Mad Hatters and March Hares

Synopsis: From master anthologist Ellen Datlow comes an all-original of weird tales inspired by the strangeness of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There.

Between the hallucinogenic, weird, imaginative wordplay and the brilliant mathematical puzzles and social satire, Alice has been read, enjoyed, and savored by every generation since its publication. Datlow asked eighteen of the most brilliant and acclaimed writers working today to dream up stories inspired by all the strange events and surreal characters found in Wonderland.

Featuring stories and poems from Seanan McGuire, Catherynne M. Valente, Delia Sherman, Genevieve Valentine, Priya Sharma, Stephen Graham Jones, Richard Bowes, Jeffrey Ford, Angela Slatter, Andy Duncan, C.S.E. Cooney, Matthew Kressel, Kris Dikeman, Jane Yolen, Kaaron Warren, Ysbeau Wilce, and Katherine Vaz.

Review: This anthology gathers poems and short stories related to the theme of Alice in Wonderland. I find the idea really great and I was really curious to get started! When I read anthologies, I usually offer a really short review by story but given the mixture of writings with this large number of authors, I prefer to give you a little recap on my feelings.

This novel offers us different stories, different times, some very far from the original and others a little closer, some putting Alice as the main character and others some secondary characters in the story. I found it very interesting to see what each author would propose but it is true that if I expected a lot, especially given the theme, I was a little disappointed by some of the novellas. I was also sometimes a little confused and I was not sure that it was due to the universe. One thing is for sure, the ideas are all very original and different from what we would expect and I’m glad I was able to put a foot in this interesting and different world.

 

 

Mad Hatters and March Hares (VO)

Résumé : De l’anthologue Ellen Datlow vient un ensemble original des contes étranges inspirés par l’étrangeté des aventures d’Alice au pays des merveilles de Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass, What Alice Found There.

Entre le jeu de mots hallucinogène, bizarre, imaginatif et les brillantes énigmes mathématiques et la satire sociale, Alice a été lue, appréciée et savourée par chaque génération depuis sa publication. Datlow a demandé à dix-huit des écrivains les plus brillants et les plus acclamés de travailler aujourd’hui pour imaginer des histoires inspirées par tous les événements étranges et les personnages surréalistes trouvés au pays des merveilles.

Nous trouvons donc non des histoires et des poèmes de Seanan McGuire, de Catherynne M. Valente, de Delia Sherman, de Genevieve Valentine, de Priya Sharma, de Stephen Graham Jones, de Richard Bowes, de Jeffrey Ford, d’Angela Slatter, d’Andy Duncan, C.S.E. Cooney, Matthew Kressel, Kris Dikeman, Jane Yolen, Warren Kaaron, Ysbeau Wilce et Katherine Vaz.

Avis : Cette anthologie rassemble des poèmes et des nouvelles se rapportant au thème d’Alice au pays des Merveilles. Je trouve l’idée vraiment géniale et j’étais vraiment curieuse de me lancer ! Dans mes chroniques d’anthologies, je propose souvent un petit avis par histoire mais vu le mélange poèmes et histoire avec ce nombre important d’auteurs, je préfère vous faire un petit récapitulatif sur mon ressenti.

Ce roman nous propose différentes histoires, différentes reprises, certaines très loin de l’originales et d’autres un peu plus proches, certaines mettant Alice en tant que personnage principal et d’autres des personnages secondaires de l’histoire. J’ai trouvé très intéressant de voir ce que chaque auteur allait proposer mais c’est vrai que si j’en attendais énormément, notamment au vu du thème, j’ai été un peu déçue par quelques-unes des nouvelles. J’étais aussi parfois un peu confuse et je n’étais pas sûre que cela soit dû à l’univers. Une chose est sûre, les idées sont toutes très originales et différentes de ce à quoi on pourrait s’attendre et je suis contente d’avoir pu remettre un pied dans cet univers si intéressant et différent.

 

Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews

Kate Daniels, Book 5

Synopsis: Plagued by a war between magic and technology, Atlanta has never been so deadly. Good thing Kate Daniels is on the job.

Kate Daniels may have quit the Order of Merciful Aid, but she’s still knee-deep in paranormal problems. Or she would be if she could get someone to hire her. Starting her own business has been more challenging than she thought it would be—now that the Order is disparaging her good name. Plus, many potential clients are afraid of getting on the bad side of the Beast Lord, who just happens to be Kate’s mate.

