Cats of the Multiverse. Plus Book Reviews, Promotions and more.
The Lampworks Lamplighter SF & Fantasy News & Reviews
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Cats of the Multiverse
When the protagonist of Knots walked through a fold in the world into a alternate land, it seemed only natural that he would be befriended by a talking cat. Trefoil was only a walk-on character at first, but quickly became a central part of the narrative. I dedicated the book to the cats who kept me company while writing.
Sellenria in particular was supervised by Bonkers, who involved herself in every aspect of the work. She was a very hands-on cat.
She was quite the inspector as well. Whether it was painting, plumbing, wiring, or CAT-6 cable installation (naturally), she made sure the work was up to spec.
Of course she made a demanding editor when it came to writing. She inspected every page and rendered her opinion. Nothing escaped her.
Bonkers succumbed to diabetes around the time that Sellenria was published, after having put up with blood tests and insulin shots for several years. (Check your cat food. If it’s less than 10% protein, find another brand.)
While she may be gone, her flame still burns, and will probably inspire more stories of dependable and resourceful beings of various species. Some of them might even be human.
Monsieur Resche is an art thief. He has crossed a bridge into a quaint town, a town that disappeared from Switzerland four centuries ago. Magic is possible there; in fact, all the magic that our world once had has ended up there. A precisely tied knot, an exactly folded paper, or a cunningly drawn figure can unlock wonders and horrors.
Resche has a mind that lets him excel at this new craft, but that brings him to the notice of powerful mages who play a great game of geomancy with tiles the size of countries. And when he looks for the bridge back to Geneva, it is nowhere to be found.
The Fractalist priest offers aid that may not be what it appears, the Jeweler has intricate schemes, the newspaper editor has taken an interest, the Astromancer had good advice before she was murdered, and Resche’s cat just makes wisecracks.
Knots is a compelling story filled with unexpected characters, plot twists, literal location twists, mystery, and redemption.
Have Kindle Unlimited? Read Knots for free on Amazon!
What We‘re Reading
Visit our archive of reviews and recommendations on the Books We Like page of our website. You‘ll find over one hundred recommendations in Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Non Fiction.
A Brightness Long Ago
Guy Gavriel Kay
Guy Gavriel Kay weaves a tale of an almost-Italy. Amid warring city-states and political intrigue, a young scholar, son of a tradesman, witnesses the rivalry between two of the most prominent mercenaries of the day. Beautifully written, with a pensive tone, this is a standalone extension to his Sarrantine history. His exquisite descriptions of several horse races that occur during the tale are worth the read all by themselves.
This is a solid sequel to Skyward (reviewed in the November newsletter). Spensa continues fighting the aliens that have imprisoned humanity on the world of Detritus. When she has the opportunity to infiltrate the enemy as a pilot trainee for the other side, she seizes it with her usual lack of forethought. With her angsty AI M-Bot and pet Doomslug, she takes on the entire alien bureaucracy. I felt a few wisps of Douglas Adams-level satiric absurdity along the way to a satisfying conclusion
This story is a near neighbor of the Clocktaur War books. I came for the inventive settings, the amusing dialog, and the fun characters. I was ambushed by a Romance plot. (I’m not overly fond of romances; I think they’re tedious.) I still had a great time. The best part for me was the heroine’s superpower: the ability to confuse and confound any foe (and most friends) with stream-of-consciousness absurdities that almost make sense.
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice
Laurie R. King
Young Mary Russell runs into the retired Sherlock Holmes on the downs of Sussex and proves to be as acerbic and sharp-eyed as the old master. They strike up a friendship that grows over time, as Sherlock gradually begins allowing Mary to assist in his cases. This Sherlock is a touch more human than Doyle’s; perhaps it’s the times, perhaps it’s the narrator. But this is Mary Russell’s story, and she’s a good choice to carry on the tradition.
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