I know I'm behind on my Canadian reviews, and I want to do another Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday, but on Tuesday two books came out that I've been waiting forever for, so I had to drop everything and read them! (So I may as well get a blog post out of them.)
Captain Vorpatril's Alliance is book 14 of Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan series (more accurately, Vorkosiverse, since not all of them star a Vorkosigan. Like this one, for example.) I've raved about Bujold already, so I'll just say that if you've read the other books you won't be disappointed in this one. But if you haven't read any don't start with this one--a lot of the humor and enjoyment comes from in-jokes and from finding out more about characters we already care about. Oh, Ivan! Have to say, the climax scene was incredibly funny.
Days of Blood and Starlight is the insanely amazing sequel to Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and I can't begin to say enough about this author or this series. Except, Aauuuggghhh! It's a trilogy! (At least it wasn't as horrifically cliffhanger an ending as the first one was.) This book is brutal and bloody* and bleak, but it's so, so beautiful**. Morocco this time, and an abandoned kasbah. And lots more of Eretz. Seriously evil angels. Painfully good monsters. (And scary monsters and good angels, and conflicted both.) The first book was about love. This one is about war, vengeance, retribution. But Karou still means hope. Laini Taylor is a craftswoman of consummate skill, and her stories are both exquisitely written and grippingly page-turning. (Sigh. I will never, ever write as well as she does.) If you loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone you won't be disappointed in this one, though you may wish she hadn't taken it to such a dark place. Just be aware that it's much more violent than the first book. (Think Hunger Games and Chaos Walking, and it's a bit worse.)
There are a few other sequels coming up to sabotage my attempts to be productive. Jim Butcher's latest Harry Dresden book is due on Nov 27: I'm eagerly awaiting what Dresden will do as the Winter Knight in service to Mab. I already have Orson Scott Card's Ruins, the sequel to Pathfinder, on my iPod, but I have to reread Pathfinder first, so I'm saving them both for a long plane trip I'm taking in a few weeks. And I have Terry Pratchett's latest, which I don't think is a Discworld novel, so doesn't count as a sequel, but I've been looking forward to it as well.
*Literally, in my case: I sliced my finger while chopping vegetables (a fairly regular occurrance, since we have sharp knives and I'm a klutz), and some blood was leaking out of the bandage, and I kept forgetting and putting that finger on the page. So there are authentic bloodstains in various places in my book.
**I really thought I'd gotten over that alliteration virus, sorry.