For the first time in a long while, this past weekend I found myself without a deadline to complete for Monday; I also wasn’t fresh from a deadline completed on the previous Friday (an event which usually requires a day of do-nothing downtime).
Which is why this past weekend turned into a weekend of reading for me. I had a glorious time!
The Warrior Heir, by Cinda Williams Chima
I started with The Warrior Heir, by Cinda Williams Chima. I would love to give credit to the blogger who originally added this book to my TBR list, but unfortunately I must have stumbled on this book before I started using Diigo to bookmark TBRs.
I know that I discovered this title as a result of another blog, because when I picked it up from the library (I had put in a request for it) I didn’t even recognize the title! It wasn’t until I read the jacket copy that I vaguely remembered reading something about it online.
So, whoever you are – thank you very much! I started my reading spree this weekend with The Warrior Heir, and I enjoyed the book immensely. I ended up putting in requests at the library for the two sequels (both of which were checked out) and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they will come in (1) in the proper order for reading and (2) during a period where I am not flooded with deadlines.
Set initially in the small town of Trinity, Ohio, the novel tells the story of Jack, a bright high school kid who one day forgets to take the medicine he’s taken every day of his life, and discovers he’s not who he’s always thought himself to be. Soon he’s immersed in an astonishing world of magical beings, with a tie-in to the War of the Roses.
I really enjoyed the world-building in The Warrior Heir; urban fantasy remains a favorite of mine, but I’ve read enough in the genre to know that building a realistic world that fits snugly within our own modern world can be challenging. Chima pulls it off with aplomb, and offers up a great cast of characters and a gripping storyline as well.
Devil’s Kiss, by Sarwat Chadda
Fresh from finishing The Warrior Heir, I plunged into Devil’s Kiss, by Sarwat Chadda. In this darker novel, the order of the Knights Templar still exists, headquartered in Middle Temple in contemporary London, and its latest member is 16-year-old Billi SanGreal, the only female in the order – and Billi’s not at all certain she wants to live the harsh, violent life of a Templar.
This was another exciting read, although I did enjoy The Warrior Heir more. At times I found Billi to be just a little too full of angst for my taste – her desire for a normal teenage life is certainly understandable but she sometimes got too whiny and obstinate about it. After all, a small dose of angst goes a long way when there are terrible creatures to be fought and you and your fellow Knights are the only thing standing between humanity and the evil that seeks to plague them. For the most part, though, I enjoyed her character, the storyline and the alternate world of the Knights Templar, filled as it is with mysticism, conflict and evil creatures.
Not to mention, Devil’s Kiss has one of the most compelling first lines I’ve read in a while:
Killing him should be easy; he’s only six.
What an irresistible opening line!
The Forever King, by Molly Cochran and Warren Murphy
After finishing Devil’s Kiss, I found myself still hungry for urban fantasy, so I decided to go for a reread next.
The Forever King, by Molly Cochran and Warren Murphy is an old favorite of mine. The book begins in New York City, where we meet Hal Woczniak, an alcoholic ex-FBI agent, Arthur Blessing, a ten-year-old orphan who lives with his Aunt Emily and a mysterious older gentleman by the name of Mr. Taliesin. Meanwhile, in a psychiatric hospital in England, a serial killer with no name who had entombed his victims in sculptures puts into motion a plan of escape.
The action moves quickly from the very start, and the storyline goes back and forth from contemporary to historical times. It is, as the title implies, a retelling of the Arthurian legend, with both a historical and a contemporary twist. At its core is the age-old fight for the Grail, a cup made of an unknown substance with miraculous healing powers.
Unfortunately, the book is no longer in print, but if you enjoy novels that involve Arthurian legend and a contemporary setting, this is a book to grab if you ever see a used copy floating around.
Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke
And finally, at long last, I started Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke. This book has been in my TBR pile for a long time now, and it seemed like a natural book to reach for this weekend, since I was immersing myself in urban fantasy.
I’m in the middle of the book right now; it’s a good read, although I do find my interest flagging a little. I suspect, though, that things are just about to get exciting again, as Mo, Meggie’s father, has a certain plan up his sleeve and while I do have a good inkling what it involves, it will be interesting to see how it all works out.
This weekend of reading has also proved to be very educational too in terms of my writing – but I’ll save those thoughts for another post!