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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Iron Flower and Edinburgh Dusk and a few other things...

Iron Flower by Laurie Forest continues The Black Witch Chronicles.  I liked the first book a lot, and I like this one even more.  The Black Witch dramatizes the prejudices in Gardneria and illustrates how those prejudices influence the treatment of others.  

In Iron Flower, Elloren and her friends work for the Resistance, but the sinister Marcus Vogel has gained absolute power in Gardneria and is determined to eradicate any opposition.

In fact, Vogel doesn't even want submission, his goal is more ominous.

Elloren continues to gain confidence as the bonds of loyalty grow among her friends, and she commits herself to do all she can to protect those threatened with slavery, imprisonment, and death. 

A lot of action and a little romance kept me turning the pages, but mainly I loved the way these young people are risking everything to stand up for their friends.  Although Rafe and Diana are secondary characters, they are among my very favorites.

An epic YA fantasy, and I can't wait for the next installment!

NetGalley/Harlequin Teen

YA Fantasy.  Sept. 18, 2018.  

Edinburgh Dusk is also a second in a series by Carole Lawrence.  After a perfectly ugh prologue, the book improved.  It is better than the first book in the series, although I didn't review the first book here.

I love Edinburgh so I couldn't help giving the series another try.  While I did like this one better (aside from the yucky prologue), I still couldn't quite get a feel for Ian Hamilton.  

The Hamlet trope was way overdone.

Favorite character:  Conan Doyle is a secondary character that will probably be in the next book as well.  We even get a cameo appearance of Dr. Bell, Doyle's mentor.  

Reviews of Edinburgh Twilight ran the gamut from one to five stars on Goodreads (I gave it a generous 3), but so far the reviews of Edinburgh Dusk are positive.  Since twilight and dusk are synonyms, maybe one should have had a different title.  I don't know that I'd try another in this series.

NetGalley/Thomas & Mercer

Historical Mystery.  Sept. 18, 2018.  

And just for fun:

Imaginary Foods

Atlas Obscura asked readers to tell them what fictional foods they wished were real and to describe what they think they would taste like.  

One example:  
Cauldron Cakes from the Harry Potter series
What might it taste like?“A small sponge cake with a ganache, a smooth interior that tastes like chocolate and pepper. So, a spicy chocolate taste. I love sweets and I adore the world of Harry Potter. I immediately envisioned chocolate, and the ‘cauldron’ makes me think spicy. I imagine a delectable treat.” — Cherie, Jacksonville, Florida 
 P.S.  This one had me at ganache (a whipped filling of chocolate and creme), but I have a friend who adds a little pepper to her chocolate cookies--and they are delicious.  I think Cherie has imagined a great description for Cauldron Cakes.


I'm a fan of snail mail (although I mostly keep that to my other blog), but this might appeal to readers of comics and graphic novels!  I found this at Letter Writers Alliance--
Comics and Correspondence Club for August.

Thursday, August 16th, 2018 - Join Donovan Challenger for an evening of corresponding postally with your favorite comics via letter. Every month, we'll focus on sending mail (real, physical mail) to a specific comic. Need to talk about your feelings on WHY WOULD THEY DO THAT THING? Or WHY DID THEY DO THE OTHER THING? Or HOW DARE THEY? Or even HEY, I LIKE YOU A LOT! We know you have opinions. Time to share them with the people who are actually responsible. No more excuses! We'll have stationery and stamps, envelopes and everything else you need to take the conversation out of the store and into the mail.

They will be writing to Marjory Liu and Sana Takeda, creators of the Monstress fantasy series.  

in care of:

Image Comics, Inc.
2701 NW Vaughn Street, Suite 780
Portland, Oregon 97210

If you live in Chicago, you might want to attend, but if you don't, it is an interesting idea that you could do on your own.  Write to the writers, illustrators, or to one of your favorite characters.

If you read graphic novels, what character or series would you want to write to?  Have any of you read any of the Monstress series?  I love the covers.


  1. I like the sound of The Black Witch Chronicles. Seems like a fun read. :)

    And I enjoyed reading the post about imaginary foods. So fun to read and even better if they taste that good in reality!

    1. The imaginary foods were funny, but some of the replies sounded wonderful! I can just imagine someone trying to create recipes for them! :)

  2. I liked the post about the imaginary foods too. That caldron cake possibility sounds yummy. I know that 'butter beer' has been invented, though what I've read kind of sounds like cream soda.

    1. I imagine the Harry Potter imaginary foods have had a lot of people trying to reproduce them!

  3. The third installment by Carole Laurence will be titled “Crepuscular Edinburgh” :D. I learned that word in the book Ella Minnow Pea and have yet to forget it!

    I've not read the Monstress series but I have heard good things about it. I have tried a couple of graphic memoirs (Fun Home, Persepolis) and enjoyed them but I have trouble with so many pictures. I can't quite wrap my brain around them and figure out how to read them.

    1. I've heard could things about the Monstress series, too. I haven't read but one or two graphic novels, mainly because I do like long books that keep my interest for hours at a time. I'd like to try a Monstress, though.

  4. I almost bought a copy of Black Witch while at Barnes and Noble last weekend, but held back. I do want to read the series though. And I am glad the second book was good! I really like the cover of Edinburgh Dusk.

    Ooo! I love Monstress. I keep stalling though on reading the second volume.

    1. I got Black Witch from NetGalley. Most of my books are free--I couldn't afford to buy all the books I want to read, but NG and the library are so convenient. OK I'm going to have to try Monstress! :)

  5. I owe you a letter - so behind on everything! The corresponding with comics event sounds so fun. What a neat idea. I'm sort of curious about the Dusk book but not sure about the prologue part.

    1. Don't worry! You have probably been busy with your new job, and there are always those other things that have to get done. :) Like reading when you have time!