I suppose Daughter of Mystery
, by Heather Rose Jones, could have been more precisely targeted to my reading tastes. All Jones would have had to change is... um... well...
See, Daughter of Mystery
is (1) a Ruritanian romance
(2) about two women, one of whom is (3) a swordswoman with mysterious antecedents who generally wears men's clothing and the other of whom is (4) an heiress who is bored by balls and would prefer to attend university. These women are never happier than when they are (5) in an archival library, closely analyzing minute differences in (6) rituals requesting intercession from Christian saints. Oh, yes, and they (7) fall in love, slowly and subtly, although it takes them nearly three hundred pages to admit it.
What I'm saying is that it's theoretically possible to match more of my interests than that in a single novel, but I've never seen it done and I don't expect to any time soon. I mean, if it were only a Ruritanian romance with lesbians, dayenu
I found the book quite well-executed. I expect that some readers might get bored during lengthy (although plot-necessary) explorations of saints' rituals, but I was delighted. (See above; this book was written for me.) My only complaint is that the copy editor isn't quite generous enough with commas, but I stopped noticing absent commas once I fell into the world.
If you like Ellen Kushner's Privilege of the Sword
or Caroline Stevermer's A College of Magics
, or if you think Georgette Heyer novels would be better with lesbians, Daughter of Mystery
is a book for you. It's certainly a book for me--just the thing for a long holiday weekend spent with the future in-laws.
Finally, I am happy to note that the sequel
(link contains spoilers for Daughter of Mystery
) is due out in two weeks. Time to preorder, I think.