more Conspiring

Two more reviews came in recently:

Sophie Playle at Doctor Fantastique’s Show of Wonders says, “It captures the dualistic spirit of Victorian London and creates an alternative fantastical history that the reader grows to care about just as much, if not more, than the real world it shadows. The rounded characters and intricate plot create an absorbing story.”

Steve at Elitist Book Reviews says, “I love how believable her characters are. Everything in this setting is bleak, yet the characters never truly give up hope. They will go to any length to meet their diverse goals.”

And I also did an interview on Rachel Ann Hanley’s blog, about a whole variety of topics.

Enjoy your weekend!

0 Responses to “more Conspiring”

  1. mme_hardy

    Ooh, I missed the release date!

    ::off to Kindle store::

  2. elaine_th

    too much…?

    I don’t see where the too much religion comes from, from Sophie Playle. The effect of Christianity (and puzzle of the genie being a practicing Muslim) have been consistently handled. Did she complain about it in MNC, too? I mean having Deven’s Latin prayer practically destroy the throne room, not to mention the role of the angel were stronger religious effects (IMO) than healing Owen. Not to mention being two examples of the power of God/religion/Christianity, instead of just one.

    BTW, when you were researching Irish Catholicism, did you think to ask about the Mass? The one Eliza attends sounds way too modern in expectations and behavior. Details upon request here or privately. I don’t want to take over the combox nitpicking, when the overall book was very very good, and as soon as I have enough spare change (hopefully end of this month) I’ll buy my own.

    • Marie Brennan

      Re: too much…?

      I don’t know enough about the reviewer to be sure what she meant; my first thought was that she might (given the site) be commenting from the perspective of steampunk, which — based on my limited reading — tends to not include religion as a verifiable force. So it might be “too much” for a steampunk reader’s tastes? But that’s just speculation on my part. She hasn’t reviewed any other books in the series.

      As for the Mass, I’d have to dig out my notes to remember the relevant terms, but I did pinpoint the particular revision of Catholic liturgy they’d be operating under in 1884, and I tried to look for details specific to that iteration. The Catholic who checked such details for me isn’t a historian, though (actually, she’s an astrophysicist…), so errors may well hsve slipped through.

      • elaine_th

        Re: too much…?

        I don’t read much steam punk either. I read it from Blaylock before it became a genre, but mostly I look for good writers, and worry about the sub-genre later. I had a thought, though, about the complaint: It may be that the issue is that a religious ritual worked in ‘the real world’ as opposed to in the Onyx Court. That took it out of the fantastic and made it seem as if you were making the religion have real power.

        I’m not tSophie Playle, so I’m guessing, but this makes more sense to me than some other ideas.

        Seems to me, though, that the logic you used in the novel still applies: Catholic (most effective, Protestant somewhat less, as Michael saw) ritual works against faerie magic, wherever it is, the ‘real world’ or Faerie.

        As for the Mass – most people didn’t take Communion in that era- it hadn’t been a weekly habit for most lay & religious in centuries.

        Eventually, in 1905/6 the then Pope (Pius X, IIRC) started pushing for people to take it more frequently.

        Taking it without Confession would not have been done, according to my understanding. And certainly no wine. That’s a modern thing, it is only since the 1960s that some Catholic parishes do that.

        Not a professional, but read a lot and a practicing Catholic with a liking for history including religious history.

        Actually I blame Dan Brown. People kept telling me they’d learned so much from him, and I looked and said but that’s all wrong (starting with high art history memories, actually)….So I had to explain, and got into the habit of paying attention to Catholic history and ritual and things.

        I’d originally gulped down WFC, and am now rereading more slowly and savoring. It is beautifully constructed, and the awesomeness of the ending is .. AWESOME.

        It also occurs to me that finally Francis and Suspiria’s construction is such as would have lifted her curse.

        • Marie Brennan

          Re: too much…?

          The Catholic/Protestant divide never really came back in later, but I always thought Protestant forms would become more effective with time, as they became better-established in the cosmology, so to speak.

          I knew Communion wasn’t a weekly habit, but my understanding was that since so many Catholics (at least in late 19th century England) pretty much only came to church on Easter or the occasional other important day, they usually did take Communion then. Definitely Eliza shouldn’t have done it without confession first (which she admits), but Father Tooley — as evidenced by his behavior later — tends toward pragmatism, figuring it’s better for people to be a less-than-perfect Catholics than to give up on trying at all. (This was partly me working around any errors, I must admit. Easier to handwave a flexible priest than a dogmatic one.)

          I, er, didn’t know about the wine, though. <headdesk>

          Glad you enjoyed the book!

  3. d_c_m

    I downloaded the book to my Nook a few days ago and I am thoroughly loving it. I am not, however, trying to figure out the mystery or guess what happens next. I’ve read enough of your books to know I will NEVER get it so I am just so enjoying the ride. 🙂

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