Monday, April 27, 2015

Some more old friends

Last post saw me re-reading one of Tamora Pierce's series.  This last week I've been reading Mercedes Lackey and Julia Quinn.

The Mage Storms trilogy by Mercedes Lackey is another old friend.  The majority of the characters in it are from prior series based in Valdemar.  However one of the new characters and the main character of the series is a young priest from the country that has been the traditional enemy of Valdemar.  Karal is sent to Valdemar as the secretary of his mentor, and former Black-robe (demon-summoning) priest, Ulrich, the first ambassador to Valdemar from Karse in hundreds of years.  Once there, poor Karal experiences a massive case of culture shock as he meets people from societies and religions that he would normally consider heretical.  He makes friends of some of those wildly different people, and starts to adapt to his new life and accept the differences surrounding him just in time for the world to turn topsy-turvy on him.  The energy from a magical disaster that happened over two thousand years before is returning to the world in the exact opposite manner and Valdemar and the Dhorisha Plains are located right where that energy is returning.  Now the mages have to figure out how to stop it from destroying everything their civilizations have built in twenty-four hundred years.

Storm Warning is the first and the introduction to the major players.  In Storm Rising they find a stopgap measure that gives them time to try to figure out their last move.  Storm Breaking is the last and the final solution to their problem takes its toll on the characters.

I moved from fantasy to romance Saturday, probably because Mom and I took my niece to Cinderella.  I read two of Julia Quinn's Bridgerton books: An Offer From A Gentleman, and Romancing Mr. Bridgerton over the last two days.  The first is basically a retelling of Cinderella, so you can see why I read that one.  I've always enjoyed it.  Sophie is the bastard daughter of an earl and has been reduced to servant by her stepmother after having been raised as the earl's ward (a neat way of taking responsibility but not having to acknowledge Sophie).  The Bridgertons give a masquerade ball and Sophie is given a one-night makeover by the servants of the house, who are sick of seeing her treated badly when she's really one of the family.  She and Benedict, the second Bridgerton son, share a wonderful evening and they fall in love.  Ah, but this is a novel and thus conflict is required.  Sophie runs off without telling Benedict who she is.  He tries to find her with the monogrammed glove she left behind (it was her grandmother's).  He fails but Sophie is turned out of her house because stepmother is mean but not stupid and figures out what happened.  The story picks up a few years later when Benedict manages to be at the same house where Sophie has found employ and he saves her from an Unfortunate Fate (translation: the son of a bitch son of the owners was about to gang rape her with a few friends of his).  Benedict feels responsible for the little maid he saved, promising her a job in his mother's household, and things progress from there.

The second is my favorite of her books and features my favorite of her heroines, Penelope Featherington.  Penelope popped in and put of the earlier Bridgerton books and it was always obvious she had a massive crush on the third Bridgerton brother, Colin.  However, Penelope is a tried and true wallflower and Colin is one of the most popular men of the ton.  Not exactly the match of the century.  Colin has wanderlust that takes him all over the place, usually about the time his mother starts bugging him about getting married.  This time when he returns, Penelope is firmly on the shelf and Colin has finally grown up enough to see what he has right in front of him.

I guess I should go back to reading the non-fiction books I have, but I'm just not in the mood.  I feel in the mood for happy endings lately.  I may go back and read all of the Bridgerton books.  I may not.  Looking at the tags for this post, I noticed Harry Potter.  I just may go through all of them again before anything else.  Also, I've turned the list post into a page.  Hopefully it'll be easier to maintain and read that way.

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