So when Atlanta’s premier Master of the Dead calls to ask for help with a vampire on the loose, Kate leaps at the chance of some paying work. But it turns out that this is not an isolated incident. Kate needs to get to the bottom of it—and fast, or the city and everyone dear to her might pay the ultimate price…

Review: I decided that in this review I will not mention Curran’s name. Otherwise, you’ll think he’s obsessing me, and I’m not like that. It’s not a little lion (who has a chest that makes me behave like a goldfish) that will turn my brain. Not at all!

Kate’s life has changed a lot lately. She settled in the fortress of the one who-devilishly-well-wears-jogging and must learn to live with a pack of metamorphs that follows one or more specific protocols. It is not easy when you know that she has just opened her own private detective agency and that she is determined to prove herself so that we do not think that she is only the girlfriend of the shirtless-god-naked-with-sharp-theeth. But if it was only that, here her niece (who is not really that) comes to live with them, and obviously, very ugly things fall on the corner of their nose.

To say that I liked this volume would be an euphemism. Kate Daniels is one of the rare series that gains in quality over the years, and it’s not because there is the too-sexy-lion in it. Action, tenderness, humor, I was not bored for a minute. He-who-has-shoulders-to-unhook-the-jaws is more touching than ever, and Kate continues to move me.

Well, there is still a problem, a huge problem (and I’m not talking about the attributes of the-god-feline): the following volume is not yet translated into French! Argggg, how am I going to do?

PS: You saw, not once did I say his name! I am proud of myself!

Celine

http://lelivrevie.blogspot.fr/

 

Meurtre magique d’Ilona Andrews

Kate Daniels, Tome 5

Résumé : Ravagée par une guerre entre la magie et la technologie, Atlanta n’a jamais été aussi dangereuse. Par chance, Kate Daniels est sur le coup.
Kate Daniels a peut-être quitté l’Ordre de l’Aide Miséricordieuse mais elle est toujours plongée jusqu’au cou dans les problèmes paranormaux. Ou, plutôt, elle le serait si quelqu’un daignait l’embaucher. Maintenant que l’Ordre s’emploie à ruiner sa réputation, lancer sa propre affaire s’avère plus difficile qu’elle ne l’aurait cru… Sans compter les nombreux clients potentiels qui craignent d’indisposer le Seigneur des Bêtes, qui n’est autre que le compagnon de Kate.
Quand le premier Maître des Morts d’Atlanta l’appelle pour lui demander de l’aider à capturer un vampire en cavale, Kate saute sur l’occasion de décrocher un travail rentable. Cependant, elle découvre vite qu’il ne s’agit pas d’un incident isolé. Kate doit alors absolument découvrir le fin mot de l’histoire, et rapidement, sinon la ville et tous les êtres qui lui sont chers risquent de payer le prix fort.

Avis : J’ai décidé que dans cette chronique, je ne mentionnerai pas le nom de Curran. Sinon, vous allez croire qu’il m’obsède, et moi, je ne suis pas comme ça. Ce n’est pas un petit lion de rien du tout (et qui a un torse qui me fait me livrer à une parfaite imitation d’un poisson rouge) qui va me retourner le cerveau. Non, pas du tout !

La vie de Kate a connu de grands changements ces derniers temps. Elle s’est installée dans la forteresse de celui-qui-porte-diablement-bien-le-jogging et doit apprendre à cohabiter avec une meute de métamorphes qui suivent un ou des protocoles bien précis. Ce n’est pas simple quand on sait qu’elle vient en plus d’ouvrir sa propre agence de détectives privés et qu’elle est bien décidée à faire ses preuves afin qu’on ne pense pas qu’elle n’est que la petite amie du Dieu-torse-nu-aux-dents-pointues. Mais s’il n’y avait que cela, voilà que sa nièce (qui ne l’est pas vraiment) vient vivre avec eux, et évidemment, des trucs bien moches lui tombent sur le coin du nez.

Dire que j’ai aimé ce tome serait un euphémisme. Kate Daniels est une des rares séries qui gagne en qualité au fil des tomes, et ce n’est pas parce qu’il y a un lion-trop-sexy dedans. De l’action, de la tendresse, de l’humour, je ne me suis pas ennuyée une minute. Celui-qui-a-des-épaules-à-s’en-décrocher-la-mâchoire est plus touchant que jamais, et Kate continue de m’émouvoir.

