I LOVED this book! It's a masterful concoction of espionage and the supernatural, set towards the end of World War II (which should make Vin happy, except I'm never lending it to him, 'cause he takes forever to read anything). Spiced with liberal doses of the Arabian Nights and Hebraic mythology, and a sprinkling of Rudyard Kipling, it manages to be both excitingly and intelligently written. Powers even pulls off the neat trick of stirring in a truly daunting heap of exposition while never once diluting the narrative flavor. The characters are solidly drawn, the pace is expertly maintained, and a couple of the plot twists managed to surprise even me, jaded mythology nerd that I am.
What's not to love? It was so good, it even made my list of The Five Books I Would Save If They Were Going To Burn Everything Else.
The Five Books I Would Save If They Were Going To Burn Everything Else
(in no particular order)
1. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (which is a single novel, not a trilogy; ask any Tolkien scholar)
2. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
3. The Moor's Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie
4. The Lions of al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay
5. Declare by Tim Powers
Upon inspection of this list, it would seem I particularly enjoy books titled 'the blank of blank'. I used to have some other titles on this list (Yup, this is the kind of thing I actually ponder periodically!), but since they have spun into multi-book series, they no longer qualify under my single-book rule.
I woulda saved G.G. Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude too, but Dean is going to save that anyway, and besides, it doesn't start with the word 'the'.
Not the book by Katherine Neville (although I enjoyed that one when it came out way back in my college days), but the years that Dean and I have been married. It was our anniversary last Monday, and he spoiled me silly with dinner at Chateau 1771 (If you haven't tried their coffee pie, you should.), gorgeous white lilies (my favorite flower), and a tri-gold bracelet that I am still gloating over two days later. You know you really love a piece of jewelry when you find yourself gesticulating madly in conversation just to show it off.
Most of the time I don't even realize that eight years of almost entirely happy marriage is a rare thing nowadays. (And even our unhappinesses have always been caused by something external, not a problem between us.) Probably it helps that I adore my husband, and consider him the smartest, sweetest, silliest, sexiest man on the planet.
And no doubt it helps that he will forgive me nearly anything, even embarrassing him half to death as I have right now. Love you, Husband!