This is almost two books in one; there's a whodunnit tale to rival Brother Cadfael's most confusing endeavours and there's what amounts to a Platonic discussion of medieval theology. The two parts entwine, however, and both serve to shed darkness upon the other. It is a pleasant read, made more easy to digest by the way that the different paced sections excite different parts of the mind (although some people might complain that the theological digressions detract them from what they perceive as the "main plot").
This particular volume, though, holds memories as well as tales and rhetoric. Inscribed on the first page is the surname of a friend and the words "Armidale Feb 99". In some ways I have to consider it on semi-permanent loan – it was one of a large number of books that she abandoned when returning to the antipodes after a year in England and with MethSoc. I don't know what eventually happened to the others, I believe her instruction was that those that noöne wished to claim should go to Oxfam or something similar.
28. McCaffery, Todd and Anne Dragon's Kin
29. McCaffery, Todd Dragonsblood
I'm in two minds about these. Todd appears to be able to write better than Anne has been able to manage in recent years; but I'm rather uncertain about the effects that these volumes have on the continuity of the PERN universe. In some ways he's in the position that many fanfic authors would love to be in; taking over the "mainstream" from the original author. But unlike the best fanfic authors he appears to be missing the armies of nitpickers who will insist that he has a credible way of ensuring that his stories fit the canon. Whilst I can explain the inconsistencies away, I'd rather not have to – it's a pity really.
30. Goodkind, Terry Chainfire
This book was a "buy two get one free" style deal with my book club, and I've never read anything in its background before. Read as a standalone book it works remarkably well, telling two stories at once – the one that's happening "now" and one that happened in its past. And read like that it is very good.
Unfortunately I discover that it's the ninth book of the series (or something like); and I bet that the background story here is told in the first books. Oh, well.