And again, Martin does it. There is something amazing about his books that just completely draws me in. For such an intimidating sized book, this is ridiculously impossible to put down. I get why this is such a well-loved series. There is something completely unforgettable and intriguing about his words. Something that I know many of the other long-style fantasy books I read are kind of lacking. Not many draw me in like this.
I knew that this was going to be an amazing story. A beautiful, iconic superhero who is also a little grey and a seriously sexy, kick ass chick. One of my favourite authors. And a greatly descriptive novel. I knew it would be phenomenal and brilliant. Yet, I still didn’t quite expect how fantastic this would actually be. How flawless. How amazing. How completely, totally and utterly unforgettable.
This is one of those very fun, quick and easy reads. One that you can sit down and spend half hour, hour on and enjoy it. Without having to think too deeply about what you are reading and just genuinely enjoy the journey. It’s a nice journey and one that I found was a pleasant way to spend the afternoon, between reading textbooks and trying to cram other information into my poor brain.
I was laughing out loud throughout this entire short story. In fact, even a day later, when I’m writing this review, I’m still giggling. And smiling. It was just a great, humorous and fun short story. One that was funny and light. And kind of impossible to put down. Partly because of the subject matter. And partly because it was just funny.
It’s been a little while since I picked up a Valdemar book. Mostly because as much as I love them, they are often pretty heart wrenching. There is always some kind of abuse or emotional turmoil that just doesn’t seem to be as prominent in many of the other fantasy books that I read. So I honestly need to make sure that I’m in a good headspace whenever I pick up one of these novels… which I was when I picked up The Black Gryphon. And boy am I glad. It was enjoyable, fun and an absolutely great read. Even if there was still that signature Lackey tragedy that made the enjoyment a little less… joyful.
This story seriously made me think about a Discworld novel. I THINK it was Mort. The personification of death, his presence in a young man’s life and just the general humour which comes with such a story. Alright, it also painted death as somewhat cruel and petty. But mostly, I really enjoyed the light humour which wove it’s way through this short story.
I first read this book when I was a lot younger. And it’s been a long time since I’ve had the pleasure of picking it up. But now that I have… wow. It’s just as good as I remember. I picked up so many new nuances and moments throughout. And, having had the pleasure of actually talking to the author for an interview once, I can also see a bit more of her personality through the pages. All of which I found exceedingly pleasurable and wonderful. Fun and still impossible to put down, even if I did know exactly what was going to happen…
This short story is about an interview. Which at the beginning I honestly found a little bit odd. I’ve read stories in interview format, diaries, dialogue, etc. But never a story that is a story about an interview. And then it leaves so many aspects of that interview out. It all makes it a wee bit confusing. But, ultimately, I actually understood why at the conclusion and found this style seriously enjoyable.
I think that everyone has that person in their past that somehow haunts them. Whether it is the what if person, the one you let get away, or just generally someone that you reminisce about the good times, even though they ended. I am also a strong believer in the idea that once that person has left your left, it’s probably for a good reason and you really don’t need to revisit that relationship. This story just drove home that belief for me.
Starting this story, I was really intrigued to find out where the “bitter draught” was going to come from. I was honestly expecting something that dealt with prejudice or the difficulties in realising that you are LGBTQI+. But, it wasn’t that at all. Like the first few short stories in this collection, the fact that Simeon was gay wasn’t even dealt with in any way expect to say that he had a significant other who was also male. I love this acceptance and simplicity in the writing. What I wasn’t sure on though was what the “bitter draught” would then end up being…