It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.
I have no comparison to make with any other re-telling or the source material, so, taking this at face-value:
This is an entertaining set of tales about the creation of the world and its eventual destruction and some things that happen in between. The best of the tales are the comedic ones where Loki is both the author of and the solution for some troublesome eventuality. It was good to finally read some of these Norse myths and it makes me keener to read the source material, the prose and poetic Eddas.
Rather than a single narrative, the Monk's Tale is a collection of short biographies of famous people whose lives all end tragically. So far we've had Lucifer, Adam and Sampson.
So this is amusing:
Title Page: No Thanks
Next Page: To [list of 14 publishers who rejected the manuscript]
Celtic culture was very aware of the dangers of getting on the wrong side of a bard...
The Wanderer: reminiscent of Shelley's much more pithy (and modern) Ozymandias. On the other hand, Ozymandias isn't evocative of a long-past warrior society on the cusp between paganism and Christianity.
Well, the dwarfs (aka dark elves) are really highly skilled and the mountain giants can build really high and strong and fast. And Loki has really alarming children...
The Spanish Tragedy, Thomas Kyd
This play gets mentioned in the Introductions to numerous later plays because it is considered the first Revenge Tragedy of the era's drama - and, let's face it, the Elisabethan-Jacobean era was the Golden Age of English Drama. So when people talk about Titus Andronicus or Hamlet or Webster's Duchess of Malfi or The White Devil, this play tends to get discussed, too. That being so, I desired to read it specifically even more than I just generally want to explore the work of Shakespeare's (near) contemporaries.
All those scholars are not wrong; this play springs numerous of the themes and tropes of Revenge Tragedy on its audiences, fully formed. It clearly influenced Hamlet and MacBeth directly in terms of plot and character points as well as being the archetype of a new genre. The surprising thing was just how good it is. Particularly early on, the descriptive aspects of the writing are really good (though Shakespeare did it better, later). The depth of character isn't on a par with Shakespeare, either, but still, this play deserves to be read and performed on its own merits. Well done, Oxford Drama, for making it readily available.
A fairy story for the modern era, with a princess who is "not the type that needs rescuing" off on a Quest to restore a Prince that's been turned in to a frog and save herself and her older sister (who does need rescuing) from their evil stepstepfather, Duke Rikard. It's fun, funny and plays with the tropes of fairy stories and fantasy whilst providing an adventure where the protagonist is smart but inexperienced and isn't automatically excellent at everythng or even anything practical, really, because she's been living a privileged, sheltered life in a castle full of servants. Which leads me to the other subtext (besides the obvious feminist one): this book wears it's moral/social/political views on its sleeve.; poverty generated for the betterment of a ruling minority is bad and everybody should be equal under the law - which should provide for a fair trial.
A contrasting tone when compared to other Nix books (more openly humourous) and probably the best book he's written since Lirael/Abhorsen. Hints of possible further adventures to come for the Frogkisser were pleasantly received.
Trouble with Bubbles: What is the link between humanity's creative and destructive urges? Also a precursor to "we're just living in a computer simulation" ideas.