My May Reading Log

At the Feet of the Sun by Victoria Goddard follows The Hands of the Emperor and it took me a really long time. This is because it was 806 pages, which I found out when I was done. I’ll try not to spoil too much. It’s immersive and epic (in a literal sense) as Cliopher, left in charge of the world while the Emperor goes adventuring to find his successor and his old friends, ends up also going adventuring, but not intentionally at first. Many characters and themes show up from the first book, as well as a visit to mythological lands that in this world are not so mythological because you can actually go there. Cliopher has had dreams of being noted in the mythic history of his people since childhood, and a lot of this book involves him working on that goal; also, the emperor shows up again, and new aspects of their relationship are deeply explored. I enjoyed this a lot. If you’re looking for a romantic asexual character, you will find one in this book.

Chaotic Apéritifs by Tao Wong turned out to be second in a series, but I don’t think it’s necessary to read the first one to understand this one. It’s a fairly brief novella about a magical restaurant with both supernatural and mundane guests. A lot of the text involves a mage/chef cooking very assiduously, while using very little magic. The plot is extremely low-key; I felt the biggest moment of tension was when the chef was worried something would overcook while he was paying attention to something else. If you’re looking for a soothing read, I found this very soothing. Also, it made me hungry.

Snuff by Terry Pratchett is the last of the City Watch novels, my favorites of the Discworld series. Sam Vimes, Commander of the Ankh-Morpork Watch and reluctant Duke, is dragged to the country on vacation by his wife Sybil. While enjoying spending time with his small son Young Sam, who’s developed a vast scientific interest in excrement from different species, Sam is as usual alert for Crime, and pretty quickly finds some. Like many of the Watch novels, this one addresses the way humans treat other sentients and what might be done about it, in this case Goblins, which are pretty much despised by all. I felt the route to getting respect for Goblins was a bit forced but I didn’t mind all that much, since I was reading this knowing there were no more books in this sub-series and it was the last new one I would ever read. That sounds like it was a sad experience, but it wasn’t. I love Sam Vimes and his strong morality and his righteous indignation at the many wrongs in the world.

About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen [she, her] currently writes cozy space opera for Kalikoi. The novella series A Place of Refuge begins with Finding Refuge: Telepathic warrior Talia Avi, genius engineer Miki Boudreaux, and augmented soldier Faigin Balfour fought the fascist Federated Colonies for ten years, following the charismatic dissenter Jon Churchill. Then Jon disappeared, Talia was thought dead, and Miki and Faigin struggled to take Jon’s place and stay alive. When the FC is unexpectedly upended, Talia is reunited with her friends and they are given sanctuary on the enigmatic planet Refuge. The trio of former guerillas strive to recover from lifetimes of trauma, build new lives on a planet with endless horizons, and forge tender new connections with each other.
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