Reading wrap-up - May 2021

Like April, May was off to a flying start with a huge new favourite book! This one made me forget my habit of not reading the second tome in a series right after the first one...

Six of Crows, by Leigh Bardugo · 2015

Finally! I finally read The Book. This started in 2019 with a month-long hesitation between this one and Shadow & Bone. I read Shadow & Bone, wasn't impressed, and thought I wouldn't bother with Six of Crows. Then the series was announced and tickled my fancy (LOVE that phrase). The reviews made me think perhaps I hadn't started with the right Bardugo book. And it was right! I was swept into Ketterdam alongside this troop of misfits and followed hungrily their wacky adventures. As the blurb says, it's Ocean's Eleven in a fantasy world, but in addition to that it's queernormative and diverse and amazing. One thing, though, is that I decided early on that I couldn't believe these kids were 17, so in my head they're more around 25 years old. It did make me look twice when their age was mentioned, but nothing terrible. I'm so glad the ebook I bought also has Crooked Kingdom.

There are quite a few trigger warnings, but most of them are in passing and / or challenged (except maybe torture). Nothing is taken for granted and I found that comforting.

TW: addiction, mild child abuse, violence, animal cruelty & death, confinement, torture, murder, kidnapping, gun violence, drug use, child death, blood.

An e-reader showing the cover of the book is standing on a table next to a bunch of red and white flowers in a white vase.

The Summer Book (Sommarboken), by Tove Jansson · 1972

In a series of delightful vignettes, Tove Jansson tells about the summers a grandmother, father and daughter spend on an island off the coast of Finland. This had the feel of my favourite moments in Ghibli movies - no tension, day-to-day activities made magical by the careful attention devoted to them, and the colourful character of the grandmother, who has passed the age to worry about what people might think.

A perfect, light read between two more epic ones!

A white hand holding the book in front of a dark-leafed bush.

Un Reflet de lune, by Estelle Faye · 2021

Seven years and a few books after Un Éclat de Givre, Estelle Faye reunites us with Chet, her anti-hero singing and wandering aimlessly in a washed-out, baroque Paris, this time not in a stiffling heat but in an endless Spring rain. Chet still has no idea how to stay out of trouble, and besides attracting trouble, he now inspires it. He was spotted in such sordid place or at the Opera committing atrocities, when at that time he was doing a gig in a bar with his faithful pianist Damien.

Un Reflet de Lune (A Moon's Reflection) maintains the spell of the languid and decadent atmosphere of the first volume (which you don't need to have read to enjoy this one). One simply has to accept letting go and following the murky flow of the Seine to enjoy the supple, sometimes halted prose, narrating Chet's misadventures, who definitely always finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I only wish the cliché of the disfigured villain had been more subtle.

A big thank you to the friend who offered me this ebook!