Bon, il y a quand même un problème, un énorme problème (et je ne parle pas des attributs-du-dieu-félin) : le tome suivant n’est pas encore traduit en français ! Argggg, comment je vais faire !

PS : Vous avez vu, pas une seule fois je n’ai prononcé son nom ! Je suis fière de moi !

Celine

http://lelivrevie.blogspot.fr/

Stacking the Shelves #255

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews
 

Blood and Sand – C.V. Wyk

FORGED IN BATTLE…
FROM THE DUST OF THE ARENA…
A LEGEND WILL RISE

The action-packed tale of a 17-year-old warrior princess and a handsome gladiator who dared take on the Roman Republic―and gave rise to the legend of Spartacus…

For teens who love strong female protagonists in their fantasy and historical fiction, Blood and Sand is a stirring, yet poignant tale of two slaves who dared take on an empire by talented debut author C. V. Wyk.

Roma Victrix. The Republic of Rome is on a relentless march to create an empire―an empire built on the backs of the conquered, brought back to Rome as slaves.

Attia was once destined to rule as the queen and swordmaiden of Thrace, the greatest warrior kingdom the world had seen since Sparta. Now she is a slave, given to Xanthus, the Champion of Rome, as a sign of his master’s favor. Enslaved as a child, Xanthus is the preeminent gladiator of his generation.

Against all odds, Attia and Xanthus form a tentative bond. A bond that will spark a rebellion. A rebellion that threatens to bring the Roman Republic to its end―and gives rise to the legend of Spartacus…

Ryan’s Bed – Tijan

I crawled into Ryan Jensen’s bed that first night by accident.

I barely knew him. I thought it was his sister’s bed—her room. It took seconds to realize my error, and I should’ve left…

I didn’t.
I didn’t jump out.
I didn’t get embarrassed.
I relaxed.
And that night, in that moment, it was the only thing I craved.

I asked to stay. He let me, and I slept.

The truth? I never wanted to leave his bed. If I could’ve stayed forever, I would have.
He became my sanctuary.

Because—four hours earlier—my twin sister killed herself.

High Lonesome Sound – Jaye Wells

In the sleepy mountain town of Moon Hollow, Virginia, there is a church with a crooked steeple. No one will say for sure how it got that way, but it’s reason the whole town gathers every Decoration Day to honor the dead.

But this year, there are two fresh graves up on Cemetery Hill, a stranger’s come to town, and the mountain’s song is filled with dark warnings.

The good people of Moon Hollow are about to learn that some secrets are too painful to bear, and some spirits are too restless to stay buried.

The Goal (Off Campus, 4) – Elle Kennedy

Il suffit d’une nuit pour que tout change. Sabrina James est en dernière année de lycée. Elle a depuis longtemps planifié son avenir : obtenir son diplôme, entrer à la fac de droit et décrocher un super-job dans un des plus grands cabinets d’avocats du pays. Elle veut aller de l’avant et oublier son passé. Quand elle croise le beau Tucker, elle n’a à lui offrir qu’une nuit, il ne peut pas faire partie de ses projets. Mais tout va se compliquer… John Tucker, la star du hockey qui ne vit que pour sa passion, va se transformer quand Sabrina lui annonce qu’elle est enceinte. Il compte bien assumer son rôle de futur papa. Mais la jeune fille est têtue et ne veut accepter aucune aide de sa part. Il va falloir toute la ténacité de Tucker pour que, petit à petit, elle lui ouvre son coeur. Saura-t-il convaincre la belle et froide Sabrina que, parfois, mener un projet à deux est plus facile ?

L’homme Craie – C.J. Tudor

Tout avait commencé quand Eddie avait 12 ans. La première fois qu’Eddie avait rencontré l’Homme craie. C’était ce dernier qui avait donné à Eddie l’idée de dessiner à la craie : un moyen de laisser des messages secrets à son groupe d’amis. Et c’était marrant au départ… jusqu’à ce qu’ils découvrent le corps d’une jeune fille… Trente ans plus tard, Eddie pense que le passé est derrière lui. Mais, lorsqu’il reçoit une lettre contenant un morceau de craie et un dessin, il comprend que l’histoire se répète… et que le jeu n’est jamais terminé.

