cornerofmadness (cornerofmadness) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

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Books 24-25

Chronicles of the Last Liturian: Book 1 - The Diary of Oliver LeeChronicles of the Last Liturian: Book 1 - The Diary of Oliver Lee by Kenneth Rogers Jr.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I got this book from the author at Rathacon. It has an interesting premise, a young boy has stumbled upon a used book store that the members of his family know vaguely but have never been in. They're not even sure if it's open in their small town but that it's been there for a long time. He's been working up his nerve to go inside for a while.

Once there he's given the titular diary of Oliver Lee. The boy begins to read the diary and it has an interesting set up. Oliver has become a figure of legend, something people have taken to calling a Liturian. He possesses the ability to write people's stories. They come to him in dreams (waking or sleeping) and once the story is out of him, Oliver tried to find the people to give them their stories. The ones in the diary are the ones he couldn't give back.

The rest of the book are these stories. To be honest there is a feel that these were stories the author had written and didn't know what else to do with them and came up with this frame work for them which is kind of a cool idea. There doesn't seem to be much of a thematic thread to them but most of them are about life and our choices. That said I'm also not a giant fan of contemporary fiction which is what these are.

Still it was an enjoyable short book.

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Who Slays the Wicked (Sebastian St. Cyr, #14)Who Slays the Wicked by C.S. Harris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is one of those series I just love. Harris rarely disappoints with these characters. It would have gotten five stars except for a few things that bugged me. I'm really hoping this doesn't fall into the same trap Perry's books did (for me it's a problem, maybe not for you) where more and more of the politics of the times start working in. Certainly Hero's father (Sebastian's so-not-biggest fan) is cousin to the King so there will be some of it. Last book was a bit too political for me. This one was much less so but there is some of it but it wasn't overbearing, having to do with the Russians trying to keep an Anglo-Dutch alliance from happening and of course Napoleon and the war. The other thing that bothered me was a lot of repetition (I'll get into that as I go).

Ashworth, the villain of the past book, is now dead, leaving Sebastian's young niece, Stephanie as a potential killer in spite of being in another of Ashworth's estates with their newborn twins. Ashworth was a sadist who loved gambling and sleeping with as many women as possible, from the high born to street whores the younger the better. He and his friends had been killing children for fun in previous books but were politically untouchable.

No one is sad to see Ashworth dead, except maybe his father and his friend Felix Page. Stephanie was glad to see him dead and Sebastian even more happy about it with the exception of the fact that Stephanie is a very good suspect especially when rumors about her and the twins come to light. It is for her sake that he investigates at all.

So many people want Ashworth dead, Sebastian has his hands full, especially when the Russian princesses, including one who also likes BDSM games (not that they were called that in those days) are linked to Ashworth both sexually and with the political games they are playing. More bodies begin piling up and the King wants this solved because Ashworth is high born (and again all the politics involved).

I always enjoy Sebastian and Hero (who spends the novel investigating the poorest of the poor, the night soil men, the pure finder and rag and bone men which helps Sebastian with clues from people no one even notices). I did get tired of every chapter him worrying that he couldn't clear Stephanie, so much repetition there. Other than that, I truly enjoyed it and can't wait to dive into the next book.

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Tags: historical mysteries, magical realism

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