning her career as the witch of the Chalk, the region where she grew up. Acting as a kind of general purpose medic and social worker, she finds herself doing all the jobs that people do not think of doing, like cutting the toe nails of an old woman with arthritis when she cannot do it herself. (People had thought to feed the old woman, and help her in other ways, but it had apparently not occurred to anyone that an old arthritic woman might have trouble clipping her nails.) This is a lot of work for one girl to do, but she’s helped (or at least, not quite as hindered) in her duties by her friends the Nac Mac Feegles. Continue reading
Small Beer Press
Redemption in Indigo is a fairytale about a woman who is given a magical item of great power, and the ticked off immortal who wants it back.
Our Heroine is one Paama, an excellent cook who is cursed with a husband who has no appreciation for her cooking. (He tends to inhale food, not taste it. This would be sheer agony to anyone who had pride in her cooking.) Because of this and many other reasons, all of them related in some way to her husband, she has returned home to her family. Continue reading
In Heaven’s Spite,Jill is drawn into a very complicated plot that may result in her absolute damnation. (Actually, she is pretty much already there according to the doctrine of her church as stated by the character.) It turns out that Perry,the demon crime lord she has a contract with has provided her with an artifact that had been stolen from her teacher by a leader of a religious cult of Lovecraftian inclinations. (Evil cult of evil matriarchal sorceresses who are compared to termites a lot. Like many evil cultists, they are trying to break their evil, evil gods out of some kind of dimensional prison.) Continue reading
No one is going to believe that I dislike vampire stories, given the number of books with vampires I have reviewed. (Sadly, it is nearly impossible to avoid them.) If I have to put up with vampires, I would at least like them not to be of the “must kill humans to feed” variety, and that is what we have in this book. Of course, “vampires with harems” can have their own severely disturbing aspects to them when they appear in fiction, but at least I’m not confronted with an often badly handled kill-to-survive ethical dilemma. Continue reading
Fool Moon is the second book in The Dresden Files. This book is mostly about werewolves. (You have to figure if there are vampires the werewolves will turn up sooner or later.) More specifically, it is about several different kinds of wolves, none of whom are contagious.
The book opens with Harry refusing to help someone learn a powerful binding spell.(On the assumption that anything that would need to be contained by the spell is something, the person he is tutoring should not be trying to summon.) This turns out later to have been a mistake. Continue reading
Steelflower is a sword and sorcery novel of the kind that reminds me of a certain “shared universe” series that came out in the early eighties. (Specifically, it reminds me of Thieves World by Robert Lynn Asprin.) It also has the flavor of a book that written based off of a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. (The story begins in a tavern, for one thing. Because this is the most frequent way adventuring parties meet in table top gaming, you know.) Our Heroine is a young woman named Kaia. She is an outcast from her people because she is a woman who had been born without the magical powers inherent to her race. Continue reading