Wyvernfriend Reads

I read a lot of books, I like fantasy, romance and some non-fiction

Once Upon a Regency Christmas: On a Winter's EveMarriage Made at ChristmasCinderella's Perfect Christmas (Penniless Lords) - Louise Allen, Sophia James, Annie Burrows

The Once upon idea kinda falls flat but the stories aren't bad.

 

The first story "On a Winter's Eve" by Louise Allen is a story of a showbound Christmas with an escaped turkey. Features a clever woman who made money despite her spendthrift husband, and pretending to be poor to try to avoid a marriage for her cash not her self, which almost backfires.

 

Marriage Made at Christmas by Sophia James is all about a mistaken identity and assumption, with a side order of tortured childhood past.  Could possibly have been better as a full book, well spiced with crazy though.

 

Cinderella's Perfect Christmas by Annie Burrows, not sure if he was poor or beset upon.  Man intrudes on Cinderella/ Alice Waverly who is enjoying time off from dealing with her demanding family to have a well-earned rest with two of the servants when Captain Jack Grayling hammers on the door with two children.  There felt like a lot of things were unresolved by the end.

The Call - Peadar-OGuillin

Recommended.

Set in a boarding school for young children who are preparing for the day they will be called to Faerie, almost everyone dies who is called and no-one is quite sure why they survive. These are the faerie of myth, not the twee bewinged creatures, but the angry creatures who were exiled to the underworld by human ancestors. These are the creatures our ancestors feared and who they warned about, not the sanitised Disney versions.

Nessa had polio and her legs are going to make it hard to run, in fact a lot of parents with children crippled like this kill them to spare them the inevitable death, but Nessa is determined to survive. Her survival will change things and dammit I want the next book now.

All the crazy

The Wallflower Duchess (Harlequin Historical) - Liz Tyner

What would now be called bi-polar mother, with rumours of illegitimacy for the heroine and a father who either had a series of strokes or Alzheimer's for the hero. And that's before all the fun and games and miscommunication happens between the two.  

 

Not bad but they could ramp down on the crazy but the way everyone colluded to get them together was very sweet. 

Irish in fiction

Thom's Dublin and County Street Directory 1995 - Thom's Directories

I have yet to meet Irish characters in fiction not written by Irish people who aren't generally melodramatic and/or possess hokey Irish accents, even in historical romances, even when the characters are upper class and would have had any accent beaten out of them from an early age. And let's not forget the drunken Irish stereotype.

 

I mean, I had elocution lessons from a fairly early age to remove the rural from my accent and to help with the pronunciation of certain words (I had issues with things like "Little" and "hospital"); and I know that there are people who are accused of being "West Brit" in this country and there is a definite Anglo-Irish accent but it's glossed over and ignored, like the presence of Jewish people, and Muslim people in history in Ireland, or people of non-white descent (even if there are many people who betray Spanish heritage here); there was a period when Red-headed wasn't the default Irish trope, but dark-haired and dark-eyed.  If you look up historical images of Irish the change happens in about the beginning of the 20th Century.

 

All of this displays short-cuts and frankly racist laziness on the part of many writers (scriptwriters included) Irish people aren't one homogeneous unit. We don't have the same accent (Dublin and Cork have at least two; upper and working class accents). I have a different accent from almost everyone in my department and there are only eight of us, we all live in Dublin.  

 

I live in a small cul-de-sac of 16 houses, my next door neighbours have been an inter-racial couple (English & Irish too); an Irish lone parent and a Polish couple. Before we lived here we lived in a house that was owned by a Italian man and a directory of businesses in Dublin (Thoms Directory) shows that it was in Italian hands for many decades.  I come from Galway, where the tradition is that it was named after a Spanish Princess and where, since medieval times there has been a Spanish Arch and a Lombard Street.

 

Ireland's surnames betray many invasions and nations. Pettits in Wexford from France; Loughlin's from Vikings (and our president's surname, Higgins); and many others.  This is not a nation of a single origin, one of our histories is a book of Invasions, where there's a list of nations that came here and some that were slaughtered by the next wave. Our patron saint is a Welshman. One of our presidents was saved from being killed after 1916 because he was an American citizen.  All of these people are Irish.

 

And don't get me started properly on Religion. That's a whole other rant. Ireland is not and never has been solely one kind of religion, not even one kind of Christian; that Irish law forbade religious prejudice.

