This is a series that I very nearly overlooked! I’m so glad I didn’t. This was a really good book and I enjoyed it so much that I picked up The Masked City immediately and I’m now loving that too! Genevieve Cogman where have you been hiding? Never mind, I’ve found you now and it’s all good.
Prepare for gushing.
The Invisible Library is a bibliophile’s dream come true – and that holds true in terms of both the book itself and the invisible library from within the pages. Where should I start – just everything! Okay, the library itself – it is a strange place that not just anybody can enter – only initiated librarians or apprentices. It’s huge, think the tardis, from within it’s walls you can open a door to an infinite number of alternate worlds and any number of possibilities and, wait for it, when within the confines of the library, the librarians don’t age! OMG – where is this library, I’ve packed my spotted hanky and I’m going.
The plot. Irene is a librarian. The purpose of the librarians, in a nutshell, is to enter alternate universes and secure rare books and return them to the library so that they can be copied or preserved for all time. Basically, Irene opens door to all sorts of worlds, steals in, steals the book (or buys it) and steals back out. The entryways in and out are a little like the doors in Howl’s Moving Castle and are activated by a secret and magical language that the librarians use. At the start of the story Irene is sent to an alternate London to retrieve a book, unfortunately, upon arrival it appears that the book is already missing. Accompanied by a new apprentice called Kai the two now need to pick up the trail of the missing book. Of course, their search is hampered by a number of others who also appear to be on the search and pretty soon there are secret societies, clockwork alligators, fae and much more dangerous foe seeking to throw obstacles in the way.
So, the setting. The possibilities here are endless and I really hope that this means we have plenty more books to look forward to. This is such a great, fun and easy read. For this particular story we travel to Victorian London but here we find Vampires, Werewolves, fae and steampunk all combined.
In terms of characters. I like Irene. She’s intelligent and resourceful. Don’t be misled by her seemingly young age (I think she comes across as about 17 or 18 although I’m not 100% sure) because in actual fact, given the dynamics of the library and the length of time that Irene has spent there she is in fact older than she looks. Kai is her apprentice. He has led something of a shady past before entering the library and on top of that he has other secrets that are revealed during the course of the book. There is definitely chemistry between these two but it remains at that and the book isn’t focused on romance. We meet up with a brilliant detective of the time called Vale who becomes embroiled in the search. We meet one of the fae, called Silver and then we become acquainted with a rogue librarian!
The writing is lovely, the world building really excellent, the pacing is consistent throughout and the plot is thoroughly entertaining. Ms Cogman seems to have crammed a whole wealth of ideas in here and yet, very cleverly, she has still left herself with immense possibilities for future stories. On top of that, she’s written a story that I think easily crosses over both the YA/Adult audience. A great read, good fun and I’m hoping this will become a series – I would certainly enjoy learning more about these characters. Oh, and I almost forgot – dragons. That is all
In case you missed the main message. I enjoyed this and would definitely recommend. It’s not a deep thinking or serious book, it’s not grimdark but it is captivating and really good fun.
“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Every Wednesday we get to highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to. My book this week is Time Siege by Wesley Chu. (Time Salvager is the first in series, review here). Due out July 2016 – I can’t wait. Check out the fantastic cover too:
Having been haunted by the past and enslaved by the present, James Griffin-Mars is taking control of the future.
Earth is a toxic, sparsely inhabited wasteland: the perfect hiding place for a fugitive exchronman to hide from the authorities.
James has allies, scientists he rescued from previous centuries: Elise Kim, who believes she can renew Earth, given time; Grace Priestly, the venerated inventor of time travel herself; Levin, James’s mentor and former pursuer, now disgraced; and the Elfreth, a population of downtrodden humans who want desperately to believe that James and his friends will heal their ailing home world.
James also has enemies. They include the full military might of benighted solar system ruled by corporate greed and a desperate fear of what James will do next. At the forefront of their efforts to stop him is Kuo, the ruthless security head, who wants James’s head on a pike and will stop at nothing to obtain it
This week over at The Broke and Bookish the topic for discussion is:
‘Thanksgiving themed Freebie’
So, I decided to go for something different this week. For Thanksgiving, rather than focus on books I figured wouldn’t everybody just love to spend a little time over the holidays watching some awesome films? Right? You know you would. And, I figured as this is also SciFiMonth why not make these all sci fi spectaculars! It’s almost like I have a plan. Without further ado:
- Star Wars – I love Star Wars – although, I have to be precise – I like the original three films best. I can’t help it. There it is – judge away.
