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Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Broken Angels
Richard K. Morgan
Progress: 56/468 pages
Introduction to Topology
Bert Mendelson
Progress: 10/224 pages
Basics of Plasma Astrophysics
Claudio Chiuderi, Marco Velli
Progress: 58/250 pages
Ursula K. Le Guin: The Complete Orsinia: Malafrena / Stories and Songs (The Library of America)
Brian Attebery, Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 454/700 pages
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
Complete Poems, 1904-1962
E.E. Cummings
Progress: 166/1102 pages
The Complete Plays and Poems
E.D. Pendry, J.C. Maxwell, Christopher Marlowe
She Stoops to Conquer and Other Comedies (Oxford World's Classics)
Henry Fielding, David Garrick, Oliver Goldsmith
Progress: 164/448 pages
Gravitation (Physics Series)
Kip Thorne;Kip S. Thorne;Charles W. Misner;John Archibald Wheeler;John Wheeler
Progress: 48/1215 pages
I Am a Cat
Graeme Wilson, Aiko Ito, Sōseki Natsume
Progress: 410/638 pages
Corbenic - Catherine Fisher

Catherine Fisher has a catalogue of fantasy fiction that explores Greek, Egyptian, Norse and Celtic mythology in just the half dozen or so volumes I've read, so it comes as no surprise to find that Corbenic turns out to be her contribution to Arthurian fantasy. The Grail Quest is tackled in a way reminiscent of The Owl Service's approach to the story of Blodauwedd: A teenager escaping from a life of poverty and early responsibility, looking after her alcoholic and possibly psychotic mother, finds himself getting off the train to freedom at the wrong station, Corbenic.

The next day, after a night of visions, he returns to his familiar Wales, but finds it impossible to just ignore his time in a place he cannot find on a map - and is drawn reluctantly into a quest to heal himself and the Waste Land.

Another high quality work from Fisher, though not perhaps at her absolute best, has added resonance for me as it is set in Wales, with a brief interlude in Bath - places I love and know well. The train journey from Bangor to Newport is also familiar to me and I can assure the less familiar reader that there is no Corbenic Station on the line.