And don’t even talk to me about car hire companies… suffice to say, my French language skills got more of a workout that I’d expected from one week. Just wanted to mention Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Blood of the Mantis which was one of the books I read out there. Exactly more of the same as part 2 of the series, which is a bloody good thing in my book. It’s complicated (but not overly so) and carries a number of disparate threads through the book with great assurance. It’s fast becoming my favourite of current fantasy series – high quality and massively readable so if you haven’t got into his series, I’d suggest you do so. As with the Twilight Reign, the first novel does perhaps look very much like one, but it’s still good and he only gets better from there.
On the down side, I also read Stone’s Fall – the new Iain Pears novel. Now I’m willing to forgive the incredibly dull Dream of Scipio because Instance of the Fingerpost was one of the finest books I’ve ever read, but I have to say I was a bit disappointed. The vast majority of the book was detailed, intelligent and enjoyable… the ending; bad, unnecessary and all the more irritating because the rest was very good and he is capable of brilliant, startling endings.