mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli

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Mercator Astral Projection. (21)

The Celestial Globe by Marie Rutkoski.

Gandalf found Glamdring
in the troll mound. What did Dee
find at Sutton Hoo?

I may be biased; I'll happily admit that! Not only is the author my friend-- & really, she's tops-- but I also was a big (if inarticulate) fan of the first one. See, Celestial Globe is book two of the Kronos Chronicles. & sure, if we're talking about conflict of interests, I do work for the people who publish it, but gosh! Just look at it. Deckle edges, first off, make me swoon. Yes, I realize that they are a little disingenuous, but then aren't so many aesthetic choices? The cover art is very nice in its-- I want to say art deco, but the stylization isn't quite, since it lacks the sleekness. Clock deco? & the physical cover of the book has a little spider (Astrophil!) embossed into it. Really, before you even crack a page, it is a gorgeous package. The meat, the text, is lovely as well, Marie-- normally I refer to author's by surname but here I get to be familiar!-- is in solid form. The history a-kilter world she posits, her magical Europe, is in full effect. In fact, in short order Marie ups the ante pretty much across the board. The story nestles Petra (our hero) in the bosom of John Dee, mixing it up with Walshingham & the poets Kit & William. Yes, just so. Neal & Tomik are off meanwhile on a much more nautical jaunt. Add in archeological digs & further Shakesperean nods (frankly, I was relieved there was no "Globe" pun) & you are off to a rollicking start. There were a few moments you want to shake Petra & Neel-- "just shut up & listen!"-- but you aren't alone in thinking it-- even-headed Tomik & keen-eyed student of human nature Kit are there to point out how insufferable they can be. There are tweaks in the writing-- Marie's characterization of wind, or why Neel & Tomik don't get cut in the final scene-- that you can only call crafty, since they are both cunning & a subtle execution of craft.
Tags: books, haiku, kronos, rutkoski

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