I adore Eric Alan Westfall’s highly entertaining style of writing and his sense of humor, which runs throughout his stories. The Cooking Mage & The Parchment Prankster is an epic fantasy full of magick and intrigue. The first paragraph from the blurb:
If the “foreseen four”—prince, mouse, saint, dancing—happen together it might wreck a twenty-year plot worth billions, and the future is so fogged-up the Seers can’t See a date and place. Just 1890.
I love how the “to do” list on the covers of the three parts changes from book to book! Part One is a fantastic story, and I’ll be moving on to Part Two (and eventually to Part Three) after taking a gander through a few of the shorter stories on my TBR!
Treadmill ~ Sun., 11-Sept. > Sat., 17-Sept.
That’s a screen shot of my Apple watch workouts that were recorded while on the treadmill.
My goal is to read while walking on the treadmill for at least one 30-minute mile per day.
I hit that goal this week while reading The Cooking Mage & The Parchment Prince. It’s a long book, so I’ve done plenty of off-treadmill reading, too!
There’s a bit of an ensemble cast of characters, but “The Cooking Mage” is Georg, a crown prince (aka the “prince” on the foreseen four list), and “The Parchment Prankster” is David, the youngest son of a duke (aka, the “mouse” on the “foreseen four” list).
Here is a selection of snippets to highlight the author’s lovely writing and showcase a few of the characters!
Neither of these two characters is “the cooking mage” or “the parchment prankster,” but they are important characters (spies/assassins) in the ensemble, and this highlights them wonderfully.
“You are a bastard,” Wilfrid Belden-Smythe said in an accent suitable for the highest echelons of the Ton. It wasn’t his real name, nor was he British.
“I know,” Paolo Alighieri replied, with the fluency of the aristocracy in Rome. It wasn’t his real name, nor was he Italian. He stood up.
This is Georg, who is a crown prince (the“prince” mentioned as one of the “foreseen four”) who also happens to be “the cooking mage.”
No one in the Palace, or the Kingdom, perhaps in all the world, could believe he got along well with the bitch. Who was sometimes referred to as his mother, though only with the least frequency as he could manage. More often known as Her Majesty the Fucking Queen.
Very well. If asked, but only if asked, he would admit to adding the adjective to her title. But some credit should be given for not adding the adjective where anyone could hear him.
This is from our introduction to David, nicknamed “Lord Mouse” (the “mouse” portion of the “foreseen four”) who is the youngest son of a Duke, and a bit of a “parchment prankster.”
“Well…yes.” David—the aforesaid Lord Mouse—made no effort to hide his pride in the spying. After all, who paid attention to a wee, sleeket, tim’rous beastie unless it was right there, nibbling on your toes or something else in plain sight? David never nibbled—toes or anything else—in plain sight.
More from Georg (Theo is a younger brother).
The seating arrangement created two sides, Georg on one, everyone else on the other. The non-Georg side had a certain judgmental rigidity in their postures. Theo didn’t have the experience to be good being judgmental, nor hiding his glee, whether at what was about to happen, if the Queen told him, or being allowed to be present at all, or both.
This is Georg speaking to one of his guards (LOL):
Gustav shifted his weight, a shoulder lifting enough to hint if he were younger and in a classroom, he might have raised a hand to ask permission to speak.
“Gustav, if you’re shifting your feet because you need to piss or shit, either walk away and do it, or you tell me, ‘Georg, gotta piss,’ or ‘gotta shit,’ and then you go do it. If you’re trying to decide how to ask permission to speak, there are only two rules to follow from now on. If we’re private, you speak up, even if you’re interrupting the highest-ranking asshole in the vicinity. In public, you…ah, perhaps cough discreetly, louder when you cannot get my ever this-way-and-that, fluttering, princely attention, perhaps with an ‘If I may, Your Highness,’ thrown in. So, pissing, shitting, or a question?”
I started out with this being a Sunday thing, but sometimes I’d rather not mash multiple books into a single post, so now, you never know when you might see one of these posts.
Rather than give a true “review,” which I’m not entirely comfortable doing as an author myself, I share snippets from books I’ve read and enjoyed, letting the authors’ words speak for themselves.
As you’ve possibly noticed, if you’ve been following along, I highlight snippets for reasons of my own which might veer from what is often seen. Sometimes my highlights have more to do with a paragraph simply impressing the heck out of me for its fabulous writerly technique, other times it has to do with the lovely way it gives subtle insight into the story/characters. Still other times simply because it made me laugh.
Anyway, I sometimes add a little commentary, but not always, which is not in any way, shape, or form, to be taken as unwritten commentary. Most likely it just means I’m short on time and/or my brain doesn’t feel like putting out the effort in that particular moment.
Also, I’m going to try to spread the book love by tacking on covers of more books at the end of the post that I’ve either recently read, am currently reading, or want to read. Not seeing a full post with snippets for any of these books is not a commentary on anything other than how much time I have available in a day either to read or to create a post about what I’ve read. It might also mean I listened to the audiobook only or that it’s a reread that I’ve featured previously.