Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Traitor to the Blood and Rebel Fay

These two books are the 4th and 5th in the "Noble Dead" series. If you enjoy epic fantasy you would, in my opnion, enjoy these books.

They continue the journey of Magiere ( a vampire killer, a dhampir,) Leesil (a half elf,) Wynn (a sage who invited herself along on the journey,) and Chap (fay in dog form who can communicate through Wynn.) Traitor to the blood is not a stand-alone novel, although you could probably understand it well enough.The main characters spent most of their time hiding secrets and feelings from each other. I didn't like this about the story. This book tells of Leesil's origin, where we find out his past history and how his mother trained him to be an assassin. They are being tracked by Magerie's half brother and another vampire from the previous books. They never set eye on these two.

In this book Leesil returns home to investigate the fate of the parents he betrayed when he ran away from his life as an enslaved assassin for Lord Darmouth. In Darmouth's city, Leesil goes to his father's friend, the innkeeper Byrd. While they are seeking the fate of his parents Lord Darmouth learns of Magerie and calls on her to take care of a vampire problem that has popped up. Through heardships and death they learn of his parents fate and the plot is set for the next novel.

In Rebel Fay Chap takes on a larger roll. They continue their search for Leesil's imprisoned elven mother, Nien'a, into the Elven Territories. They are not welcome there, especially by the leader, Most Aged Father. Again through fighting and a trial they end Leesil's quest successfuly and the end of the novel finds them off on the orignal quest, Magerie's hunt forthe mysterious orb that her half brother (Welstiel) wants. This boook contains throughout a parallel adventure, the quest of Welstiel and Chane to find the orb that will free them from need to hunt and take blood.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Devil in the White City

library book
The Devil in the White City is a dual biography of Daniel Hudson Burnham, the architect who was the prime mover in creating the 1893 World's Fair and detailing the trials of that endeavor. It also tells the story of Dr. H.H. Holmes, (the American equivalent of Jack the Ripper) a charismatic and diabolical psychopath who operated his own house of horrors in a hotel he built not far from the fairgrounds. Their lives never came together, but they operated at the same time, and the good Dr. used the Fair to lure victims to his “hotel”.
From this book you get a sense of the harsh life in 19th Century Chicago. You learn about the development of the first skyscrapers and how they over came the mushy ground there, and you meet many colorful characters of the time such as Susan B. Anthony and Buffalo Bill. You may be surprised at the things we take for granted today that were introduced there or created for it, like Cracker Jacks and the Ferris Wheel. The author describes the Holmes murders and the lengthy, far reaching investigation that brought Holmes to justice. The narrative goes back and forth between the two story lines giving you a sense of the time line of the events.
I found this true story to be very interesting.
true crime, historical crime, World's Fair