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Last night, I read a marvelous m/m book called Wicked Gentlemen by Ginn Hale. I had vaguely heard about it before and so had it on my Amazon to-buy list for a while. A Christmas gift certificate allowed me to treat myself. Very glad I did. The story is set in an AU world that feels like Dicken's London in which Prodigals, an underclass of beings descended from demons, co-exist uneasily with humans. The Prodigals are often hauled off to the Inquisition where they are tortured for various offenses, including manifesting aspects of their nature. The first part of the book is from the point of view of a Prodigal named Belimai Sykes(what a great name), who has undergone "correction" in one of these facilities, resulting in psychological damage and an addiction to an opium-like substance. He makes his living turning tricks and doing odd jobs. Belimai has a rare gift even among Prodigals. He can fly. The description of his flight through the smoggy city is positively lyrical.

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I just finished reading Black Ships by Jo Graham  and enjoyed it very much.   The story is set in the time just after the fall of Troy (Wilusa). The main character Gull is born to a Trojan woman who was raped and enslaved by the Greeks.  At the age of seven, Gull is lamed by a chariot, and her desperate mother takes her to be an acolyte of the priestess of the Lady of the Dead who soon discovers that Gull has the gift of a true seer.  She foretells the coming of a fleet of Trojan men led by Prince Aeneus  to claim their women and when the time comes, she goes with them.  Because she is the priestess, she is held in esteem and when her visions prove true over time, she becomes the expedition's counselor.  Through many adventures, she discovers her love for one of the ship's captains, Xandros who is also Prince Aeneus' closest friend.  Pursued by the vengeful Greeks, they end up in many-splendored Egypt, only to discover the taint of madness there in the character of the Pharoah's sister Basetamon who conceives a dangerous passion for the Prince.  Gull must help him escape to fulfill his destiny as a king and founder of cities and through doing so, find her own destiny as well.

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Hi friends,
Next chapter of Oromedon's Lessons is done and with my darling beta, so should be up in another couple of days.

In the meantime, I thought I'd rec a book I recently read and loved so much I turned right around and read it again.  The book is Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner.   I love fantasy, as you know from my affection for Prof. Tolkien's works, but so much of post-Tolkien fantasy is derivative and poorly written, with pompous, fake sounding medieval language, and incompletely imagined worlds.  Well, Swordspoint is none of that.
Book review: much raving, mild spoilers  )

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August 2011

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