It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.
This marks a return to form after the disappointing Clariel. It also marks a return to the story of Lirael, Remembrancer and Abhorsen-in-waiting, picking up during the events of the novella, The Creature in the Case. We also get a new protagonist in the form of Ferin, a girl from one of the far northern tribes, beyond the Old Kingdom's power. It's a ripping yarn and I gobbled it down.
For over 3/4 of the book I thought it was just setting up for a sequel, then, abruptly, I realised it was going to resolve the plot before it ended, meaning that the actual quest is rather rushed and the final victory felt too easy, given such a formidable opponent, but over-all I thought this was a lot of fun.
The technique of lost-wax casting of bronze was developed independently in Europe and Africa. Owning bronze statuettes was a status symbol as the technique was difficult and expensive.
Looks like there's not going to be any serious attempt to explain Noether's work, which is not readily accessible to anyone who isn't a very advanced student of abstract algebra - which I most definitely am not.
Can't believe this volume is going to be anything but set-up for at least one sequel, but gripping stuff, nevertheless.
Absolutely amazing Ndunga mask similar to the one shown on this page:
Scientifically very out of date, often unclear and self-condradictory. Frequently descends into religio-metaphysical mumbo-jumbo. The autobiographical part completely superficial.
This book takes no prisoners in terms of having read previous books in the series - much will be very unclear if you haven't. If you have - well, we're still following Anton Gorodetsky's career. His daughter is a teenager and constantly being watched - but that doesn't prevent an attempt on her life and suddenly the apocalypse is impending yet again, secrets and history must be revealed and a prophecy must be fulfilled, leading to a bitter-sweet and surprisingly affecting ending.
Colour isn't a physical thing; electromagnetic waves are. Taste isn't a physical thing, chemicals are. Sound isn't a physical thing; compressional waves in solids and fluids are. We don't have a physical theory of "sense impressions" but all our information about what is real comes from them. This is the central mystery of the mind-body problem re-stated. Schrodinger doesn't even attempt to solve this problem.
We see medieval religious art objects on permanent display in museums but they would not have been originally used that way; reliquaries would have been kept locked up, triptyches closed, except on special occasions. African masks would not be seen in public except when being worn, also in religious performances. African status objects and symbols of secular power would similarly only be seen on special occassions.
Revenger turns up with a skull - now, where have I seen that before?
Also, the first murder of the play.
The modern Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche can be seen here (or at least, part of it):
No, not everybody's (or at least my) favourite white wavy tower, but the facade on the left. But, yeah, that tower:
And some more Kirche/white tower views. The Kirche rather cleverly manages to swap sides!