Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with an amazing white moustache, an appreciation for craft mixed drinks– and a most unique wonderful skill. He can cast spells with amazingly enchanted ink and he uses his gifts to secure our world from rogue minions of numerous pantheons, particularly the Fae.
But when his most current apprentice, Gordie, turns up dead in his Glasgow flat, Al finds evidence that Gordie was living a secret life of criminal activity. Now Al is required to play detective– while preventing real detectives who are questioning why death seems to always follow Al. Investigating his apprentices death will take him through Scotlands magical underworld, and hell require the assistance of a mischievous hobgoblin if hes to endure.
Anyone who hears his voice will begin to feel a mysterious hatred for Al, so he can only communicate through the written word or speech apps. As his personal life crumbles around him, he devotes his life to his work, all the while attempting to crack the trick of his curse.
Glasgow is an amazing city
Edinburgh and the Highlands get a great deal of attention when folks think of checking out Scotland– and for excellent reason– however Glasgow has layers, like onions and trolls and parfaits. Its the third-largest city in the UK behind London and Birmingham, but much more budget-friendly. It has universities, plural; a 37-acre Necropolis complete of spooky Victorian-era gravesites and mausoleums for all the goth vibes you require; several football teams to cheer (and battle) for; an eldritch organ in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & & Museum; master distillers of whisky and gin that are the envy of the world; and it used to be that all the New Worlds tobacco was shipped to Glasgow first and from there to the remainder of the European continent. That was a great deal of cash and cancer. It was quite the commercial center in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the shipbuilding market was big for a very long time, but when it collapsed a few years back, the city population essentially cut in half from 1.2 million to 600k– part of what makes real estate more sensible there. Now theres a lot of financing and tech things taking place in Glasgow, and the city has this terrific richness of varied architecture and community owing to its long history existing side-by-side along with modern buildings. Basically its a great city in which to set an urban fantasy, because practically anything can happen there.
There are countless recipes for ink and lots of them are flammable
I found out a lot about the history of inkmaking from Ink by Ted Bishop, which I extremely suggest as a good start, and it has a substantial bibliography for more reading. The extensive usage of bugs (like cochineal) and squishy ocean animals for pigments was especially unexpected to me. (If youve ever eaten food thats used or red lipstick, youve most likely been taking in or smearing uponst thy lips the colorful guts of bugs who like irritable pear cacti.) A small portion of the research I did end up being used in the book; it was an enormous beautiful rabbit hole that operates as deep background for everything Al does, and some of it that I didnt utilize for the very first book will likely discover a location later in the series.
Unintentional fires and home damage were so common in the old days that inkmakers needed to do their thing outside city walls on a calm day in case shit went bad. The primary culprit behind the racket was boiling linseed oil, which smells truly awful, produces toxic vapors, and can blow up at any time. Without heating up the oil adequately beforehand, the ink would dry too slowly, absorb oxygen, and polymerize like rubber. The industrial procedure now is much more secure, but doing it the old-fashioned way is flirting with spontaneously flammable doom.
Public transportation is pretty rad
Glasgow has a small train that circles around the city core, but likewise has a rail and bus system that allows individuals to get around pretty well without a vehicle– which is what we did as travelers. Most remarkably, regular routes get you out of the city to lovely wee towns that generally offer an old stone church, a club, lots of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had been there once, which is most likely true because its not a gigantic nation and those guys got around.
Haggis is freaking tasty
For reals. And I like neeps and tatties too. It gets depicted as this things you just eat on a dare, and yeah, I confess I recoiled the first time I tried it because it had been developed up in my head as A Gross Thing You Will Only Try Once, however damn, I liked it. A lot. Had it as frequently as I might while I was there, due to the fact that it is not extensively offered beyond Scotland.
Now, as a counterpoint: I am not a fan of black pudding, since I tried that too and it did unkind things to my palate. Super pleased for everybody who likes it, though! You can have mine. Ill trade you for your haggis. Dang, I really need to find some where Im at now. I miss it.
The accents are pure dazzling
I didnt try to reproduce whatever you hear– that would be a giant job– but I did decide on a few words and phrases to regularly render the way a Weegie may state them to supply the taste of the language while (ideally) keeping it simple to check out. Obviously, you can listen to the audiobook narrated by Luke Daniels and appreciate the accents that method.
The Glaswegian (or Weegie) accent is its own thing, however fifty miles away in Edinburgh you get a totally various sound. Considering that the Weegie accent and dialect is distinct from other locations of Scotland, I required an expert reader from Glasgow to take an appearance at the manuscript ahead of time and make corrections. I was informed that word may get utilized in the nation here and there, but was not actually a thing that Weegies say.
Kevin Hearne hugs trees, family pets doggies, and rocks out to heavy metal. He likewise thinks tacos are a pretty clever concept. He is the author of A Plague of Giants and the New York Times bestselling The Iron Druid Chronicles series.
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Glasgow has a little train that circles around the city core, but likewise has a rail and bus system that allows individuals to get around quite well without a vehicle– which is what we did as tourists. Many remarkably, routine routes get you out of the city to charming wee towns that generally provide an old stone church, a club, lots of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had been there as soon as, which is probably true given that its not a massive nation and those dudes got around.
Now theres a lot of finance and tech things occurring in Glasgow, and the city has this fantastic richness of varied architecture and neighborhood owing to its long history existing together alongside modern buildings. A small portion of the research I did wound up being used in the book; it was a gigantic charming bunny hole that operates as deep background for whatever Al does, and some of it that I didnt utilize for the first book will likely discover a location later on in the series.
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He can cast spells with amazingly captivated ink and he uses his gifts to protect our world from rogue minions of numerous pantheons, specifically the Fae.