 

Oh and Irish Law, yes, not Common Law. Much more complicated and involved and it's echoes and traditions still reverberate through Ireland.  For a while we had two legal systems (and some folks apparently shopped around!), to assume Ireland =England before about 1850s is oh so wrong and actually cultural erasure.

 

I'm tired of my culture being erased, with lazy research stomping on my identity and my traditions, please make it stop.

Bound by Their Secret Passion (The Scandalous Summerfields) - Diane Gaston

Probably the weakest of the series, I had a lot of hope for the resolution of the story but the Lorene had to jump through so many hoops after having had a horrible time already. Their mother was just too much.  If it was me I'd probably be found in a home for the deranged.  Why she put up with it all and didn't just disappear to Bath for the waters and her nerves I'll never know.

Get Your Sh*t Together - Sarah Knight

Made me think a lot about life and how I am too much of a people pleaser and not enough of a me pleaser.

The Yellow Monkey Emperor's Classic of Chinese Medicine - Damo Mitchell, John Spencer Hill, John Spencer Hill

Interesting to see the world view, probably more useful to a practitioner than a dilettante like me.

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar  - Kady Cross

Guessed that twist, still an interesting read and I'm curious to know what happens next.

First Family  - David Baldacci

Occasionally twists a bit too much.

The Lord Bishop's Clerk: A Bradecote & Catchpoll Investigation - Sarah Hawkswood

Entertaining Medieval murder mystery that could have done with a little polishing and less head-jumping (omniscient narrator doesn't work too well with suspense); still quite well detailed and does a good job of catching the spirit of the period.

The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles) - Mary E. Pearson

It took a while to get going and then it got very interesting.  Princess Lia is running away from her destiny, to marry the prince of another country and to become a pawn in the politics of this post-apocalyptic world.  She thinks she has run away without being caught but she's been found by an assassin and the prince she should marry.

 

Complicated and interesting once it got going. 

Island of Glass - Nora Roberts

And the series ends.  You knew from the outset who the couple were going to be and this is set in Ireland. Parts felt a little rushes and the final battle was a bit rushed but overall it was an interesting read and a good end to the series.

Angelfall (Penryn and the End of Days, #1) - Susan Ee

Angels as the messengers from god and as awe-ful and awful as they are in accounts, and they're not fluffy but killers who are in a war they're not explaining with people who are caught in the crossfire, regarding normal humans as monkeys.  Before this Penryn had problems, a disabled sister and a mother with serious mental health issues are not to be sneezed at. When her wheelchair bound sister is stolen by an angel she goes on the hunt and when she comes across an angel bleeding from having his wings cut off she forces him to help her, he's intrigued, particularly when his swords doesn't reject her.

Interesting read, I'm curious where this is going to go.

Thief of Shadows  - Elizabeth Hoyt

Winter Makepeace is the staid manager of an orphanage by day and works as the Ghost of St Giles during the night.  Isobel Baroness Beckinhall has a combative relationship with him but she finds herself attracted to the Ghost and then to him and eventually they find a way to have a good relationship.

Dead Men's Boots - Mike Carey

This took a while to get going and then when the resolution happened it was over quite quickly.  

 

I suspect that Possession is 9/10 of the law featured in thoughts with this book. *evil grin*

 

Felix Castor is investigating why a friend of his committed suicide and why a murder has all the hallmarks of a long-dead American serial killer.  And also his friend Rafi is in danger of being handed over to experimenters, and everyone who likes him is starting to wonder why, as several of them get injured or dead, or at least an attempt is made. He has to gang up with some unsavoury people to get things done and stay alive.

 

Interesting but it just didn't engage me until I was into the last third.

Dead Men's Boots - Mike Carey

This took a while to get going and then when the resolution happened it was over quite quickly.  

 

I suspect that Possession is 9/10 of the law featured in thoughts with this book. *evil grin*

 

Felix Castor is investigating why a friend of his committed suicide and why a murder has all the hallmarks of a long-dead American serial killer.  And also his friend Rafi is in danger of being handed over to experimenters, and everyone who likes him is starting to wonder why, as several of them get injured or dead, or at least an attempt is made. He has to gang up with some unsavoury people to get things done and stay alive.

 

Interesting but it just didn't engage me until I was into the last third.

Currently reading

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