Lenis and Missy are twins – and slaves. They’re working aboard the airship the Hiryu, which belongs to the Emperor. When the captain of the airship steals it out from under the Emperor’s nose, Lenis and Missy find themselves on a completely unexpected adventure.
And when Lenis starts getting messages from the Blue Dragon _ one of the last totems against the demons threatening to engulf everything _ begging him to save her daughter, the airship, the captain and crew and the twins find themselves on an entirely different kind of quest.
Quillblade is a readable YA steampunk novel, that doesn’t flinch or spare its targeted audience from the more unpleasant aspects of life. Having said that, it also has moments of transcendent joy, and Bestias, which may be my new favourite fictional characters after Phillip Pullman’s Daemons.
7/10 Someone else cooks dinner – yay
My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud’homme
I loved this so much. It’s basically a sort of meandering memoir of Julia Child and her husband Paul’s life in France during the 1950s.
In about 2004, Julia sat down with her nephew Alex to pull together many, many years of photos and correspondence to bring the book to life, and My Life in France is the rambling, charming, engaging result.
It describes, in the course of the book, the process of getting Julia’s seminal cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking published, and a thousand and one details of what can only be described as an extraordinary life.
9/10 So good, you'd take it to meet your Mum
Murder at the Laurels by Lesley Cookman
I found this an odd little crime novel. It’s the fourth in a series that I’m not familiar with, and references previous novels, so I was confused (although, of course, that confusion was on me), but I found the whole thing slightly … futile.
Libby Sarjeant is an artist, living in Steeple Martin. She gets caught up in the death of an elderly woman at a rest home, the aunt of a friend of hers.
For me, Murder at the Laurels sort of … meandered about. Libby and her friend Fran spend a lot of time dithering and waffling. And … they don’t really actually seem to solve the case. The police do.
I’m failing to see the point.
5/10 A very nice day