Sunday, July 16, 2023

Reviewing the Mail: Week of July 15, 2023

So I seem to have, without doing it deliberately, changed the title of these occasional Sunday "hey! I got some new books!" posts from Reviewing the Mail to Incoming Books, which were previously separate things that I could probably explain if I had enough time and motivation.

I've now changed it back, and plan to stay Reviewing the Mail...until I forget again, or do something else. Hey: it's an imperfect system, man.

This week I have three books - two that I just bought myself, and one that came in the mail. As usual, the one in the mail gets priority and will come first.

Enlightened is a graphic novel by Sachi Ediriweera that retells the life of Prince Siddhartha, coming from  Atheneum Books for Young Readers on September 26th. Ediriweera is a Sri Lankan cartoonist and filmmaker - his previous graphic novel was Lionborn. And Siddhartha is the guy later and better known as the Gautama Buddha. This is subtitled "a fictionalized tale" which may just mean that Siddhartha's story is more myth than history, or may mean Ediriweera is making some changes of his own in this version. I suppose we will see!

Tsalmoth is the sixteenth book in the Vlad Taltos series by Steven Brust, which I've been reading with great pleasure since sometime in the mid-80s. (It started with Jhereg in 1983; I may have read that before the second book, Yendi, came out a year later.) I'm surprised to see that the most recent book in the series was Vallista, five years ago; I've also posted here about the novels Hawk, Tiassa, Iorich, Jhegaala, and Dzur. This is fantasy, of the far-future variety, where it may all be SF really far down under everything if the author ever gave those details, which he will not. Brust seems to have picked up the pace and be aiming for the end of this series - he famously said it would be nineteen books, one for each of the Great Houses of the aristocratic society of this world, plus two more, and this is number sixteen - so it will be interesting to see if that affects the book at all. Brust is an inventive and voice-driven writer; these books have been all quite different from each other and - aside from background details and a certain inevitable amount of backstory - they mostly each stand alone.

And last is Ralph Azham: You Can't Stop a River, the third of four volumes collecting the epic fantasy BD series by Lewis Trondheim. See my posts on the first two books, Black Are the Stars and The Land of the Blue Demons, for more details, but this series is set in a world much like the Donjon series which Trondheim co-writes.

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