A Cruel Man Delighting in Flowers

...the mildness to which men ... had yielded was only half of the intoxication of beauty, while the other half ... was of such surpassing and terrible cruelty—the most cruel of men delights himself with a flower—that beauty ... failed quickly of its effect... 

Hermann BrochThe Death of Virgil


Jeremy Davies is made of ink, but don’t dip a feather in him. It tickles. He once painted a fingernail black and no one really noticed. He was disappointed. He’s also an editor, a religious atheist, a liker of strong coffees, a Shakespeare-lover, a political anarchist and someone who rarely has a pen when he needs one. He has been a PhD candidate, a personal trainer, a life model, a bouncer, an infantry soldier and someone who rarely had a pen when he needed one. He has had words published in a variety of places, in a variety of publications, in a variety of forms, in a variety of moments: Canada, Wet Ink, SMS and twelve minutes past three in the afternoon being some of these. His first novel, 'Missing Presumed Undead', will be re-published by Satalyte Publishing in February 2014. A second is on its way.

The Blade Itself - Joe Abercrombie For a start, I love a title based on an evocative epigraph...

Abercrombie really impressed me with this entry book for his series. There's a whole range of classic heroic fantasy plot sets here, but with interesting character-based tweaks and solid third person-particular narrative focus. It's the characters driving the story, which is something I almost always prefer in the genre.

But, in particular, it's the character of Glokta that elevates the story above so many others. Here is one of the great heroic fantasy creations, sort of fusing together a bizarre mix of Richard the third, Torquemada, Alceste and Philip Marlowe, and adding more.

At some points, the breaking of cliches become cliche, but these are minor quibbles compared to the sheer enjoyment of rolling along with the story. Shall be reading more.

Currently reading

Lyrical and Critical Essays
Albert Camus
The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages
Harold Bloom
The Rebel (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)
Albert Camus