Category: Religion

May 24 2020

The Fourth Crusade by Jonathan Phillips

The Fourth Crusade

Where Jonathan Riley-Smith provided an overview of crusading as a movement over many centuries, Jonathan Phillips looks closely at one particular crusade, with an eye toward answering the question of why an expedition intended to take Jerusalem and other sites in the Holy Land wound up instead besieging, conquering and sacking Constantinople. Apparently this was …

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May 16 2020

The Crusades by Jonathan Riley-Smith

The Crusades by Jonathan Riley-Smith

How could I resist a book that took my alma mater‘s motto as its epigraph? Of course I couldn’t, all the more so because I wanted to read something about knights and journeys and castles, and none of the fantasy that was close at hand was as immediately appealing. The version of Riley-Smith’s book that …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/05/16/the-crusades-by-jonathan-riley-smith/

Mar 19 2020

A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

What a lot of fatuous nonsense. First of all, let’s talk about the marketing for this novel. It’s being touted as the story of a Muslim Indian-American family and sure yes, but also it’s a very specific brand of Muslim, a conservative Shi’ah that’s as bizarre to me, raised a mainstream Sunni Muslim, as the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/03/19/a-place-for-us-by-fatima-farheen-mirza/

Dec 16 2019

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie

One of the problems with the classics is that their motivations can seem so far removed from our everyday lives. Even if the works can stand alone on their artistic merits, there’s often a lot of phobic nonsense distracting to modern-day readers who don’t have the privilege of merely ignoring such in our day-to-day: must …

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Dec 08 2019

Seven Surrenders by Ada Palmer

Seven Surrenders

Of the predecessor to Seven Surrenders, Too Like the Lightning, I wrote that Palmer directly tackles the problem of how different far-future humans will be from present-day people. As Mycroft Canner, her unreliable narrator, says near that book’s beginning, “You will criticize me, reader, for writing in a style six hundred years removed from the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/12/08/seven-surrenders-by-ada-palmer/

May 27 2019

Hoisted from comments: Father Boyd

Father Neil's Monkeyshines

Imagine my surprise! “Hi, Doug, I don’t comment on my own books usually. But this is Eastertide. Bless Me, Father (5 books and 3 TV series) was a best-seller in its day, the 1970s. I didn’t expect is to be selling as many copies in 2019. And thousands watch the TV series on Youtube each …

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May 02 2019

The Kingdom of Copper (The Daevabad Trilogy #2) by S.A. Chakraborty

God, this is one of those books that you know, logically, you should wait to read till the entire series comes out but you can’t help yourself, it’s so freaking good! The main problem with not waiting is that this is a densely populated, highly political series, so it’s easy to lose track of characters …

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Feb 11 2019

Wheel of the Infinite by Martha Wells

Martha Wells has recently received a lot of attention for her Murderbot novellas (Doreen’s reviews of the first three are here, here, and here), but she has been publishing fantasy and science fiction novels since the early 1990s, snagging a Nebula nomination for The Death of the Necromancer in 1998. Wheel of the Infinite, her …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/02/11/wheel-of-the-infinite-by-martha-wells/

Dec 17 2018

The House of Government by Yuri Slezkine

The first half of The House of Government located the Bolshevik party within a specifically Russian tradition of millennarianism. Revolutionary socialism would redeem the world, starting with Russia, and usher in a new era, a time of plenty, a time of the perfectibility of humanity. The second half of the book details what life is …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/12/17/the-house-of-government-by-yuri-slezkine-2/

Dec 16 2018

Night of Stone by Catherine Merridale

Night of Stone is a book for deep and dark December, and an amazing work of history. Carrying the subtitle “Death and Memory in Russia,” it focuses on the twentieth century, when there was more than enough of the first, and the second existed under the particular pressures of the Bolshevik revolution and Soviet governance. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/12/16/night-of-stone-by-catherine-merridale-2/