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The Haunting of Hill House
Shirley Jackson, Laura Miller
The Mirror Empire
Kameron Hurley
The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire (Audio)
Jack Weatherford

Devlin's Justice

Devlin's Justice - Patricia Bray I find this series difficult to classify. On the one hand, it's your basic fluff fantasy. The worldbuilding is straight out of Tough Guide to Fantasyland, the characters are either Good or Evil (or occasionally just Cowardly, I guess), the plot is a straightforward quest to save the realm.

On the other hand . . . the main character may be Good, but he's not exactly Nice. There's a bit where he kills the goons of the Big Bad, and then turns to consider the unconscious villain himself, and we have a chapter break. And I think, oh, dear, it's the old trope where the minions aren't really people, but killing the antagonist would make you Just Like Him, so you have to learn to show mercy.

Then we get back to the main character, after a chapter away, and it turns out he's tortured the villain to death in revenge, in the process learning all his Dark Magic secrets, some of which he later uses. The torture is off-screen, of course (this isn't that kind of book), but . . . I don't know. The combination of a gritty main character with a black-and-white, coloring book outline sort of world clashes. Sometimes it clashes a lot.

I might read some of Bray's later stuff, because there are flashes of interesting things here, even if the backdrop is so bland. Maybe she kept improving. But it's not high priority in the queue.