Series I’ve been reading

Bernard Cornwell’s SHARPE’S ESCAPE: Richard Sharpe and the Bussaco Campaign, Portugal 1810 has Sharpe and Harper variously coping with an upstart officer hoping to get Sharpe’s spot with the Rifles, a Portuguese thug hoping to cut deals with the French and Massena’s march across Portugal which led to his encounter with the impassable barricade of Torres Vedras. Not the best in the series, but good as always. Does anyone know if the American character here is a link to either Cornwell’s Revolutionary War or Civil War series?
In David Farland’s THE WYRMLING HORDE, things continue to deteriorate from the previous Runelords book as the merging of two parallel worlds results in more and more powerful magic falling into the hands of the bad guys, whose leader is enthusiastically gating in allies from yet other, nastier worlds. Readable, though I think the series may be running out of steam a bit.
Sax Rohmer’s THE MASK OF FU MANCHU has the aging devil doctor restored to health by an elixir of youth in time to make a grab for recently discovered Muslim relics of the “Masked Prophet” that will enable Fu Manchu to touch off a holy war in the Middle East (I found it a nice touch that the Masked Prophet is presented as an obscure figure nobody would care about if the British hadn’t made a fuss. This peters out awkwardly near the end, but it does show Fu Manchu at his most honorable (in contrast to Boris Karloff’s leering, lecherous villain in the film version).
PRINCEPS’ FURY: Book Five of the Codex Alera by Jim Butcher has Tavi, as the new heir to the throne of Alera, trying to broker a peace with pretty much everyone in order to unite humanity (and anything reasonably close to human against the insectoid Vord who are busily swarming over everything. A lively installment, and points for having Tavi’s usually infallible planning skill disastrously fail at a crucial minute.
DEMON EX MACHINA: Tales of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner has Kate—a retired Buffy-style Slayer recently recalled to action—having to deal with the fallout from her husband learning about her career as a hunter, as well as discovering her resurrected ex-husband is the key to one demon’s paln to materialize fully on Earth. A very good entry that raises several questions about Kate’s past I suspect the visit to Rome next book will answer.
Diana Wynn Jones’ WITCH WEEK has a group of students at a school for witch’s orphans (all witches being burned on principle) realize someone among them is working magic, which leaves them torn between enjoying the fruits (practical jokes and broomstick rides) and worrying what will happen when an Inquisitor shows up. One of Jones’ Chrestomanci books, this is a much more down to Earth “magic school” story than you’ll find at Hogwarts.
FAREWELL MY LOVELY by Raymond Chandler is very much in the noir tradition of One Act Dooms You as Marlowe’s impulsive look at a street brawl leads to him being entangled in hulking brute Moose Malloy’s hunt for his Lost Love, which rapidly spirals out of control as more and more people decide they want in on whatever’s going on. ). One reworked from several short stories (I recognize elements of “Mandarin’s Jade” and “Bay City Blues”), this isn’t as grim as Big Sleep, but more cynical in its view of a corrupt world—and poetically written, as always.

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One response to “Series I’ve been reading

  1. Pingback: Some good Doc Savage yarns: Danger Lies East, No Light to Die By, the Monkey Suit | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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