Read Recently–February 2007–Time and Traitors

Through Time: an unauthorised and unofficial history of Doctor Who by Andrew Cartmel

Cartmel was a script editor on Doctor Who, during the Sylvester McCoy years. This book is, consequently, as much a look at the politics of the BBCs decisions as it is a review of the show itself. In fact, Cartmel chooses only to look at a few shows per season (or, as the Brits call it, series), analysing what makes them work, or not. The book feels curiously inconclusive as a result, though Cartmel is nothing if not opinionated. Anyway, it’s an interesting read, with a different point of view than normal. Recommended for fans.

Traitor to the Blood: a novel of the Noble Dead by Barb and J.C. Hendee

The series started with Dhampir continues here, growing ever more complex as it goes. Now Magiere and Leesil, half-vampire and half-elf, turn from investigating her past to his. Before he met Magiere, Leesil was an assassin for a northern warlord, who held his parents as hostages. One night he broke and fled, and now his conscience requires him to return and either rescue or avenge his parents, if he can. Along with them go Chap, the faerie hound who was Leesil’s childhood companion and now seeks to return him to his elfin kin, and Wynn, the human scholar who believes that Magiere and Leesil will lead her to greater knowledge. Also with them, though unknown to them, are Welstiel, the vampire sorceror who hopes to use Magiere to open a great secret, and Chane, the vampire warrior and would-be scholar who loves Wynn and hates Magiere. And who Magiere thinks is dead (again).

If you’re thinking its starting to sound a little more like an episode of Dark Shadows than an adventure tale, I’m inclined to agree with you, though it’s not without its battles. This time it includes human and elf politics, elf assassins and shapre-changing gypsies, and the tense question of whether Leesil will kill his old master, or save him. The biggest problem with it is that it’s not so much series anymore as serial, and that means it can be next to impossible to follow along if you haven’t been there from the start (and, indeed, sometimes even if you have. The gap between books makes it difficult to know where things are beginning, anymore.

Anyway, it’s still fun, and I still recommend it, but cautiously and only for people who have already read the earlier books.


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