Zoe Archer - Blades of the Rose
So I got all four of these books in a bundle for…I dunno, $10, maybe? (If you’ve got yourself a Kindle, they’re on sale for $8.84). I’d already read Warrior and Scoundrel, but I’d borrowed them and wanted copies for myself.
Umm..yeah, so that was an entire paragraph dedicated to why I bought the bundle. It’s interesting, dammit!
So I read all four in order, one right after the other. And after that I rested, because reading Zoe Archer adventure books is like being on the adventure with the characters, and I was exhausted.
Things that I liked about the books, that everyone else also likes, so there’s no need to expand:
- historical settings other than England (like far north Canada! That was cool!)
- honest-to-god strong heroines who fight and say bad words and are as valued and capable as the heroes - sometimes more so, depending on skill sets
- character diversity - four couples: 4 English, 1 English raised in Mongolia, 1 English descended from slaves (so Black), 1 Irish-American, 1 Native Canadian
- Bennett. Everyone loves Bennett, and so do I. He’s all scoundrel-y and stuff. But just so darned nice about it! A nice scoundrel! Be still my beating heart!
- Magic and riddles and problem solving
- Adventure! With fights and guns and battles and magical enemies and long journeys and like a million different modes of travel (that excited me for some reason that it’s probably best not to get too far into). Real rollicking adventure.
Things that I really liked about the books that other people haven’t really mentioned:
- language. I consider myself relatively well-spoken. I’ve got two language-related degrees. I read a lot. But I was pulling out the dictionary (or making a concerted effort to figure it out contextually) to get at definitions. It was awesome and vibrant and intellectual and made me perversely proud to be reading them.
Things that, if I were in a nitpicky mood, I’d probably talk about, so in the interest of fair and balanced coverage, I’m putting them in:
- okay, so sometimes Catullus’s inventions were just the teensy-weensiest deus ex machina
- This is clearly not Zoe’s fault, but why does the guy on the cover of Stranger look like a white guy with a tan? He’s supposed to be Black?!?