Rachel Griffin

A few months ago, Jagi Lamplighter Wright contacted me and asked me if I wanted to read her newest book for a blurb.

Since I’d known Jagi’s work and loved it since the Prospero’s Daughter books, I said “of course” but since I hadn’t read the first book, the Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin, I put off reading it for a while, then started the first one late one night and lost two nights and a day to reading the books.

So, how are they?

Mostly they are unusual.  Jagi writes a compelling, fully realized not-our-reality.

Yes, some of you will detect shades of Harry Potter but that will be mostly because it’s set in a boarding school.  The Roanoke Academy (don’t kill me) makes a lot more sense than Hogwarts even if both remind me of how happy I was reading Enid Blyton under the covers with a flashlight at eleven.

I liked all of it: the mystery, the fully realized and sometimes bewildering characters, the technology and the subtle hints that this world is in fact not our world.

Most of all I liked Rachael, a self-possessed and competent young woman who is none the less very believably an early teen, in her doubts and her second thoughts.

The second book has just been released, and I understand the International Evil Lord Of Evil himself will be giving it a little push today.

So, I thought I’d join the party.  See, these books made me feel thirteen again, that indefinable joy and enchantment that comes only when you’re very young — or when you’re reading these books.

You can see why I’d like Jagi to write more of them.  Well, that and young me in my head has a crush on Gaius.

They’re an extremely good price, too, so hie thee over to Amazon and give the sample a try.


33 responses to “Rachel Griffin

  1. What I particularly like about them is their treatment of the Masquerade — the pretense that nope, ain’t no magic here — hidden by the magic practitioners.

    instead of being taken for granted, or hand-waved as fear of persecution (yeah, generations after your ancestors were persecuted, a group of people of ordinary personality distribution will all act like raging paranoiacs), it gets put center stage.

  2. “See, these books made me feel thirteen again,…”

    Can’t say that I’ve ever felt this way. I’ve never wanted to be thirteen again and I certainly have never wanted to feel like a thirteen year old girl. Now, there were a couple of girls I wanted to feel up when I was thirteen… >:->

    (Oh, and after reading just a few pages, I bought them both)

  3. Pingback: The Raven, the Elf, and Rachel — A Book of Unexpected Enlightenment | John C. Wright's Journal

  4. I had been meaning to get the first one! So I grabbed both of them for my Kindle library.I just started reading Manx Prize, though, so it will be a while before I get to them.

  5. L Jagi Lamplighter (Wright)

    Thank you! And Gaius thanks you! (He would do it rather sheepis…er, rammishly, as he’s not a vain fellow.)

  6. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Interesting.

  7. What I loved most about the first book was spotting the combination of clues to the overarching mystery and shout-outs to visitors from other universes, like a certain Kryptonian phys ed teacher or the fact that nobody knows what a “steeplechaser” means. I haven’t got the second book yet, but it’s next on my to-buy list.

  8. Damn you 🙂
    Now I have two more books to read and Gibson’s new book is due out next week.
    I have one open in my browser (Andre Norton’s Plague Ship), one on my Kindle PC app (Eric Flint’s The Philosophical Strangler) and now the Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin on my Kindle.
    Three different worlds, plus the one I live in to keep straight.

  9. Hmm. I’ll have to pick it up on Kindle. My quest for recommendations for the nephews and nieces is endless.

  10. I really liked them both!

  11. Sigh. A heck of a premium to get the trees murdered instead of the phosphors dotted, but I remain steadfast in my preference for a little longer. I hope you at least get a premium for the plants slain to make your ink.

    I note that in the “Other Recommendations” there seems to be a collection of authorized Lord Darcy stories perpetrated by Michael Kurland. Does anybody have an opinion on this? Anent recent discussion of R Garrett, I notice Amazon has kindled a couple Randall Garrett multipacks at $0.99 each … apparently free with Kindle Unlimited. Other multipacks abound, including H Beam Piper, Frederick Brown, Mack Reynolds, Reginald Bretnor, Edmond Hamilton, Robert Sheckley … I might ought reconsider my desire to fondle the corpses of trees in my fervid fingers.

    • You can read ebooks and paper books at the same time, you know. 😉

      • “Can” and “care to” are different animals. Used to I could simultaneously read two dead tree, listen to an audio book, watch the Telly and carry on a conversation, but I am now older and feebler and find my resources more easily tasked.

        None of the many many many advantages of ebooks outweigh the pleasures of holding dead tree. I am an adult, I expect to pay for my indulgences, I just hope some small portion of my additional expenses redounds to the author’s benefit.

        • L Jagi Lamplighter (Wright)

          In this case, you get the added benefit that the illustrations look better on dead tree. (I’ve even gotten complaints that they didn’t show up at all in some eversions.)

  12. Crap. And my “To be read” list expands again…

  13. I bought them this morning, and I’m 78% of the way through the first one now. Quite enjoyable. But the “Knights of Walpurgis”? Ooh, that’s low.

  14. L Jagi Lamplighter (Wright)

    Dear God. I have no idea. Lol. When I looked the Knights of Walpurgis up online in 2011, I couldn’t find them anywhere. I guess the Wiki’s weren’t fully filled out back then. So, I assumed my friend who put the original story together made the term up. (I didn’t make this story up. I’m just the scribe who fell in love with it and decided to write it down.) Good grief.

    Sigh. (I supposed this will happen to me for the rest of my life. I have filed the serial numbers off sooooo many things from the original story, but occasionally something slips by me.)

    Rather funny actually.

    Excuse me while I go off and crucify a dear friend.

    • I do this to myself without noticing and have fans mad at me for “puns” or “jokes” I didn’t realize I was making, because my mind is a stainless steel lint trap.

      • *puzzled* You mean that’s not the standard? I had no idea! o_o

      • L Jagi Lamplighter (Wright)

        Apparently Knights of Walpurgis is from Rowling…her original name for the Death Eaters. I’m sure Mark knew that when he used the term, but he didn’t mention it. He had probably forgotten.

        At least I saw the Avenger movie and found out that the flying helecarrier came from Marvel before I reached that scene. (Though there are so many flying ships in my version that I probably will have a flying battleship or aircraft carrier or something.)

        When I say, “This will probably happen to me for the rest of my life” I mean suddenly discovering that Mark (or in the Arhyalon background, John) borrowed something I thought they made up…after I use it.

        Ah well. 😉