The Books of September 2016: A FLAW IN THE BLOOD and BALLAD

This September I read two books. Yeah. Just two.

I have to say returning to a school year schedule took some adjusting and so, many nights instead of going to bed and reading a chapter or two before lights out, I went to bed and went to sleep.

That said, the fact that I did not race breathlessly through the two novels I read is no indication of my enjoyment of them.

So, here goes–the books of September!

A Flaw in the BloodA Flaw in the Blood
by Stephanie Barron

Stephanie Barron has long been a favorite author of mine. I love, love, love her Jane Austen mystery novels. While A Flaw in the Blood involves a slightly different time period and a new array of characters (Queen Victoria, for one), it does not disappoint.

Set in the days and weeks shortly after Prince Albert, Victoria’s consort, dies, it kicks off a race to uncover a perilous secret sending the protagonists, Patrick Fitzgerald and his ward, Georgianna Armistead, a female physician, across the whole of Europe, with men who will stop at nothing to kill them hot on their trail. It is an excellent thrill ride.

by Maggie Stiefvater

This is the second book of Stiefvater’s duology A GATHERING OF FAERIE, the first, Lament, I read last spring. While both are excellent YA fantasy novels, I think I enjoyed Ballad, even more than Lament.

As the story opens, James Morgan, along with his friend Dierdre, the protagonist of Lament, begin school at Thornking-Ash Academy, a boarding/high school for the musically gifted. Both are still deeply shaken from the concluding events of Lament. James, whose love for Deidre remains unreturned, finds himself pursued by a faerie muse. Together they make “beautiful music,” but all is not well.

As Halloween draws near, the faerie court dances in the hills around the academy, Cernunnos, lord of the dead, haunts the valley in which the school is set, and danger hangs in the air like wood smoke.

I did have to read the last third of the novel in a mad dash. It is gripping and haunting. A great autumn read.

How About You?

Have you read any good books lately? Please use the comment space to tell us a bit about them.