The Great Book Sort, Part 4

August 28, 2022 at 12:09 pm (book reviews)

This coming Saturday, the Castle of Kindness Refugee Sponsorship Group has our big annual fundraiser, an Open Garden event at 67 Vagabond Cr McKellar (Canberra), on Saturday September 3rd from 10am-4pm featuring stalls, food, music, contests, plants to buy, and so much more.

So I’m going to try and keep this entry brief.


T. Kingfisher (who writes as Ursula K Vernon when she’s writing for kids) is a gift to this world. She has strong inclinations towards writing horror, but she writes with such incredible warmth that devouring her books is worth my newfound fear of the sound tock… tock…. TOCK (from her book “The Twisted Ones”).

Here’s a quick screenshot from “Summer in Orcas”, which is probably the least scary of all her books.

This author is just amazing, with a wide range of styles. I’m so glad she exists.


Tamsyn Muir, “Gideon the Ninth” etc.

A lot of people, including my partner, really really love this book. It’s well-written, fascinating, and unique. Probably a bit too dark and/or nihilistic for me.


Ursula Vernon, “Black Dogs”

I just really, really didn’t like it. I found it childish. Which seems like an odd insult to a children’s book, but I write children’s books myself that are highly enjoyable for adults to read. So here we are. Even the glorious Kingfisher doesn’t always write what I like. And in fact, “Summer in Orcas” reads like that kind of stunning, ageless fantasy to me. It even has a child protagonist.

But what do I know?



  1. Neil@kallaroo said,

    Glad Part 4 turned up, I was starting to wonder. My favourite Kingfisher is A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking. Not spooky at all. I must check out the two you suggest. Thanks.

    • Felicity Banks said,

      That was the first book of hers I read. But I see you’ve forgotten all the skeletal horses. Or were they NOT spooky?

      • Neil@kallaroo said,

        Yeah, they were spooky. But in a nice way!

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