It’s WWW Wednesday and Deborah J. Ross is here to entertain you with her recent literary discoveries. (This meme is from shouldbereading.)
• What did you recently finish reading?
Sherwood Smith’s delightful Regency Danse de la Folie.. It’s engaging and fun in a way that doesn’t ask you to leave your intellect or your knowledge of Jane Austen’s work at the door. Various characters have various romantic and other adventures before the couples sort themselves out. (Complete side-thought: our new German Shepherd Dog puppy, is named Darcy vom Steinbeckland; he has a tuft of white lace on his chest and gold dust on his toes; the rest of him will be tall, dark, and handsome.) (Second barely-related thought: I’d been lamenting not having an ereader, but the family exchequer wouldn’t cooperate. My younger daughter addressed this situation by passing on to me her Kindle 1 (I think that’s what it’s called — the absolutely no-frills e-ink one) so now I am gleefully working my way through all the BVC books I want!
• What are you reading now?
Ironskin by Tina Connolly. (It’s really, really good. Had me hooked on page 2.) The blurbs compare it to a steampunk version of either Beauty and the Beast or Jane Eyre. For me, it fits the latter much better, but doesn’t have what I have come to regard as the sensibilities of steampunk. It’s more an alternate-timeline-in-which-the-Great-War- (i.e, WWI, which makes it a bit late for steampunk) -was-fought-against-fae. Poor, scarred Jane (who does have family, a living sister who’s just made a “most advantageous” match) arrives at a gothic (i.e., partly ruined as a result of the fae wars) estate as governess to a little girl. We have the mysterious, charismatic Mr. Rochart, Poule (who is half-dwarf), Lady Blanche Ingel, and sundry other characters. But the focus isn’t on “how many parallels can we draw to what Famous Novel?” but on the emotional journey through an intricately worked-out system of magic and protection against it. Jane, among others, has been cursed as a result of a wound taken in battle against the fae. Her curse is rage, always simmering inside her and infecting/affecting those around her…unless she is girded in iron. Hence the name, “ironskin.” In her case, the wound is on one side of her face, so she wears an iron part-mask, which reminds me a bit of The Phantom of the Opera. The prose is nice and crisp, the action moves along with just the right balance of detail and forward motion, and so far it’s been a thoroughly enjoyable read.
• What do you think you’ll read next?
I’ve been looking forward to reading David D. Levine’s Space Magic.
What about you? What have you been reading lately? Put the link to your WWW Wednesday entry in comments, or just tell us!