Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Recommended Posts

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.  

 

But that's a different issue.  Back to the book.  Another great thing is that it's not all incredibly serious.  There are some laugh-out-loud lines and many strong chuckles in the book.  

 

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).  

 

If you are interested in this type of story, I would highly recommend it.  But if you haven't read The Rook, do so first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the review, Binker! Sounds like something I'd enjoy!

Re: Bechdel Test-does a conversation with no romantic implications in which a male human is mentioned result in a flunking of the Bechdel Test?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Infuriatingly this doesn't come out in paperback until January and I don't have a Kindle! 

 

I'm glad to hear that it stands up well to The Rook, looking forward to reading it - eventually.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Viccie, some of the reviews on amazon gripe that it's not as good as The Rook, but I think it would be hard to replicate the feeling of discovering a new land that readers have with The Rook.  I really liked it.

 

Dan, if the only discussion between the women is about a man, then it fails.  The point is not to criticize love stories, although I'm always willing to do that, but to point out that women are only present as a foil for the main character, who is a man.  It's a much bigger problem in movies than in most books, although fantasy books are common offenders.  Think of LoTR (which I love).  There's Galadriel and Eowyn in the books, but they never encounter each other.  In the movie, they attempted to solve the problem of insufficient female characters by introducing a love interest for Aragorn (which I found nauseating), but the movie still fails the Bechdel Test because none of them ever have a conversation with another women, much less one that doesn't involve a man. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Binker, I'd never heard of this Test and I guess I had never noticed the lack of conversations between females. However, just recently in some police stories, mostly UK ones, the Detective Inspector or the Detective Chief Inspector is female and has a close female friend but not one in which there is a relationship between them except friendship and the plot doesn't rely on a male problem solver. We don't go to the movies, just get DVD's of something we hear of that interests us. Will have to be more aware of the Bechdel Test in my reading.

 

Not on topic but does anyone besides me get a bit ticked off with the interpretive text function on IPads. Sometimes the substitution is funny and other times just darned annoying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not on topic but does anyone besides me get a bit ticked off with the interpretive text function on IPads. Sometimes the substitution is funny and other times just darned annoying.

 

I do

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was given a Kobo for Christmas and this was the first book I bought.  What a good end to the year!  I absolutely loved this and don't really have anything to add to what Binker has already said.  OK, it doesn't pack the punch of surprise that The Rook did, that's inevitable, but the charecterisation is terrific, the plotting great, and yes it's funny right down to the last line..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have made a note of The Rook, hadn't read it and on reading the review of Stiletto it sounds as though I should read The Rook first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had a look at the review of Rook and realized it was Fantasy and Myth so will give it a miss likewise Stiletto but thanks for your review of The Rook Binker, must have been still half asleep when I read it as the fantasy indication was there, hope you enjoy your Kobo Viccie.

Edited by momac

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By Viccie
      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.
×