Republic of Thieves, by Scott Lynch
I finally finished this several weeks ago. After putting it down for a while because it stopped drawing me through. I got back into it pretty quickly, especially once the secondary plot really got going.
I love the world that Lynch has built, both in the close details and the sense of continental history and relationships. It is brilliant and lovely to read a second world fantasy that has a deep cultural life and history. And, having watched the West Wing, the politics in this book was a lot of fun.
I didn’t always properly follow exactly what the untagged dialogue was about, but it was clear enough in the end to understand how things were when the story ended. I think that this book sets up the rest of the series really well. Having seen how large the scope of the world and the story is, the ‘Locke barely escaping while his scheme collapses around him’ story could not have reasonably sustained an ongoing story over four more books. I would have read them and they would have been good, but I am definitely intrigued by how this going to develop.
Phryne Fisher Mysteries, by Kerry Greenwood
I have read seven, and I can’t remember them separately enough to discuss them individually, but in general: They are light and delightful. The story and the narrative carry me along so well. Phryne’s point of view is a lot of fun and occasionally pointed. Other people’s views of Phryne are delightful.
Ruddy Gore made me get out my Gilbert and Sullivan again, reminding why I like Pirates and Mikado so much.
Blood and Circuses has a trans character and an intersex character. Both rang very true to me (although I obviously can’t speak directly to the representation of intersex issues), and I appreciated that both were living lives celebrated by the narrative. Mr Christopher, the intersex character, is the murder victim, but we do get his voice through his diary. Also, in a book when one character talks about another, the subject being discussed is the one who takes up the page. In a tv series, it is the one talking who is the focus.
Greenwood’s balance of characters and ‘issues’ is also apparent in The Green Hill Murder where as well as the sociopathic possibly/presumed to be gay character and the investigation/blackmail of gay characters, which reifies the social censure of homosexuality, there is a happily co-habiting lesbian couple in a small country town.
I will pick the next one up when I’m finished with the current couple of books. They are safe reading, which is saying a lot and is a great relief.