cornerofmadness (cornerofmadness) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

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Book 37 & 38

Blyd and PearceBlyd and Pearce by Kim Fielding

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's always a joy to get a fantasy LGBT story because there aren't as many of them as I'd like. The world building in this one is very good. Daveth Blyd's world is a dark and grimy one. He's a Lowler, one of the city's many poor and the city of Tangye is a rough one. He was a city guard once but framed for a crime, he was lucky that his life was spared (thanks to a friend and some times lover high up in the guard) and now he works to find people and things.

To that end he's hired by a royal to find a singer Jory Pearce who has stolen from him. He's paid a high price for this and Blyd is happy to have so much for what should have been an easy job. However, he is immediately captivated by Jory's musical talent and instead of just turning him over - knowing Jory will be hanged - he talks to him and learns Jory's story.

Jory is a cast off from an important family after being caught with a relatively poor boy (it's the relatively poor that seems to be the problem, not his sexuality) Naively choosing love, Jory ends up singing and whoring for his supper. He claims to be innocent of the crime of which he's accused and that strikes a nerve with Blyd.

Together, they try to unravel the whys and wherefors of the accusations against Jory and all of the murders and attempted assassinations of the titular couple in this world of corruption and magic. What they uncover could spell death for them and the Crown Prince but will they live long enough to save him or should they just cut and run?

I enjoyed this though there were some slow spots and I'm still a bit conflicted by the end. It certainly fits their world, don't get me wrong. I guess I was merely hoping for something different.

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By Fire Above (Signal Airship, #2)By Fire Above by Robyn Bennis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Let me start this review off with saying there are some series where you can pop into it anywhere and catch up easily. This is not sort of series. If you haven't read The Guns Above you will be lost picking this up (but that's okay, book one is fantastic).

Honestly, it was a bit slow to start. We get to see the crew of the Mistral recovering from the vicious battle last book and that was interesting to see. It gives Ensign Kemper some life of her own, firming up her character nicely. What slowed up the beginning for me was the ship getting the crap kicked out of it in a storm which seems to have one purpose to badly damage Bernat's leg (which is important the rest of the book which maybe would have been better done in battle but wonders if it hadn't because the first was written without immediate plans for a series....)

From there Josette, Bernat and the crew are finally in Bernat's territory: the Royals. Josette is the darling of the Royal set being dragged from party to party with Bernat and his older brother, Roland as her guides. She manages to finagle permission to try and take back Durum from the Vins and thereby saving her hometown and her mother (Bernat's current lover).

Once we set sail for Durum the book picks up the momentum of the first (but that's over a third of the way into the book). Once there, Josette and Bernat along with Jutes are fighting for their lives in the streets of Durum aiding the rebellion against the Vins (while fighting with her mom) as Kemper and the rest of the crew do their part on a still badly repaired Mistral while hampered by an officer trying to make a name for himself at all costs which could be the lives of all aboard.

There are some good twists and lots of action once we get to Durum. Josette and Bernat snark is worth the price of admission alone. I love these two. That said, I was less thrilled with Josette and Roland as it seemed a little forced (or maybe I'm falling back into hardcore shipper ways and Roland isn't for me). I'm looking forward to what happens next.

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Tags: fantasy, glbt, steampunk

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