REREADING IS AMAZING. Sometimes I forget how many amazing books I have already read, because I am busy reading new books, which are also (sometimes) amazing. But this is what I’ve been reading lately.
Magician’s Ward, Patricia C. Wrede
Much like Mairelon the Magician. Too many names of people, but I don’t care because I am more interested in Kim’s learning magic and having a Season and Coming Out at a ball and having Offers of Marriage to turn down. In pretty dresses. Can there be more pretty dresses? And God, pretty shoes? I need new shoes so much. My favorite shoes are all reaching the end of their lives – the pink ones that go with all my red-toned tops; the adorable tan strappy sandals that I wore all over the place and I love them and I don’t want them to go; and the little black ones I wore to prom (I KNOW I HAVE TO LET THEM GO) and then forgot about for several years and then rediscovered, with the sweet little kitten heel. Sigh.
Sorcery and Cecelia, Patricia C. Wrede & Caroline Stevermer
I love Sorcery and Cecelia. Know why? Because the two authors wrote it using the letter game! The letter game! They really did! Kate has gone to London to have her Season, and poor Cecelia is stuck at home in Essex. They have all sorts of fun with a marquis and a magical chocolate pot, and a wicked witch called Miranda, and beautiful friends and relations.
Caroline Stevermer and Patricia C. Wrede are obviously having fun here, and they manage a plot that hangs together really well over two locations and considering they were making it up as they went along. Reading this again for the first time in a while, I am extra triple curious about what they changed when they decided to get it published. I would think to play the letter game, you’d have to be quite attentive to minor details in the other person’s letter, and also be flexible enough to ditch elements of the plot you had planned if the other person said something that messed it up. Tricky! But it sounds so fun. One of these days…
Crocodile on the Sandbank, Elizabeth Peters
Amelia Peabody makes me laugh. I don’t necessarily read this series for the mysteries, though I recall finding some of them quite satisfying. I really read them for the characters – Amelia is so determined and brilliant, and Evelyn is sweet without being sweety-sweet (usually, and when she is sweety-sweet it just makes me laugh, and she’s all There is an image enshrined in my heart – oh, Elizabeth Peters, why are you so funny all the time?); and the Emersons are charming.
Elizabeth Peters has a wicked sense of humor, and as many times as I’ve read her books, they always make me laugh. Well-done her for giving her detective a family without making her boring – and carrying on adding family members and not forgetting them in subsequent books. She does make oodles of good characters, though at a certain point there are too many all at once.
But I’ve strayed from the point. Um, yes, Crocodile on the Sandbank. Did I say, it’s set in Egypt at the end of the nineteenth century? There are pyramids all over the place, and the characters all have sumptuous fun complaining about the treatment of antiquities (it is really shocking, to be fair – it makes me want to cry even when the antiquities in question are fictional). Plus, whenever silly characters show up, everyone makes fun of them! Hooray!
What are some books you return to repeatedly? If you like them so much perhaps I will like them too…