 

 

Guest Post: War and Craft by Tom Doyle

A Brief History of Magic (in My Fiction).

by Tom Doyle

War and Craft is the just-released final book in my American Craftsmen trilogy, which concerns magician-soldiers and psychic spies serving their country and feuding with each other. To create the backstory of these craftspeople, I included a lot of real world events that they’ve secretly influenced.

Looking back now at my novels, I realize that despite all those events, I didn’t give a world historical narrative of the craftspeople. Mostly, that’s because my books are primarily in the techno-thriller mode and those sorts of details wouldn’t fit anywhere. So here’s a mini-outline of the history of craftspeople in the Western World. While I also have some particular events for craft history in the East (the “divine wind” that stopped the Mongol invasion of Japan, the Pandava family line in India), I’d need to do more research and thinking for that big picture overview.

Note: I hope readers will treat this not as set-in-stone canonical material, but as the beginning of a dialog, as each generalization I’ve made here brings up dozens of problems and questions in my own mind.

1- The Roman Empire consolidated the craft world of the Mediterranean and Western Europe for hundreds of years. The Emperor controlled the craft militant, and the panhellenic Oikumene continued its ancient pursuit of Left-Hand evil under imperial auspices. The craft was largely hidden from public view by the mystery cults, where individuals were sorted between true initiates and those who just got a pleasant ritual (which helps explain why the Eleusinian mysteries and others were largely and effectively kept secret).

Though initially rogue outsiders, the rise of Christianity and Christian craft didn’t fundamentally change these arrangements. The Oikumene found that Christians made good allies against Left-Hand evil, and it would come to a similar arrangement with Islam.

2- Various internal succession and power disputes destroyed or seriously weakened Roman craft families, leaving the West vulnerable. At the same time, the barbarians more effectively organized and made better use of their own craft militant. The fallen West broke into the successor kingdoms, and the craft fractured with it. The Church held some of the vestigial imperial and transnational power along with the seriously weakened Oikumene.

The East fared better until the seventh-century war with Persia and its Magi left the Byzantines vulnerable to Islam and its craft jihad. The Byzantine Empire persisted, however–in part due to its strong craft that drew on Constantinople and the old Greek centers. (E.g., Greek fire had a craft element, which is why the secret was kept and never successfully reproduced.)

3- During the Middle Ages, the craftspeople were natural landed military aristocrats because of their tie to the land, their combat skills, and the fact that their magical power tended to be inherited. The truth behind the Grail conspiracy was that the aristocracy of Europe was full of magical families of greater or lesser power. (Note: Canute really could alter the local tide, but wanted to make a demonstration of humility.)

Once established, the older magical families were jealous of their power and often destroyed new craftspeople when they arose. Some of these new craftspeople found refuge in the Church along with the extra sons and daughters of the nobility–and the old Families accepted this because craftspeople wouldn’t be allowed to start lineages there. (I wrote more about the Roman Catholic Church and magic in War and Craft.) Others sheltered in towns, creating the initial tie between the guilds and secret societies. The old Families tolerated these because they didn’t challenge the rural order, the town craftspeople found ways of making themselves useful to the old Families, and the towns had built up sufficient numbers of practitioners to make their elimination costly. Some new craftspeople just went rogue, either hiding in the underclass and attempting to avoid notice, or running their own private resistance, sometimes at a profit (see hedge knights and Robin Hood).

In one famous instance, a new craftsperson saved France.

4- The Renaissance study of magic began with the rediscovery of Greco-Roman Hermetic and other Neo-Platonic texts. People started to ask questions about craft: why did some people have it and others didn’t? Could the talent be acquired? Why were some forms of magic relatively common, but other potentially lucrative forms (transmutation of metals) either rare or impossible. Under the protection of various rulers, craftspeople (new and old) and mundanes explored these questions. This would lead not so much to knowledge of magic as to the development of science, and despite this seeming level of tolerance, “white magic” never came completely out into open public view.

An archetypical public figure of this period was John Dee, adviser to Queen Elizabeth with later connection to Emperor Rudolph II, and (fictionally) the ancestor of Christopher Dee in The Left-Hand Way.

