The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip: I came across this while looking for women-centric fantasies. The powerful sorceress at the center of the story starts as one who’s all powerful, and yet isolated, with no contact with the outside world. The world however forces its way into her walls, and she ends up making decisions and choices that she could not have foreseen. The story is also about revenge and the havoc it wrecks within your own psyche. It’s well told, and yet I didn’t really enjoy it. One reason was the circumscribed world of the story. I mean literally. It all happens over a kingdom, and a mountain, and I do not know why that of all things niggled, but it did.
Cotillion by Georgett Heyer: What can I say? Heyer can write a Marquess of Alverstoke, and she can write a Freddy Standen. She can write a Frederica Merriville, and she can write a Kitty Charing. Cotillion is really, really good. It’s really, really funny. It’s really, really slow burn-ish. It’s really, really perfect. The romance of Kitty Charing and Freddy Standen is tender, hilarious, and endearing. As with all of Heyer’s supporting characters, the ones here are marvelous too with a nipfarthing uncle, a swain who cuts a swath (not Freddy if you please!), and a father who I wish had gotten a story of his own! (Really, the scenes between Lord Legerwood and Freddy could have shimmied right off the page, so shimmering with perfection they were!) The romance is very slight, and very in the background. The shenanigans are front and center. Wouldn’t have had it any other way! Loved it!
Scythe by Neal Shusterman: Eh. I was all excited going into the book but. . . it was ok? Didn’t feel anything special really. A post-mortal world (yes, death has been overcome in this future) run by a perfect Thundercloud (a sentient AI who takes care of humanity sans any overtake-the-humans drama) has “scythes” to “kill” people to maintain . . . I don’t remember why they decided to harvest death in this manner. Was it to maintain a sustainable population? Might be, even though resources isn’t a problem in this world. (poverty is a thing of past). Anyway, two teenagers apprentice to a scythe and compete for the position, and there’s stuff about power, and corruption, and the ways in which mortality is a good thing, etc etc. Like I said, nothing special. I had the feeling as if the author had done this a hundred million times. Not sure if I’ll continue reading this series.