Tuesday, September 18, 2012

29. Garment of Shadows

By:  Laurie L. King
Rated 4 1/2 Stars
Audio Book
Read by Jenny Stelin and some other dude*

I complained last time when she wrote the Pirate book, can't even remember the name of it now, and wrote a rather snippy review and posted it on both amazon and audible about how I thought it was all fluff and no bite.

Well folks, I guess the old adage "be careful what you wish for" is true because this one is certainly full of edges.  There is certainly a lot more Holmes in this one but the readers who are hoping for a heating up of the relationship between Holmes and Russell are still going to be disappointed.  Holmes does not wear his heart on his sleeve and neither does he allow readers to rummage through his private feelings to see if he has any.  If he does they are definitely private.  Actually I love this about him.  It's so true to the Holmes Canon.

Anyway, the book had so many edges, some of them convoluted  that it took me until the end of the book to really figure out was really going on and then I wasn't exactly sure I approved of them.  I got a real dose of middle eastern politics during 1924 and that helped me get a handle on some of what was going on.

I am going to give this book 4 1/2 stars in my journal not because I am downgrading the book it's self but because I'm not exactly sure that Holmes, Russell and the Hazar brothers should have been involved in this kind of "game".  Just me probably.

ps:  They have added some guy to read the Holmes voice!  What's with that?  This is the 12th book in the series for heaven's sake.  We don't need someone coming in and being a different voice for Holmes at this late date.  Bad idea whoever it was that had it.

Publisher Summary 
Laurie R. King’s New York Times bestselling novels of suspense featuring Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, comprise one of today’s most acclaimed mystery series. Now, in their newest and most thrilling adventure, the couple is separated by a shocking circumstance in a perilous part of the world, each racing against time to prevent an explosive catastrophe that could clothe them both in shrouds.

In a strange room in Morocco, Mary Russell is trying to solve a pressing mystery: Who am I? She has awakened with shadows in her mind, blood on her hands, and soldiers pounding on the door. Out in the hivelike streets, she discovers herself strangely adept in the skills of the underworld, escaping through alleys and rooftops, picking pockets and locks. She is clothed like a man, and armed only with her wits and a scrap of paper containing a mysterious Arabic phrase. Overhead, warplanes pass ominously north.

Meanwhile, Holmes is pulled by two old friends and a distant relation into the growing war between France, Spain, and the Rif Revolt led by Emir Abd el-Krim—who may be a Robin Hood or a power mad tribesman. The shadows of war are drawing over the ancient city of Fez, and Holmes badly wants the wisdom and courage of his wife, whom he’s learned, to his horror, has gone missing. As Holmes searches for her, and Russell searches for herself, each tries to crack deadly parallel puzzles before it’s too late for them, for Africa, and for the peace of Europe.

With the dazzling mix of period detail and contemporary pace that is her hallmark, Laurie R. King continues the stunningly suspenseful series that Lee Child called “the most sustained feat of imagination in mystery fiction today.”

28. Once and Future King

By:  T. H. White
Rated 5+ so far. (In progress)
Read by: Neville Jason

I am through the first two book of Once and Future King,The Sword in the Stone (1938), The Queen of Air and Darkness--first published as The Witch in the Wood (1939),The Ill-Made Knight (1940), and The Candle in the Wind (published in the composite volume, 1958)  There is a 6th book involved that was added later on, The Death of Merlin (1988) which, according to a reviewer is regarded as an "anti-war rant."  This is OK with me because I do a pretty good anti-war rant myself.

I am loving this book and wondering why I have never read it before.  Probably because it's fantasy and I am very much a fantasy lite reader.  But once in a while one comes along that really grabs me.  I am not so sure I would be enjoying this one as much if I were reading it from the printed page as the reader Neville Jason is giving an absolutely brilliant performance of reading it in the gently ironic, tongue in cheek style that the Brits are so good at.

I am having to take it in small bites though.  While tempted to "start at the beginning and go straight through until the end" I start experiencing sensory overload after about 3/4 of one book.  So this one is going to take me a while.

Publisher's Summary

The complete "box set" of T. H. White's epic fantasy novel of the Arthurian legend. The novel is made up of five parts: "The Sword in the Stone", "The Witch in the Wood", "The Ill-Made Knight", "The Candle in the Wind", and "The Book of Merlyn".
Merlyn instructs the Wart (Arthur) and his brother, Sir Kay, in the ways of the world. One of them will need it: the king has died, leaving no heir, and a rightful one must be found by pulling a sword from an anvil resting on a stone. In the second and third parts of the novel, Arthur has become king and the kingdom is threatened from the north. In the final two books, the ageing king faces his greatest challenge, when his own son threatens to overthrow him. In "The Book of Merlyn", Arthur's tutor Merlyn reappears and teaches him that, even in the face of apparent ruin, there is hope.
Public Domain (P)2008 Naxos Audiobooks