Book Review | The Bird and the Sword

I don't think it is a coincidence that my post topics this week can be viewed as escapism. Music and books are both tools that can help us take a break from reality for awhile. I am not normally a fan of fantasy novels (unless they are about a certain boy wizard) but I am a fan of author Amy Harmon so I took a chance on her newest novel, The Bird and the Sword. I am so glad that I did.

Swallow, daughter, pull them in, those words that sit upon your lips. Lock them deep inside your soul, hide them ‘til they’ve time to grow. Close your mouth upon the power, curse not, cure not, ‘til the hour. You won’t speak and you won’t tell, you won’t call on heaven or hell. You will learn and you will thrive. Silence, daughter. Stay alive. 

The day my mother was killed, she told my father I wouldn’t speak again, and she told him if I died, he would die too. Then she predicted the king would sell his soul and lose his son to the sky. 
My father has a claim to the throne, and he is waiting in the shadows for all of my mother’s words to come to pass. He wants desperately to be king, and I just want to be free. 
But freedom will require escape, and I’m a prisoner of my mother’s curse and my father’s greed. I can’t speak or make a sound, and I can’t wield a sword or beguile a king. In a land purged of enchantment, love might be the only magic left, and who could ever love . . . a bird? 

The world that Harmon has created is so vivid and creative, I just fell into the story. It was departure from her other stories and I wondered how she would handle that. Beautifully, she handled it beautifully. This book has action, romance, humor, and a spunky heroine, who doesn't start out that way but becomes pretty kick-ass throughout the story. And you know how I like a kick-ass heroine.

This was a five basset hound read and a definite addition to my favorites. 


When you are done with this, read all of Harmon's work. Making Faces is sad and beautiful and perfect, and a book that I go back to and read again often. It will stay with you. 

For more of my favorite books, check out my Goodreads page.


Music to mend a broken heart | St. Paul and the Broken Bones

When I wrote my posts Monday and Tuesday, I didn't contemplate that the news out of Orlando could get any worse.

Then it did.

Having visited the Grand Floridian last year, I know exactly where that little boy was. And I can tell you with 100% certainty that the very last thing on my mind while we were there was being vigilant for alligators. Considering who you speak to, that is either perfectly understandable or dangerously naive. What I have found disheartening is that the response of people on the internet who are vilifying a family trapped in a horror movie come to life. Come on, humans. We are better than this.

Because I have desperately needed something pure and good this week, I have found myself listening to a lot of St. Paul and the Broken Bones, especially "All I Ever Wonder" from their upcoming sophomore album. These boys are local and they are tearing it up. I think they have a huge future ahead of them. 

Anything from their first album is golden, but "Call Me" is a personal fave:

I hope this might be a small respite for you from the sadness of the last several days.  


T4T | End of the Line

I was in my formative years when supergroups the Traveling Wilburys and the Highwaymen formed in the late eighties. Even as a young pipsqueak surrounded by eighties pop, I always gravitated towards the music of my parents. I still do. In light of the tragedy in Orlando, this song spoke to me this morning.

Interesting side note (because I love musical trivia): This song was recorded before Roy Orbison died in 1988 but the video was filmed afterwards, which is why there is a framed photo of Orbison and a shot of his guitar sitting in a rocking chair during his part.

End of the Line by the Traveling Wilburys
Well it's all right, riding around in the breeze
Well it's all right, if you live the life you please
Well it's all right, doing the best you can
Well it's all right, as long as you lend a hand

You can sit around and wait for the phone to ring (End of the Line)
Waiting for someone to tell you everything (End of the Line)
Sit around and wonder what tomorrow will bring (End of the Line)
Maybe a diamond ring

Well it's all right, even if they say you're wrong
Well it's all right, sometimes you gotta be strong
Well it's all right, as long as you got somewhere to lay
Well it's all right, everyday is Judgment Day

Maybe somewhere down the road aways (end of the line)
You'll think of me, wonder where I am these days (end of the line)
Maybe somewhere down the road when somebody plays (end of the line)
Purple haze

Well it's all right, even when push comes to shove
Well it's all right, if you got someone to love
Well it's all right, everything'll work out fine
Well it's all right, we're going to the end of the line

Don't have to be ashamed of the car I drive (end of the line)
I'm just glad to be here, happy to be alive (end of the line)
It don't matter if you're by my side (end of the line)
I'm satisfied

Well it's all right, even if you're old and grey
Well it's all right, you still got something to say
Well it's all right, remember to live and let live
Well it's all right, the best you can do is forgive

Well it's all right, riding around in the breeze
Well it's all right, if you live the life you please
Well it's all right, even if the sun don't shine
Well it's all right, we're going to the end of the line