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Book Review: Paladin’s Grace, by T. Kingfisher

I borrowed an audio copy of T. Kingfisher‘s Paladin’s Grace through Hoopla. It was narrated by Joel Richards.

paladin's Grace

Stephen’s god died on the longest day of the year…

Three years later, Stephen is a broken paladin, living only for the chance to be useful before he dies. But all that changes when he encounters a fugitive named Grace in an alley and witnesses an assassination attempt gone wrong. Now the pair must navigate a web of treachery, beset on all sides by spies and poisoners, while a cryptic killer stalks one step behind…

my review

I was initially befuddled when I started listening to this book. Not because of anything the book did or didn’t do, but because I had confused which recommendation list I got the title from. I thought it was martial women defending not-fighter men. But that’s very clearly not the case since Stephen is a paladin and Grace a perfumer. Eventually I realized it was fantasy with older hero/heroines, and after that, the book and I got on like a house on fire.

I adored Stephen (38) and Grace (32, I think). They are both emotional basket cases trying to do their best in a world not ready for them. I liked that world a lot and the unvarnished, but sarcastic kindness of The Rats, and the side characters were all a joy in and of themselves.

The writing is marvelous and flatly funny in an often dry way. I have to compliment the narrator, Joel Richards, for bringing it to life in the audio version too. All in all, I went right back to Hoopla and rented another Kingfisher book because I’m a new fan.

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Review: Paladin’s Grace by T. Kingfisher

Review: Paladin’s Grace by T. Kingfisher

Review of The Absinthe Earl (The Faery Rehistory #1), by Sharon Lynn Fisher

I borrowed a copy of The Absinthe Earl (by Sharon Lynn Fisher) from my local library.

Description from Goodreads:

They crossed centuries to find each other. Their love will shatter worlds.

Miss Ada Quicksilver, a student of London’s Lovelace Academy for Promising Young Women, is spending her holiday in Ireland to pursue her anthropological study of fairies. She visits Dublin’s absinthe bars to investigate a supposed association between the bittersweet spirit and fairy sightings.

One night a handsome Irishman approaches her, introducing himself as Edward Donoghue. Edward takes absinthe to relieve his sleepwalking, and she is eager to hear whether he has experience with fairies. Instead, she discovers that he’s the earl of Meath, and that he will soon visit a mysterious ruin at Newgrange on the orders of his cousin, the beautiful, half-mad Queen Isolde. On learning about Ada’s area of study, he invites her to accompany him.

Ada is torn between a sensible fear of becoming entangled with the clearly troubled gentleman and her compelling desire to ease his suffering. Finally she accepts his invitation, and they arrive in time for the winter solstice. That night, the secret of Edward’s affliction is revealed: he is, in fact, a lord in two worlds and can no longer suppress his shadow self.

Little does either of them realize that their blossoming friendship and slowly kindling passion will lead to discoveries that wrench open a door sealed for centuries, throwing them into a war that will change Ireland forever

Review:

Meh. It wasn’t bad, but I also thought it was fairly shallow. Everyone was just so darned nice all the time that I felt very little tension. Yes, there was the whole Ireland/Faerie war bit. But even it was essentially just dropped on the reader. It was never given the buildup it needed to give it the importance it needed. Lastly, I hated that D & C were not given their chance, even if only once. I felt like the reader was denied satisfaction. But I also doubt D would give up so easily. [That is left purposefully vague to avoid spoilers.]

The writing itself was fine, however. And other than some over-formality, the dialogue flowed well enough and I had no issue with the editing.

All in all, an OK read. I’d pick up another of Fisher’s book. But I’m not rushing out to buy them either.