Book Review: “A Brightness Long Ago” (by Guy Gavriel Kay)

Another review from my alter-ego.

Darcy and Winters

I’ve been a big fan of Guy Gavriel Kay’s for a long time now. He has such a command of language, and his books always manage to pierce the heart with their beauty and their engagement with the deeper, philosophical questions.

A Brightness Long Ago, set in the same world as several of his other books (The Lions of Al-Rassan, The Last Light of the Sun, Sailing for Sarantium and Lord of Emperors, Children of Earth and Sky), is a true gem, a pleasure to read from beginning to end. It is, in many ways, a prequel to 2016’s Children of Earth and Sky, and some of the characters make repeat appearances.

It is set in Batiara, a country splintered into dozens of squabbling city-states, most of which employ large groups of mercenaries to conduct proxy wars with one another. Into this nest of vipers fall several characters, two…

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Reading History: “Anne of Kleve: The Princess in the Portrait” (by Alison Weir)

When it comes to the wives of Henry VIII, a few stand out in the popular consciousness: Anne Boleyn (obviously), Katherine of Aragon, perhaps Jane Seymour. Then maybe Catherine Howard and Katherine Parr. Rarely, I suspect, do many people give much of a thought to Anne of Cleves, Henry's fourth wife whom, it was said, … Continue reading Reading History: “Anne of Kleve: The Princess in the Portrait” (by Alison Weir)

Book Review: “The Case Against Free Speech: The First Amendment, Fascism, and the Future of Dissent” (by P.E. Moskowitz)

My thanks to NetGalley for providing me a copy of this book for review. Of all the issues facing us today, one that continues to excite an enormous amount of outrage from the right (and sometimes from the left) is that of "free speech." Whether it is Milo Yiannopoulos being met with fierce protests at … Continue reading Book Review: “The Case Against Free Speech: The First Amendment, Fascism, and the Future of Dissent” (by P.E. Moskowitz)

Reading Tad Williams: “Empire of Grass”

A little something my alter-ego wrote about the newest book from Tad Williams.

Darcy and Winters

Warning: Some spoilers for the novel follow.

It’s finally here!

That was my first thought upon hearing that the second installment of his new trilogy, entitled “The Last King of Osten Ard” was soon to be published. I’d loved The Witchwood Crown so much, and I’d become very impatient of the release of the continuation of the story. It takes a truly great author to take a well-established (and well-loved) fantasy world and do something new and exciting (and even, sometimes, devastating) with it, and I don’t think that anyone but Tad Williams could really pull it off. Luckily for us, there’s still a lot of the old magic in the splendid kingdoms of Osten Ard.

Empire of Grass finds our various characters scattered to the many corners in Osten Ard. Morgan struggles along in Aldheorte, Simon and Miriamele try to keep their fragmenting kingdom together, Tiamak discovers new and…

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Reading History: The Tragic Daughters of Charles I (by Sarah-Beth Watkins)

My thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book for review. I have to confess that when it comes to English royalty, I've never been much of a fan of the Stuarts. Somehow they lacked the charismatic panache that characterized their successors the Tudors, or the operatic tragedy of the Plantagenets. They just seemed … Continue reading Reading History: The Tragic Daughters of Charles I (by Sarah-Beth Watkins)

Book Review: “It Came from Something Awful: How a Toxic Troll Army Accidentally Memed Donald Trump into Office” (by Dale Beran)

My thanks to NetGalley for providing a free copy of this book for review. Sometimes, you read a book that shines on a light on some of the most unpleasant parts of our culture and society, and you suddenly feel as if you have fallen into an utterly unfamiliar world. It Came from Something Awful … Continue reading Book Review: “It Came from Something Awful: How a Toxic Troll Army Accidentally Memed Donald Trump into Office” (by Dale Beran)