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After a brief interlude to read Guards! Guards! and The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage* I was unable to resist starting on The Ringed Castle. I managed to race through all 600-plus pages in just over a week (despite pauses to cross-reference with Wikipedia and Google Earth) and finished it last night after having serious difficulty restraining myself from carrying on reading it when I was supposed to be working.

Spoilery thoughts )

*not actually all that thrilling, tbh, and disappointingly slight for such a thick book. I liked the initial cartoon about Ada Lovelace's life, but I felt that the "adventures" were mostly a bit silly.
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The thing I love most about the internet isn't the social aspect, it's the access to information. I am an insatiably curious person (which accounts for a great deal of my professional success; I generally know the answers to questions before they're asked, and if I don't I can find them out quickly because I have incredibly well-developed information gathering and processing skills, not to mention a substantial network of contacts at least one of whom might well know the answer) and being able to carry a device around with me which can quickly and easily access pretty much the entire sum of human knowledge is just amazing.

So I have had a delightful afternoon reading The Ringed Castle with my laptop in front of me looking up all the historical figures and places Dunnett mentions and following Lymond's travels on Google Maps. Though it does make the reading go a bit more slowly when I keep stopping every five minutes to consult the map and look at pictures of the place online. (And apart from the season, this picture of the river at Lampozhnya looks exactly as I imagined it from Dunnett's description. Skies that make the skies in East Anglia look like nothing at all. Wow.)
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Having just finished Pawn in Frankincense I am now flailing about incoherently. So many twists and turns and doublings-back of plot! So many things that seemed to so obviously be one thing, only to turn out to be something completely different!

OK, this was not my first Dorothy Dunnett so I wasn't exactly surprised. Just a bit breathtaken at the sheer extent of it.

Spoilers )

I did actually find a copy of the next book in the Oxfam bookshop yesterday lunchtime, but given the utter atrociousness of its cover I'm very glad I already have them all on Kindle...

Cut for dreadful picture )


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