- Star Trek – I love the most recent films – Star Trek (2009 and Star Trek Into Darkness.
- The Terminator – I think you should definitely go for 1 and 2. I’m hard pressed to say which I like best between the two! Probably 2..
- The Martian – great book and very good adaptation.
- Interstellar – I thought this was really good. Epic even.
- Avatar – after a feast for the belly a feast for the eyes.
- Jurassic Park – don’t know if this is sci fi or not – but I do know it’s good.
- Aliens. No explanation needed. Scary!
- Back to the Future – you have to love this crazy series and it’s perfect for holiday watching.
- Guardians of the Galaxy – I am Groot, and, also, Chris Pratt.
There are loads more out there but I’m sticking with 10.
Today I’d like to welcome Michelle to my blog. Michelle’s latest book, Grudging, has just been released and is filled with witchcraft. Michelle was kind enough to write me a guest post all about witches and how they fit into her latest novel.
‘Thanks for having me on your blog, Lynn!’
Thanks for agreeing to be my guest :D
‘It seems proper around this time of year to look at witches in history, literature, and entertainment as I use them myself in my latest book. Witches go back centuries with mentions in the Bible. I think everyone knows from Exodus, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” In a harking back to the three fates of Greek mythology, Shakespeare used witches in Macbeth as prophets and sinister figures.
Salem had their own real-life run in with “witches” being burned at the stake in Puritan times. For all of history, witches have been women to cast blame upon for unexplained things like the failure of crops, or men who couldn’t stay faithful. Not to get too much into gender discrimination, but the word wizard just doesn’t have the same negative connotation behind it. It was easier to pin problems on the old woman, living alone, without family, than to seek a real explanation in a world without modern science.
But that’s not so much the case anymore in fiction, though the theme of witches shows no sign of slowing down. Sure there are still evil witches in testosterone-filled movies such as the very recent The Last Witch Hunter. But there’s so much variety to witches nowadays. You have the sinister, along with the benign, the romantic, the sexy, and even witches who are neither good nor bad, but somewhere in between.
JK Rowling and Hermoine did a lot to reinvent the idea of witches, giving us a heroic witch. They could be smart, fun, and brave. Hermoine does her fair share of saving other people and is no typical damsel in distress.
I was always partial to Terry Brooks’ Ilse Witch, where a bad witch with powerful magic turns good. One of my favorite witch movies is Hocus Pocus for some family Halloween fun. We even have the comical witch as in Sabrina: The Teenage Witch and Broomhilda from Bugs Bunny.
For most of my life, the image from the picture above was my idea of witches. They were ugly, wore pointy hats, rode brooms and did hexes and curses. We all know they keep black cats as part of their familiar bargain with the devil, and warts are how Satan marked them to distinguish them from righteous people. They carry wands and brew stinky potions in their cauldrons.
That’s why when I wrote Grudging and made witches the needed allies for a city under siege from an overwhelming army, I wanted the witches to be different. Oh, the witches in my story live apart in a swamp, but that’s the only typical witch characteristic. My character, Claire, has a cauldron, but she only uses it to brew soap. Instead of black cats, they rear goats. She doesn’t cast hexes or curses. She can’t wither any crops, though she may make the reader fall in love with her.
In Grudging, the people of the city call them witches, those living nearer to the swamps call them more accurately sirena. And Claire calls herself a Woman of the Song. They have voice magic that lets them bewitch and bewilder any man—rumor is unclear whether it works on other women—foolish enough to attack them. All Claire wants is for her mother to relent and let her practice her Song on someone/thing who can hear her.
She’ll get her chance when the city men appear on the scene, bringing their prejudices of witches as a cross between cannibals and temptresses. Can two traditional enemies become friends or just more casualties?
A world of chivalry and witchcraft…and the invaders who would destroy everything.
The North has invaded, bringing a cruel religion and no mercy. The ciudades-estados who have stood in their way have been razed to nothing, and now the horde is before the gates of Colina Hermosa…demanding blood.
On a mission of desperation, a small group escapes the besieged city in search of the one thing that might stem the tide of Northerners: the witches of the southern swamps.
