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The Bookish Owl – Maskerade by Terry Pratchett

Maskerade by Terry Pratchett

Here we go with Maskerade by Terry Pratchett.

Artemis is home at the moment, but still quite unwell. But don’t worry, I’m still working through my backlog of owl photos, so he’s not being forced to do any posing. You’ll get the whole story as soon as I’m able to take my vet off speed-dial, but you can always follow my running commentary on Twitter. Apparently I get real chatty when I pretend I’m not worrying.

I hope you’re getting a lot of reading done and not going too crazy from social distancing.

I also hope you don’t have to give an owl antibiotics every day.

If you’re in need of more books to read, and would like to know what happens when you take Phantom of the Opera and add grumpy old witches, ‘Maskerade’ might be for you. It’s another Discworld book with Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg, but it also have the added pleasure of Agnes Nitt/Perdita. It’s full of crazy, but then again, so are the news these days.


Maskerade
by Terry Pratchett

THE SHOW MUST GO ON, AS MURDER, MUSIC AND MAYHEM RUN RIOT IN THE NIGHT…

The Opera House, Ankh-Morpork…a huge, rambling building, where innocent young sopranos are lured to their destiny by a strangely-familiar eveil mastermind in a hideously-deformed evening dress…

At least, he hopes so. But Granny Weatherwax, Discworld’s most famous witch, is in the audience. And she doesn’t hold with that sort of thing.

So there’s going to be trouble (but nevertheless a good evenin’s entertainment with murders you can really hum…)


Maskerade by Terry Pratchett

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Get Books, Not Corona

Corona Books

Books Corona png

If there was ever a time to barricade yourself in your house with enough book to fill a library… it is now.

I think most of us had a “Oh shit, this is actually real, isn’t it?” moment last week with regards to the Corona pandemic. Until then, I hadn’t really thought much of it except to wash my hands a bit more thoroughly, but when the Prime Minister of Denmark held a press conference Wednesday night saying all schools and non-essential public workplaces would be shut down for two weeks starting Monday, I did start to pay attention.

I did not, however, rush down to supermarket to hoard toilet paper.

Perhaps because I’m a natural hoarder and had just bought three packs the day before, but still…

All kidding aside, I think everyone who starts panic-buying far more stuff than they need and empties the shelves for everybody else should be kicked somewhere it hurts. Repeatedly. I had really thought Danes were more sensible than to do such things, but apparently I was wrong. Somebody even broke into the Corona ward at a hospital and stole large amounts of hand sanitizer and face masks.

Seriously?!

While I do take the threat seriously and follow all the advice the government sends out in order to slow down the spread of the virus, I do think my countrymen need to calm down and remember that Denmark went into lockdown to prevent the situation from getting out of control, not because it already is. And rushing into overcrowded grocery stores is most definitely not the way to stay safe…

I know the situation around the world is far more serious than where I live, not only because of more people having caught the virus, but also because many people risk losing their jobs because the companies they work at bleed money, or not being able to pay rent because they don’t get paid while quarantined.

Personally I’m very privileged in that regard. Not only can I work from home, I would also still get paid if I got sick. That’s a common thing in Denmark, but I know most people around the world aren’t as lucky.

The only way I have really gotten hit by the crisis is that my trip to Poland got cancelled. I was supposed to go to Witcher School again next week, but the organizers cancelled the event just hours before Poland chose to close their borders. I’m bummed that I’m not going, but cancelling was the only sensible thing to do.

But currently both the news and social media are filled with doom and gloom, so I will look on the bright side now. And the bright side is:

Books.

Having to stay in, not seeing friends or going to concerts or to the cinema, sucks and most of us are probably already going stir-crazy. But the good thing is that it’s the perfect excuse to make a nest of blankets and read as many books as you possibly can while pretending the world isn’t going a little crazy.

Hopefully everyone have a huge TBR pile to get through. If not, we live in the kind of wonderful world where you won’t have to leave your home to get new supplies of books. And you don’t even have to rely on a working mail service with ebooks and audiobooks.

So really: Wash your hands, stop obsessing over the news, and go read some books.

Stay safe!

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The Bookish Owl – Alanna by Tamora Pierce

Alanna by Tamora Pierce

Here’s Alanna by Tamora Pierce.

Artemis is currently hospitalized with an infected talon, but I got a backlog of these book owl photos and writing blog posts helps distract me from worrying about possibly becoming the owner of a one-legged owl tomorrow (for once I’m not exaggerating – it might actually be that bad).

A friend recommended this book to me, since she thought I would enjoy a book about girl who disguises herself as a boy in order to become a knight.

I did.

It’s a short and entertaining read with likable characters and a simple story, and that’s something I think the high fantasy genre needs a bit more of. It doesn’t all have to be huge sagas with enough storylines to make your head spin (though I do like those as well).

The full title is ‘Alanna: The First Adventure’, so you can probably guess it’s part of a series, in this case the Song of Lioness Quartet.

I think more people should write four-book series. Quartet is a great word and ‘trilogy’ has had a good run.


Alanna
by Tamora Pierce

“From now on I’m Alan of Trebond, the younger twin. I’ll be a knight.”

In a time when girls are forbidden to be warriors, Alanna of Trebond wants nothing more than to be a knight of the realm of Tortall. So she finds a way to switch places with her twin brother, Thom. Disguised as a boy, Alanna begins her training as a page at the palace of King Roald. But the road to knighthood, as she discovers, is not an easy one. Alanna must master weapons, combat, and magic, as well as polite behavior, her temper, and even her own heart.

Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna’s first adventure begins—one that will lead to the fulfillment of her dreams and make her a legend in the land.


Alanna by Tamora Pierce

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Broken Melody – Excerpt (Chapter 17)

Excerpt Book

Selissa had found a lot of bodies in her life; often butchered in grotesque ways, giving evidence of the monster or maniac who had taken their life. As she kneeled down next to Lieutenant Jathae, she was struck by how rarely she saw someone killed by a single clean cut across the throat. This wasn’t the work of someone who thrived on hatred and cruelty, but the dispassionate efficiency of someone simply getting rid of a problem.

Selissa would almost have prefered a monster.

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The Bookish Owl – Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett

Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett

Next up is Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett.

This Discworld book is about asshole elves and a royal wedding, but I reread it for Granny Weatherwax and Archchancellor Ridcully reminiscing about their past romance (I ship those two so hard), Nanny Ogg being Nanny Ogg, and Magrat suddenly becoming super badass and killing elves left and right and scaring the shit out of poor Shawn.

There’s also a falconer that I feel a certain sympathy for. He’s called Hodgesaargh, which is not his name, but it’s how he introduces himself because all his birds try to rip his face off. He’s the kind of falconer I’ll end up being if I ever upgrade to something bigger than Artemis.

Speaking of Artemis, he’s looking especially handsome and dramatic in today’s photo. We took it on a bright sunny day, so I’m not sure how he managed to look like someone watching a sunset, but I’m starting to believe he might have some magic powers over cameras. It’s the same way he always stays photogenic, even when he’s molting and looks like a plucked turkey in reality.


Lords and Ladies
by Terry Pratchett

The fairies are back – but this time they don’t just want your teeth.

It’s Midsummer Night – no time for dreaming. Because sometimes, when there’s more than one reality at play, too much dreaming can make the walls between them come tumbling down. And there’s usually a damned good reason for there being walls between them in the first place – to keep things out. Things who want to make mischief and play havoc with the natural order.

Granny Weatherwax and her tiny coven are up against real elves. And even in a world of dwarfs, wizards, trolls, Morris dancers and the odd orang-utan, this is going to cause real trouble. With lots of hey-nonny-nonny and blood all over the place.


Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett