Jargoon Pard

Norton, Andre. The Jargoon Pard. New York: Ballantine Books, 1974.

Reason read: to continue the series started in March in honor of Norton’s birth month.

The Jargoon Pard is the companion piece to Crystal Gryphon
and the prequel to The Year of the Unicorn.
A science fiction story with a fantasy twist. Kethan is the chosen one. From the moment of his birth he was destined to lead his family. With the help of a magic belt, his fate is solidified, despite the jealousies of an evil woman, his mother’s Wise Woman.
Full confession: I didn’t really get into The Jargoon Pard. To be honest, I didn’t get more than fifty pages before I called it quits. Fantasy and I just don’t like each other, I guess. A whole bunch of fantasy words were thrown around that essentially equated to mumbo jumbo. Arvon. The Seven Lords. The Four Clans: Redmantle, Goldmantle, Bluemantle, and Silvermantle. House of the Car Do Prawn. What? What the what? I have no idea. It’s the year of the Red Boar. The month of the Snowbird. Whatever that means.

Author fact: Andre Norton was a librarian in Cleveland, Ohio.

Book trivia: Even though The Jargoon Pard is part of the Witch World Series it has nothing to do with the first book.

Nancy said: nothing beyond mentioning The Jargoon Pard is part of the Witch series.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror (p 213).


Charmed

Roberts, Nora. Charmed. the Donovan Legacy Book Three New York: Harper Collins, 2011.

Reason read: to finish the series started in February in honor of Valentine’s Day. Confessional: Nancy Pearl just said to read The Donovan Legacy. She failed to mention there is not a single book with that title. It’s actually a set of three: Captivated, Entranced, and Charmed. There is even a different version of The Donovan Legacy with a fourth book, Enchanted. I read one book at a time each month since I am guessing that’s how they were originally published and I stopped with Charmed.

For those of you playing along at home, Charmed is the third book in the Donovan Legacy series. Three cousins, Morgana, Sebastian and Anastasia are all witches of Irish descent. With Morgana and Sebastian married off in Captivated and Entranced respectively, Ana is the last single cousin/witch. She is having the most trouble finding a mate due to her supernatural ability to feel empathy and heal broken whatevers. Enter Boone Sawyer, single (widower) dad and new neighbor. Conveniently enough, he writes fairy tales and has even corresponding with the Donovan matriarch in Ireland. He’s a big fan. Ana falls in love with his daughter and Boone falls in love with Ana. It’s a match made in heaven except Ana can’t tell Boone she really is a witch. She’s afraid he will act like the last guy and dump her cold. So she has cold feet. It takes an accident for them to break the impasse and live happily ever after. Hey, this is a Nora Roberts romance after all!

Book trivia: Like the other two in the Donovan Legacy series, there are some spicy sex scenes.

Nancy said: nothing because Charmed isn’t listed in Book Lust anywhere.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust though technically not. See above. From the chapter called “Romance Novels: Our Love is Here to Stay” (p 203) though technically not.


Library Week and the April Reads

Yes, it is now April 4th and I am just getting to this. April is slowly becoming one of those coulda, woulda months. I was supposed to run nine miles on Sunday. Instead, I had Easter dinner with the family and chilled out. I could have run on Monday but it snowed and I had Cairo. Coulda, shoulda, woulda, didn’t. April is supposed to he a half marathon (and you can see how well the training is going) and a 10k one week later. Here are the books:

Fiction:

  • Amber Beach by Elizabeth Lowell – in honor of Lowell’s birth month being in April.

Nonfiction:

  • Zeitoun by Dave Eggers – in honor of April being the month Louisiana was founded.
  • Bogey Man by George Plimpton – in honor of the PGA tour.
  • Corner by David Simon – in honor of Maryland becoming a state in April.
  • Evolution of Useful Things by Henry Petroski – in honor of April being Math, Science, and Technology month.

Series continuations:

  • Venus Throw by Steven Saylor – to continue the series started in March for Saylor’s birth month.
  • Charmed by Nora Roberts – to continue the series started in February for Valentine’s Day.

Poetry:

  • New and Collected Poetry by Czeslaw Milosz – to continue honoring Poetry Month
  • A Few Figs From Thistles by Edna St. Vincent Millay – see above.
  • “Wild Geese” by Edna St. Vincent Millay – see above.

If there is time:

  • To the Is-Land by Janet Frame – in honor of Anzac Day in New Zealand.
  • Jargoon Pard by Andre Norton (I had to request this one through interlibrary loan so I’m not sure it will be read in time to be in the April category.

Witch World

Norton, Andre. Witch World. Boston: Gregg Press, 1963.

Reason read: Andre Norton died in March. Read in her honor.

I always root for the underdog and in Witch World the heroes are misfits. Simon Tregarth is ex-military, a colonel who has been framed. He is on the run and needs to disappear quickly. Enter Dr. Jorge Petronius who knows exactly where to hide out hero…in the witch world of Estcarp. Petronius has a special stone he calls the Siege Perilous that can judge a man’s worth and then send him to the world best suited for his soul. Simon was sent to a medieval land where its inhabitants are at battle; perfect for a military man. The action picks up from there.

Confessional: I was a little taken aback by Sandra Miesel’s description of the enemy in her introduction. She called them “alien Nazis” (p xiv).

Quote I liked the best, “She was a bleached thing, grown in the dark, but a vitality within her was as strong as the supple blade a wise swordsman chooses over the heavier hacking weapon of the inexperienced” (p 67).

Author fact: Norton wrote her first novel before the age of 21 years old.

Book trivia: Witch World is the first book in the Witch World Series. There are at least nine other books in the Escarp portion of the series, but I am only reading the one. Fro the High Hallack Cycle I am reading The Jargoon Pard and from the Turning I am reading The Warding of Witch World. Are you confused yet? I could be.

Nancy said: Witch World is included in the list of “critically acclaimed fantasy” (p 215).

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the long chapter called “Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror” (p 213).


Marching Out

March was one of those weird months. A few Nor’Easters. A few miles run. A few books read. We had two school closings in back to back weeks so that helped with the reading, but not the run. I finished the St. Patrick’s Day Road Race just two minutes off my time last year. Considering I didn’t train (again) I’m alright with that. There’s always next year! Here are the books:

Fiction –

  • The Good Son by Michael Gruber
  • Roman Blood by Steven Saylor
  • White Man’s Grave by Richard Dooling
  • Witch World by Andre Norton
  • Cards of Identity by Nigel Dennis

Nonfiction –

  • All the Way Home by David Giffels
  • Slide Rule by Nevil Shute

Series Continuations –

  • Coast of Incense by Freya Stark – to finished the series started in honor of her birth month in January.
  • Entranced by Nora Roberts

Early Review for Librarything –

  • Oneiron by Laura Lindstedt (started)
  • Infinite Hope – Anthony Graves

Poetry –

  • New and Collected Poetry by Czeslaw Milosz (not finished)

Fun – I’m not finished with either fun book so I won’t list them here.


Roman Blood

Saylor, Stephen. Roman Blood.  New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1991.

Reason read: Saylor’s birth month is in March. Read in his honor.

It’s Rome in the year 80 B.C., and Gordianus the Finder has been summoned to the house of Cicero. Only twenty six years old, Cicero needs help defending a client in court. A wealthy farmer has been accused of patricide, the most heinous crime of Roman times. Cicero needs evidence to support his case and Gordianus is just the man to find it. Only, this is ancient Rome where slaves and masters practice deceit and betrayal on a daily basis. Who is telling the truth and who is behind the lies? As Gordianus’s investigation takes him closer and closer to dictator Sulla himself he knows he is in trouble. How far will he go to help Cicero uncover the truth? And is that truth worth uncovering?

As an aside, I want to know if Rome still has streets as described on page 23, “It was a street never touched by sun, never dried by its heat, or never purified by its light – filled with steam at high summer, coated with ice in winter, eternally damp.” I don’t know why, but that sounds magical.

Quotes to quote, “Romans love the strong man who can laugh at himself, and despise the weak man who cannot” (p 249), and “Some people are not at their best when roused from bed in the middle of the night” (p 268).

Author fact: taken from the book jacket, “Saylor’s fascination with ancient Rome began at the age of eight when he saw a censored print of Cleopatra at a drive-in theater theater…”

Book trivia: Roman Blood is Saylor’s first novel.

Nancy said: Nancy said Saylor writes “superior historical mysteries” (p 60).

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “The Classical World” (p 60). Pearl includes other Saylor mysteries: Venus Throw, Last Seen in Massilia and A Twist at the End but she doesn’t indicate Roman Blood and the next two are part of a mystery series. If she had, I am pretty sure she would have listed them in order as Roman Blood should be read before Venus Throw and A Twist at the End is not part of the Sub Rosa series.


Entranced

Roberts, Nora. Entranced: Donovan Legacy Book Two. New York: Silhouette, 2004.

Reason read: to continue the series started in honor of Valentine’s Day.

Mary Ellen “Mel” Sutherland is a no nonsense private investigator who is more comfortable in jeans and a tee shirt than high heels and a slinky dress. She runs three miles a day and prefers to be alone. Her tomboy ways don’t allow her to enjoy pink toenails or frilly outfits or even the searing looks from admiring men.
Sebastian Donovan just happens to be one of those admiring men. He is a wealthy psychic hired to help Mel find a missing child. Mel is less than thrilled to need the help of a kook she doesn’t believe in, but she has no choice. The missing child is her friend’s infant son, David. As you might have guessed, Sebastian is one of the Donovans, related to Morgana (from book one of the Donvan Legacy) as cousins. He is also a witch and, did I mention devastatingly handsome? Of course Mel cannot help but be drawn to him. It’s cliche, but she is annoyed with him until she isn’t.

Author fact: Nora Roberts has five different pseudonyms.

Book trivia: Morgana, Nash and even Luna the cat make an appearance in Entranced. Morgana and Nash are expecting their first child and throughout the entire story I worried their newborn would be stolen as part of the adoption scam.

Nancy said: absolutely nothing.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust not in the chapter called “Romance Novels: Our Love is Here to Stay” (p 207). I am super annoyed with The Donovan Legacy being the title of the book I was supposed to read. Here’s what I want to know: were the Donovan books published together as one book and then sold separately later? Or were the books published one at a time first and then sold as a package? Which came first, because that is what really matters to me. If I had more time I would research this further. My guess is the latter.