Tuesday, July 30, 2013

This Rough Magic

This Rough Magic by Lackey, Freer, and Flint: More magic, mystery, treachery, and mayhem in a Renaissance alternate history world where Christianity and magic are intertwined.  (And fewer obvious seams where the authors split the story.)  We venture away from Venice and to an island with its own magic and its own problems.  There's piracy, sieges, satanic rituals, witches, bitches, babies, ill-tempered goats, sword fights, sacrifices, heroism, love, politics, etc.

I have to say that the tension in this book was frequently unbearable.  There's this woman who decided to choose a safe marriage for her coming baby.  The husband is a really nice man, very stable, very kind, very dedicated to his work and his new family.  And you feel terrible because for all that, you are sort of waiting--slightly hopeful and vaguely guilty--for the ax to fall, so she can get back together with the person you suspect is the father of her baby, the man she really loves, the man who went to the far edges of young, stupid, wild, and unstable when she chose the other guy out of left field.  He's still off balance, but he's growing up, becoming a responsible person, the kind of person who can do what's best for the people he loves even if that doesn't lead to his own personal happiness.

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