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Almost all of the conflict (in the narrative sense) around the relationship comes from things external to the relationship. I got the sense that if the world left these people alone, they'd be perfectly in love and perfectly happy forever without any work at all.

Which, like, I understand as a pretty story, but... I guess I found it somewhat unsatisfying? It made it seem like the non-POV partner was less of a person in her own right.

There's one more commonality between the two stories. And on seeing it a second time, I think it's a criticism I have of both: The depiction of falling and being in love and relationships is... off.

I can't speculate about the why, of course. But the manner of off-ness is like this. The characters in question fall in lover very hard (not surprising or off) and then seem to stay in that honeymoon phase permanently (that's the off part).

With the extent of the commonalities (and another that I'll address separately), it was hard to be as in love with this story as with Dragonoak. I don't know if that's anyone's fault at all. It's just, you know, the second time you see something, it's not, well, new any more.

Oh also: "Fixing the rot" means replacing a "bad monarch" with a "good monarch". Not, like, some sort of representative government or something. Some unexamined political whatevers there, I expect.

This book reminded me a lot of the Dragonoak trilogy by Sam Farren. Without spoilers for either story, this is true in both:

The main character is a lesbian from a small rural village. She is illiterate. She has a run-in with and falls for a woman from an urban center who is highly educated and moves in circles of nobility. The kingdom has something rotten at the core. By making friends and being awesome, the main character is uniquely positioned to fix the rot.

Also, I read that bit on the bus (where I do most of my reading) and it was super embarrassing. Not that I expect anybody knew what was up. Still.

Part way through there is a, uh, VERY sexy sexy-times scene. It's very... specific without using anatomical or explicit language. So it's very lewd, but not rude, I guess. Also that's a rhyme, so.

It also isn't just smut. It matters in the plot and the relationship and the plot and relationship matter in the scene. It works because it addresses their emotions throughout. I thought it was well done.

OK. So it's a fantasy novel. The man character is a young lesbian. She derring does and the stakes are high. It's all very exciting. She falls in love. There's some will-they/won't-they. I really liked all of those parts. The romantic parts in particular were really sweet and pure in the first... 2/3 of the book or so?

It's been a while! I finished Breaking Legacies by Zoe Reed and a whole other book (stay tuned for the next thread).

I have so many thoughts on this one, y'all. So it's gonna be a bit of a toot storm. Strap in and tighten your gas masks.

It's... that's a fart joke, y'all. Because toots.

Ahem. Anyway. Here we go.

Oh! Next up is Breaking Legacies by Zoe Reed. I don't remember why I bought this one, but there's a blue dragon inside a ring of flame on the cover all made of stone, which feels like a strong hint about the contents.

It's a book about the West after the death of the West, as it were. If you like stories about badass ladies making the best of a really tough life, you should check this one out.

I enjoyed the book. It's pretty far outside my usual range being both based on real life and historical. It's written as if a memoir by the author's grandmother who was born in 1901 in far west Texas. Most of the action takes place in New Mexico and Arizona. Lily Casey led a hard, but impressive life. She was a real badass. Though clearly a product of her time: There's some casual racism in the book presented as normal, for instance.

Just finished Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls. I didn't take a cover photo and though I have the book with me, I'm on the bus and just put it away in my backpack and can't be assed to bother folks by fishing around again just to snap and put it away again. Oh well.

Five items someone would put in a salt circle to summon me:

• Argyle socks.
• References to pronunciation, etymology, linguistics, etc.
• Half an avocado and spoon (salt from the circle to taste).
• An unsolved problem needing a systemic solution.
• A speculative fiction novel.

Five items someone would put in a salt circle to summon me:
- Fireweed honey
- A nice, hefty fountain pen
- An apple wood ember
- Hand-blown glass
- Legos.

Finished the most recent issue of Jacobin entitled "Childhood". It was pretty good. A faster read them most issues, I felt, but not any thinner or anything. Some of the pieces were really affirming as a parent, some horrifying and sad. I need about 9 different people in my life to read different articles in this one.

Next up is a book my dad lent me that a long time family friend lent him: Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls.

Relatedly: Boom! Box is so good! They publish the titles that make me the happiest every single time: Giant Days and Goldie Vance. Other comics make me as happy, but not as consistently.

Should I talk about comic books on here, too? Sure!

Today I picked up a bunch of trades: The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars 3, Giant Days 8, The Backstagers 1, Champions 3, Spider-Man: Miles Morales 4 and Star Wars: Han Solo.

Prolly gonna start with Giant Days because it always makes me happy and then maybe The Backstagers because I don't know much about it.

Does anybody know how to find out about, like, a book that's published first in England and when it might hit the US? There's a couple of books I'm waiting for paperback editions of that I COULD buy from some random seller from England on Amazon, but I THINK the fact that Amazon doesn't sell it directly implies it's not out here yet? IDK how any of this works. Maybe I should go to, *gasp*, my local book shop and see what they know/can find out... :thaenkin:

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Wandering Shop

The Wandering Shop is a Mastodon instance initially geared for the science fiction and fantasy community but open to anyone. We want our 'local' timeline to have the feel of a coffee shop at a good convention: tables full of friendly conversation on a wide variety of topics. We welcome everyone who wants to participate, so long as you're willing to abide by our code of conduct.