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Books

Kushiel's Avatar by Jacqueline Carey

Description: Theological Fantasy set in an vastly different medieval Europe. Third in a trilogy. Phedre, a young gods touched courtesan, and her consort Joscelin, move beyond the realm of politics and into vaster riddles of the series.

This is an incredibly satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. It amazes me that a series so incredibly, hmmm...painfully graphic about pain and pleasure, is ultimately so emotionally satisfying. The final two hundred pages are like the wind in the desert, a song, a contemplation of a single drop of rain.

Although, as per tradition in this series, everyone had to go through hell before they can go to paradise. Here, all of the experiences that the characters have endured thus far finally clicked together into this pattern.

This book, and the series really, are about love. Love as a yielding. Love as a fierce driving force. Love as the scouring of self. And by extension, what does it mean to have faith. To yield and by yielding, gain.

It was interesting to finally reach of sense of it is to be the avatar of a god of punishment and conversely, mercy. To be the pain bearer in a world where justice is so often rendered without compassion, here then is the balance. The sacrifice in a world that is always about sacrifice. Asherat of the Sea weeping for her lost son. Isis weeping a lake of tears for lost Osirus. The Magdalene weeping over the Masiachís dead body, not yet risen from the tomb. Rahab mourning a love that never was. Hyacinth on his island, waiting. The Tsingani restless on their long road. The ultimate evil being the desecration/devouring of love.

Compassion. Love as thou wilt. Love. What can I say, the end made me think of Danteís giddy paradise, which given the high level of sex and violence in these books, is saying something.

By all means, pick up the first in the series, the end is worthy of the journey.

The Game by Laurie King

Description: Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes head to India for some adventure and another chapter in the Great Game.

Itís really amazing how King gets across the sensuality of having someone brush your hair, without actually having anything happen.

Not really one of the heaviest books in the series, but the discussion of the Great Game, the Victorian Cold War, as played between Britain and Russia from the perspective of the 1920s was interesting. There was this sense of a world where really big changes are just about to happen, but we arenít there yet. Ghandi struggles. India seethes. Lenin has just died. And in Britain, the conservative party is out and the socialist party is in. How then, Mycroft?

 Anyway, fun romp with only marginal injuries.



 

 
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