And so we’re back in the corridor, at Sweet Mercy, where it all began in the original trilogy.
Once again, i felt that dragging tedious feeling i had with the previous books in this trilogy, except this time it wasn’t due to plodding over the ice. This time it mostly came down to this never ending cat and mouse game with Seus and Eular, both of which aren’t very exciting baddies and don’t exactly get one excited. In fact they just continued to disappoint me with the fact that they keep not dying when that’s all i wanted them to do from about 50% in, just so we could get it all over with.
Ok, i have to admit that i read the whole trilogy all the way through, so it couldn’t have been that bad. But, it definitely could have been a lot better and lot lot lot faster paced.
Anyways, it’s all over now and i can go and read some other more exciting things.
If you enjoyed Joseph’s Book of Deacon side story The Adventures of Rustle and Eddy then you’ll love this little story.
Eddy borrows a few spells from his sister and goes off on an adventure to find Rustle, who hasn’t turned up for his latest visit.
Yes, those naughty fairy catchers are at it again, but they didn’t factor Eddy into their accounts.
I really enjoy the Rustle and Eddy stuff, so this was a very welcome sequel which i also really enjoyed.
Bye for now.
A nice little side story for all you fans of Joseph’s Book of Deacon series.
Ivy goes on a wander to cheer herself up when she gets a bored after saving the world and becoming an ambassador. One day, during her wander, she walks into an inn where Malthropes aren’t exactly made welcome.
A sweet little story.
Bye for now.
I read this soooo many years ago and decided to put it away for a few years before reading it again. But the years came and went and finally i jumped in and did it.
And yes, i enjoyed it totally again.
It’s a rather strange book dealing with authoritarian rulers and their lackeys, but what happens if the lackeys decide to do something unexpected?
Set in a colony on where the Dead Sea used to be before it overflowed and flooded all the Mediterranean’s surrounding countries. The colony now mines the special, addictive, purple salt that was sealed down beneath the ground and sells it to the rest of the world.
The authoritarian 75, based in Paris, own the colony and have a global monopoly on the salt it produces. They have sealed it off from the outside world and only keep in contact with the governor via a green box delivered by a special ship. the governor, in turn, instructs his 6 lackeys to do his bidding.
And then, one night, things all change. The governor’s 6 lackeys send 6 letters to the 75 explaining what happened and they in turn bring in Phileas Book, a constructor of strange crosswords for The Times to decipher the chaotic letters and to work out what the truth is and what really happened in the colony.
It’s a really strange story and quite unlike anything else i’ve read, but it is totally enjoyable and has a great ending.
Bye for now.
Another great story from this master wonderful story teller. A silly man decides to buy a kraken egg to hatch in a bathtub because he thinks it’ll make him rich: how foolish some people are.
You can read it for free at Uncanny Magazine.
If you would prefer to listen to the audio book then you can listen to it in the ‘Uncanny Magazine Podcast’.
Bye for now.
Once again, Djèlí writes the perfect short story, this one about zealots going to the battle fields of Golota to kill and die for their respective gods.
On the floor dying, is Zahrea, one of the zealots, and waiting to pick her body clean of valuables is Teffe, a picker, one of the local orphans who survive by combing the fields after each battle for anything worth selling. Teffe doesn’t believe in gods but while he waits for Zahrea to die he has no choice but to listen to everything she has to say about that.
This is available in the periodical, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly — Issue 37.
Next up on Djèlí’s timeline, from 2019, is The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington
The second story from the Dead Djinn Universe, which i only just got hold of with it having been quite some time since i finished the other three books (silly me thought it was a trilogy). But not to worry, while it would have been better to have read it before The Haunting of Tram Car 015, it was very much worth reading still and doesn’t detract from anything i’ve already read in this series.
Once again, all the super good writing we’ve come to enjoy from Djèlí, my only question would be is will there be any more Cairo books? I do so hope so, this is a fantastic world Djèlí has created that begs to be explored a lot more. And i totally recommend this whole series for everyone, even if you’re not already into steampunk flavoured fantasy with a North African twist you soon will be.
This is available in the anthology, Clockwork Cairo and also can be read for free over at Tor.com.
The third instalment in The Siege. The first two thirds of the trilogy were excellent, this book has a lot to live up to.
As soon as i got a copy of this book i dropped everything else i was reading and jumped straight in: that’s how much i enjoyed the first two books of the trilogy.
Once more, great writing with great characters being forced into corners and having to do whatever it takes just to survive another hour or so, because you only need another hour or so to figure out how you can find a way to survive the next hour or so. Fortunately for us avid readers our protagonists in these stories always find a way to keep surviving all those next hours or sos and thus the story keeps on rolling along with calamities and shenanigans abounding.
To be honest, i was sold on K. J. Parker’s writing after the first book, Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City, the second book, How To Rule An Empire and Get Away With It, just confirmed that i wasn’t mistaken in my assessment, and this book now makes me realise that i’ve been missing out on some great writing for over 20 years, but hey, now i can go back and read the complete K. J. Parker back catalogue and really enjoy myself.
So yeah, if you’re looking for a good fun read then do give The Siege trilogy a go, i’m sure most people with even just a tiniest smattering of a sense of humour will enjoy these books.
More great fantasy story telling from Djèlí. And i’m definitely looking to return to this issue of Fantasy magazine once i’ve got done reading the rest of Djèlí’s books.
This is available in the periodical, Fantasy Magazine — Issue 60.
Next up in my P. Djèlí Clark reading festival will be The Angel of Khan el-Khalili, which i seem to remember reading is just an excerpt from A Dead Djinn in Cairo. Which i’ll be perfectly happy reading again anyway, so who cares anyway?
Available in the periodical, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly — Issue 23.
To begin, a risha is to an Arabian oud as a plectrum is to a guitar. If you want to know more you can read all about ouds and rishas by clicking here.
So, with that out of the way, let’s get to a review.
Great book. This is early Djèlí introducing steampunk elements into his fantasy. Our story begins with our oud player, Saleh, getting rescued by a philosopher pirate (captain who’s not a captain), Usman, and the rest of the crew of the airship The Beggar. Then we’re off on a 537-kindle-loc-point adventure to find treasure, amongst which is a magical golden risha with which Saleh gets to play his oud.
I really enjoyed this book and hopefully, one fine day in the future, Djèlí might even sit down and write some more stories with Saleh and Usman. There’s got to be some great stories to be told about a philosopher pirate captain and his side-kick minstrel oud player.
And so, next up in my Djèlí reading list will be The Things My Mother Left Me
Available in Daily Science Fiction – Oct 2012.
This one fits in my Mermaids, Selkies, Sirens and Other Mythical Sea Folk collection.
Although it’s a very short short-story, it’s still a good modern fairy tale about one of those “Other Mythical Sea Folk”.
Beware the sea!
Next up in my Djèlí reading list is With a Golden Risha.