Hello! Happy end of July. I can't believe it is halfway through summer already and I have only had 1 week of nice weather. Boo! On the upside I am starting a new job in August and this was my penultimate week in my current one. I got to see half of my fave colleagues and the other half this week coming. My new job means I will have more time commuting on the tube which should mean I read more. Fingers crossed, as that is the plan. I read two great books this week. Let me tell you all about them.
Lucky me got a copy of The Thief Who Knocked on Sorrow's Gate by Michael McClung from the publisher, Ragnarok Publications. Mainly because I was practically crying I couldn't buy the next instalment! Thank you to the generous publisher. McClung was the winner of the very first SPFBO with The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble's Braids. I really enjoyed it and book number 2 - The Thief that Spat in Luck's Good Eye.
In this instalment Amra is enjoying her new life in her lovely big mansion with the former mage Holgren. Well she was enjoying it until she receives a box containing the head of an enemy from her hometown of Bellarius. Despite never wanting to step foot in Bellarius every again she finds herself back and trying to outwit one assassination attempt after another. The gods have decided to meddle in human affairs and the Eighthfold Goddess particularly likes to meddle with Amra. It's not long before Amra discovers that a very special knife - The Knife that Parts the Night has been found which will be used to tear the fabric of reality apart....well unless Amra can stop it, of course. Another dangerous adventure for the reformed thief.
I really enjoyed this instalment of the series. We learn a bit more about Amra's past and how she ended up as a thief. It isn't a pleasant tale and one that Amra wishes she could forget. We also find out about Amra's family and what happened to her parents. The purging of the street children of Bellarius right before Amra escaped was a key theme of the story and one that weaves itself into the overall plot. The ending was very dramatic and we are left almost falling off a Mount Everest sized cliff hanger. Book 4 won't be released until later this year and it can't come soon enough.
See all of Michael McClung's novels at Ragnarok here.
Book number 2 for me was also book number 2 of the Unhuman series by Wilkie Martin - Inspector Hobbes and the Curse. This series is addictive and very, very funny. We are back with the accident prone Andy Caplet who is still living with Inspector Hobbes, Mrs. Goodfellow who can cook a mean curry and Dregs the dog. When some local sheep end up dead Hobbes and Andy are on the case which takes them to the local wild animal park where Andy meets the beautiful Violet. Immediately infatuated Andy tries his best to impress but fails miserably, much to my amusement. Sightings of big cats, escaped elephants and a murder or two are the all pieces of the case that Hobbes, with Andy's help, must solve before anyone else gets hurt.
Martin has the gift for merging some really funny situations with a good mystery. I was laughing even more at Andy's antics and internal musings than I was at book 1. There is the most hilarious scene when Andy falls foul of the local cider at the town fair. Luckily I was at home when reading this scene so didn't have to suffer any quizzical looks from fellow commuters as I laughed out loud. Andy and Hobbes are a great pair and their adventures make for a series that you can't stop reading.