5- With their discovery of the New World, Europeans and their diseases killed a large percentage of America’s population and its practitioners. Formerly mundane Europeans found that, upon reaching America, they were craftspeople, and practitioners already known as such retained their power once there. As long as the faith of these new and old practitioners stayed acceptable, Puritan settlers in New England incorporated them into their communities. Some famous examples of practitioners whose faith was unacceptable were Anne Hutchinson and Thomas Morton, and those divisions drove much of the plot of American Craftsmen.

Back in Europe, more new craftspeople were appearing. Many were going rogue and fleeing to the Americas, while others challenged the existing regimes. The structures of repression and control of the craft began to crumble along with the political absolutism that supported them. Revolutions in the craft and mundane world were inevitable.

6- In general in modern democracies, craftspeople have avoided public positions of political leadership for the same reason as the truly rich do (see Marx’s Eighteenth Brumaire): the attention doesn’t help their real power and comes with great risk. The magic that they draw from the land also generally creates a sense of service to their countries. But the temptation for the craftspeople to again assert themselves as a natural aristocracy remains, particularly when combined with the promise of possible immortality.

I hope this has been helpful for my readers, and intriguing for those considering the trilogy. Thank you to Between Dreams and Reality for again hosting one of my posts.

 

 

American Craftsmen, Book 3

Synopsis:

The greatest evil of the Left-Hand Way forces a final showdown with the magician-soldiers of American Craftsmen, in this triumphant conclusion to Tom Doyle’s imaginative tale of a cryptohistorical America.

After a bloody wedding-night brawl with assassins in Tokyo, the craftspeople are again on the move, this time to India, where a descendant of legendary heroes has the supernatural mission for which they’ve been waiting. Preparing for that mission, powerful exorcist Scherie Rezvani searches for secret knowledge with a craft agent of the Vatican and tries to cope with the strange new magics resulting from her pregnancy. To save her unborn child from the Left Hand, she will risk damnation and the Furies themselves.

Meanwhile, the malevolent spirit of Madeline Morton is caught in an infernal trap from which even self-destruction is no escape. That crucible may transform her utterly, if it doesn’t break her mind first.

All comes to a head on a plateau hidden high in the mountains of Kashmir, where the Sanctuary of this world will face an undying threat from another. It’s Armageddon in Shangri-La, and the end of the world as we know it.

The Librarians and the Mother Goose Chase by Greg Cox

The Librarians, Book 2

Synopsis: For millennia, the Librarians have secretly protected the world by keeping watch over dangerous magical relics. Cataloging and safeguarding everything from Excalibur to Pandora’s Box, they stand between humanity and those who would use the relics for evil.

Stories can be powerful. In 1719, Elizabeth Goose of Boston Massachusetts published a collection of rhyming spells as a children’s book, creating a spellbook of terrifying power. The Librarian of that age managed to dispose of all copies of the book except one, which remained in the possession of Elizabeth Goose and her family, temporarily averting any potential disaster.

However, strange things are happening, A window washer in San Diego who was blown off his elevated perch by a freak gust of wind, but miraculously survived by landing on a canopy over the building entrance. A woman in rural Pennsylvania who was attacked by mutant rodents without any eyes. And, a college professor in England who somehow found herself trapped inside a prize pumpkin at a local farmer’s market. Baird and her team of Librarians suspect that the magic of Mother Goose is again loose in the world, and with Fynn Carson AWOL once again, it is up to Cassandra, Ezekiel, and Stone to track down the missing spellbook before the true power of the rhymes can be unleashed.

Review: I liked the first book and it is true that I was curious to discover a new adventure of our librarians. Flynn seems to have disappeared for the moment and so we turn to the others for this new story.

Mother Goose is known for her spellbook but it’s been a long time since no one has heard of her. Yet, when her descendants find themselves trapped by her stories, our librarians separate to investigate on the spot. Between a woman who was found in a giant pumpkin, another who was attacked by mutant rats, or one who was carried away by a gust, our heroes will have to face new dangers.

I was curious to see how our three characters would manage to settle their stories. Each one, on their part, they will have to investigate the events to find the missing manuscripts. Moreover, they do not know the real identity of the new Mother Goose, which will not necessarily help in their research. I confess, however, that I did not expect such a revelation at the end of the story! It was a real surprise!

I had a good time overall. It was interesting to fall into a story I did not know about and to find all the characters again.

3-5 

mellianefini