Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Gryphon in Light (Kelvren's Saga #1), by Mercedes Lackey & Larry Dixon

DAW, ISBN 9780756414481, July 2023

It's some years after the Heralds of Valdemar trilogy, and major events (Winds of Fate trilogy; Mage Storms trilogy) have wrought major changes in Valdemar. These changes include, but are not limited to, the return of magical, intelligent creatures long absent, and long suspected to be entirely mythical.

These include, most notably for this book, gryphons. And specifically, Kelvren, a wingleader of the Silver Gryphons, part of the k'Valdemar Vale, which is allied with but not part of Valdemar. After intervening to help Valdemaran troops in a battle against merchants motivated solely by greed to secede from Valdemar and stop paying taxes (it's more complicated, of course, but that's the basis of it), Kelvren is very badly wounded. Since this is a Valdemaran troop far from k'Valdemar, and somewhat undersupplied because of the many challenges the kingdom is facing, there's only a "herb and knife" Healer, who does his best, but is not trained at all in caring for gryphons. Kelvren, like his Valdemaran tentmate, Hallock Stavern, Second of the Sixteenth, is unlikely to survive.

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

The Poisoned Princess (Warders #1), by Armen Pogharian (author), Michelle Babb (narrator)

Audiobooks Unleashed & Blackstone Publishing, ISBN 9798212152945, January 2022

Toran is a half-elven, half-barbarian young man, who has been raised by his elven uncle. It's only when an accident in a war game with friends briefly unleashes his barbarian battle rage that his uncle tells him the full truth of his heritage. It becomes important then because the elf supremacists (no, Pogharian doesn't use this loaded phrase; that's me) succeed in banishing him. Aside from contributing to his banishment, it also means he has a really useful inheritance from his dead father. 

His uncle sends him off to the city of Eridan, where elves and elf mixes are fairly common and accepted, with a letter of introduction to an old friend.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Chasm City (Revelation Space #0.5), by Alastair Reynolds (author), John Lee (narrator)

Tantor Media, ISBN 9781400179565, October 2009

Chasm City is set in Reynolds' Revelation Space universe, a century or so after the events of The Prefect and Elysium Fire. Or, put another way, some years after the end of the Belle Epoch, the golden age of the height of human civilization in the Yellowstone system, where Chasm City on the planetary surface, and the Glitter Band, made up of thousands of orbital habitats, offered the near-idyllic life of your choice, until the Melding Plague brought it crashing down.

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Digger Unearthed: The Complete Tenth Anniversary Collection, by Ursula Vernon (Author), Patrick Rothfuss (Foreword)

Underthing Press, ISBN 9781956000245, November 2022 (original publication 2012)

Digger-of-Unnecessarily-Complicated-Tunnels is a sensible, pragmatic wombat engineer, who is hard at work when she discovers she has broken through into an unfamiliar cave system.

A cave system where magic is at work. Digger, and wombats generally, have no use for magic. It only makes trouble.

She finds an interesting stone (she, like apparently all wombats, is heavily into geology, and not just for practical reasons), puts it in a pocket, and starts looking for a way out. No, the way in isn't available anymore.

Monday, July 3, 2023

The City Born Great (Great Cities #0.5), by N.K. Jemisin (author), Landon Woodson (narrator)

Macmillan Audio, ISBN 9781250773302, May 2020 (original publication 2016)

The process of a great city being born as a living city starts sooner than we might realize from just the birth itself. Living cities, actual and potential have enemies, and they need protectors.

This is a short story about one of New York's midwives, a young man about a decade earlier than the actual birth, coached--and coaxed--by Paolo, the avatar of San Paolo. He's a street painter, and a singer, and he'd really rather not have the responsibility, but the city calls to him, and enemy needs to be stopped.

The narration is wonderful, and the story is a lovely addition to the two books so far in the Great Cities series.

I bought this audiobook.