The Women of the Song.
But when tragedy strikes their negotiations, all that is left is a single untried knight and a witch who has never given voice to her power. And time is running out.
A lyrical tale of honor and magic, Grudging is the opening salvo in the Book of Saints trilogy.
Release Date: November 17, 2015; Harper Voyager Impulse
A little about Michelle:
Michelle Hauck lives in the bustling metropolis of northern Indiana with her hubby and two teenagers. Besides working with special needs children by day, she writes all sorts of fantasy, giving her imagination free range. She is a co-host of the yearly query contests Query Kombat, Nightmare on Query Street, New Agent, PitchSlam, and Sun versus Snow. Her Birth of Saints Series from Harper Voyager starts with GRUDGING on November 17, 2015. Her epic fantasy, KINDAR’S CURE, was published by Divertir Publishing.
Facebook: Michelle Hauck, Author
Thanks again Michelle for writing this guest post.
Whilst we’re thinking about witches – one of my favourites is Tiffany Aching created by Terry Pratchett – which witch is your favourite??
Welcome to week seven of our readalong of Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel series. Kushiel’s Avatar is the third in the series and I am loving it so far. All free to join in, if you’ve already read this then please join in with the comments. The full schedule is here and this week Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow is our lovely host. Before reading further: a word of warning – there will be spoilers lurking below.
So, moving swiftly on:
1. Yevuneh and the other women agree to help Phedre continue on her quest, and though it doesn’t go smoothly, she succeeds in finding the Broken Tablets and the Name of God! What did you think of how this part of the story played out?
I was so happy that the women agreed to help Phedre, I kind of expected that they would because I hoped they’d see the wisdom of it but even so I felt so pleased with their decision. I did feel disappointed that one of the women had betrayed them, at the end of the day she didn’t just betray Phedre and Joscelin but all the other women who had reached that decision. In fact I was staggered when that boat appeared on the horizon and then the desperate race to the temple, I really hadn’t seen that coming at all. It seems that everything, even Imriel’s being amongst the party was necessary though. Like Phedre said, without the chase she probably wouldn’t have found the island and without Imriel she probably wouldn’t have been admitted to the temple.
2. When the dust settles, Imriel’s position on where he feels he belongs is all the more firm – he wants to be with Phedre and Joscelin, and not with House Courcel. Do you have any thoughts on how things will go for them when they return home?
Well, I can’t claim this as my own idea as it was already raised previously but I think Phedre and Joscelin will seek to keep Imriel at their home – probably by asking for the boon that the Queen already granted Phedre. Frankly I don’t really see why this would be a problem – I think plenty of kingdoms used to follow a code of placing royal wards in other homes as part of their upbringing so why not place Imriel with Phedre and Joscelin? It would remove him from all the court intrigue and betrayal for a little while longer at least and the two of them are very conscientious of his safety. Plus he trusts them now and they’ve developed quite the unit between the three of them. I think it would be really difficult for Imriel to now be placed in the Court with people who barely know or care about him and who would constantly be looking at him with suspicion. I think it would really set him back. Whether Ysandre will see it that way remains to be seen and I can’t help wondering if she will be annoyed with Phedre and Joscelin anyway and therefore disinclined to be agreeable.
3. Among other important changes to their way of life, the possibility of trade between Saba and other nations has opened up in the aftermath of what Phedre has done. This leads her to speculate that the intentions of the gods go far beyond what she was aware. What do you think of that bigger-picture theory? What might it mean for the world in general?
Not really sure to be honest. It seems like the Gods do want people of other nations to become known to each other. Of course, as we know from history these alliances don’t always go well and some people are more ambitious than others. I don’t really know why the Gods would interfere in that respect?
4. We’re heading toward the finale, and hopefully to a resolution regarding Hyacinthe’s fate… Do you have any thoughts about what might happen when Phedre gets back to him?
I really don’t know what to expect. One part of me just gleefully expects Phedre to roll up and invoke the name of God and release Hyachinthe and they all live happily ever after. The other part of me thinks that the first part is just being very silly and naive and that if something can go wrong it will. Perhaps Hyachinthe will have already changed too much. Perhaps his own feelings on being released have changed. It’s all so thought provoking but I really don’t have an answer!
The other participants: