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The Rook

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A woman come to, soaking wet in a London park, surrounded by dead bodies wearing latex gloves.  And she has no idea of who she is or what happened...


So starts The Rook which is one of the best urban fantasies I've read for a long time.  The basic premise isn't that unusual, secret enclave of people endowed with special powers are entrusted with keeping the kingdom safe and there's a traitor in the midst but its the writing that sets it apart. This is a very good page turner, it moves on at a cracking pace,the characterisation is good and it's funny too.  Not laugh out loud funny but quietly humourous.  There are also thoroughly enjoyable references to other classic fantasy and non-fantasy; for example 'The Estate' where the empowered children are taught what to do is on Kirren Island and an accountant makes a note wondering why so much money is being spent on keeping a watch on a two door Victorian wardrobe in a spare room in a house in the country.


Highly recommended.

Edited by Viccie

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I've just started this and it's wonderful! The perfect antidote to a sad week. I will post mre when I finish.

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I just finished this book this weekend and enjoyed it tremendously.  I would never have read it but for Viccie's recommendation, so thank you very much Viccie.  

I think one of my favorite aspects is that Myfawny (sp?) is originally such a milquetoast and then turns into such a kick-ass, all while being the same person in the same body.  It does make you think about nature versus nurture--if she hadn't had that terrible start, I'm sure she would have been more like what she was like once she no longer suffered under the burden of those memories.



I hear there's a sequel.  I'm looking forward to reading it.

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    • By Binker
      I very much enjoyed The Rook when it came out a couple of years ago (and I wouldn't have read it but for Viccie).  I ordered it on my tablet and waited to read it until I was on vacation, which was very disciplined of me and highly inconsistent with my personality.  
      In this book, Myfanwy Thomas is brokering a deal to merge two covert supernatural organizations:  her own Checquy and its more-or-less equivalent from the continent, the Grafters.  But someone doesn't want it to happen and begins staging significant attacks on the organization.  Predictably, the two long-term enemies begin blaming each other and contemplating not going forward with the merger.  Myfanwy enlists two young women--one from each organization--to help her stop the carnage and complete the merger.  
      One great thing about this book is that there are 3 central female characters who are all well-written, have different personalities, and have believable interactions that are unconnected to a man.  So it REALLY passes the Bechdel Test.  Usually applied to movies (which almost always fail it--books are better), a form of entertainment only passes the Bechdel Test if there are 2 named female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man.  it's shocking how few movies pass.  
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      And finally, the history between the two parties makes it clear that the mutual suspicion and hatred were appropriate and the plot rumbles along nicely and convincingly (once you accept the supernatural element, of course).  
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