books

T. Kingfisher aka Ursula Vernon

Books

The Saint of Steel: Paladin’s Grace (2020)

Digger, Swordheart (2018), A Wizard’s Guide To Defensive Baking (2020)

 

Swordheart (2018)


Swordheart

Halla is a housekeeper who has suddenly inherited her great-uncle’s estate… and, unfortunately, his relatives. Sarkis is an immortal swordsman trapped in a prison of enchanted steel. When Halla draws the sword that imprisons him, Sarkis finds himself attempting to defend his new wielder.

“Begin asking unexpected questions until everyone in the conversation starts doubting their senses. It’s a talent. Like some strange form of diplomacy that goes so far in the wrong direction that it comes out the other side.”

One of the grimmer realizations of Sarkis’s youth had been the discovery that knowing you were being an ass did not actually stop you from continuing to be an ass.

Publisher : Red Wombat Studio
Rating: 8/10

 

The Saint of Steel

 

Paladin’s Grace (2020)

Paladin's GraceStephen was a paladin for the Saint of Steel until that god died, and all his paladins went mad.

The remaining seven paladins now serve the Rat, in gratitude for taking them in and giving them some purpose.

The Rat’s priests fixed things that could be fixed, and when things were broken past all mending, they helped people pick up the pieces.

But their god is still dead, and the berserker tide is still within them.

Grace is a perfume. She arrived in the city with nothing, and built up a business, and now she has been requested to create a perfume for the visiting prince.

Leather, metal, gingerbread. Soap. Warm skin. It had been a good scent. And there was just no way to reproduce it. You couldn’t distill skin.

Well, maybe you could, but the authorities would frown on it.

First and foremost, I adore Stephen.

He wished that he could break out his knitting, but for some reason, people didn’t take you seriously as a warrior when you were knitting. He’d never figured out why. Making socks required four or five double-ended bone needles.

Stephen and all the other paladins.

“Istvhan, you ever kill someone with an ice swan?” he whispered.

“I clubbed someone unconscious with a frozen goose once. That’s similar?”

The Bishop suffered a mysterious coughing fit.

“No, you had to use the goose as a bludgeon, didn’t you? For the swan, I figure you’d snap the head off and try to stab with the neck.”

“Hmmm…” Istvhan eyed the ice sculpture speculatively. “It’s pretty big. And not well balanced.”

“I figure you’d have to go two-handed with it.”

“I think I’d grab one of the candelabras instead. Some of those are nice and heavy.”

“Far too unwieldy. I could take you apart with the ice swan while you were still trying to get the candelabra off the ground.”

How could I not love that?

I adored the world building: the paladins, Beartongue the bishop, the perfumery, and the paladins.

Stephen sighed and took refuge in ritual. “Shrive me, brother, for my heart is heavy.”

There is a romance here, between Grace and Stephen, but I found that the least interesting part of the story.

I definitely wanted more time with the paladins. And Beartongue. And Zale, solicitor-sacrosanct from the Temple of the Rat.

Publisher : Red Wombat Studio
Rating: 8.5/10


A Wizard’s Guide To Defensive Baking (2020)

A Wizards Guide To Defensive BakingMona isn’t an impressive wizard. Her power is is with baked goods, which is very specific, and (as far as she can tell) not much good unless you’re a baker. Which she is.

But someone is killing wizards, and it seems like Mona isn’t quite as minor as she thinks she is.

She is, as I said, wizard that controls baked goods.

Bob popped several bubbles, which is his version of an enthusiastic greeting. Bob is my sourdough starter.

He’s the first big magic I ever really did, and I didn’t know what I was doing, so I overdid it.

You’re feeling really dry, I suggested to the bread. Really stale. Hard as a rock. Usually I have to be touching something in order to make it do anything really impressive, but for just going stale, as long as I can see it, I can work with it. It wants to go stale. Bread is very accommodating that way.

I have no idea what I thought this story was going to be, but it wasn’t at all what I was expecting.

Which is perfectly fine, because it was a fun story.

Generally you have to be careful when you add water and flour to a sourdough starter, to make sure that you’ve got the right proportions and all, but in Bob’s case, it was easy. I stuck both hands into the soup tureen and tried to convince him that what the world needed was a whole lot more Bob. As this coincided with what Bob himself had always believed, pretty soon I had commandeered a horse trough and had footmen dumping fifty pound sacks of flour into it.

Although this isn’t quite a kid’s book, it would definitely be fine for older kids. It’s just a little dark, and there are some themes that younger kids might not get. But there’s nothing in it not ok for kids.

Publisher : Red Wombat Studio
Rating: 7.5/10