Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with an extraordinary white moustache, an appreciation for craft mixed drinks– and a most special wonderful talent. He can cast spells with amazingly enchanted ink and he utilizes his presents to safeguard our world from rogue minions of numerous pantheons, particularly the Fae.
When his latest apprentice, Gordie, turns up dead in his Glasgow flat, Al finds proof that Gordie was living a secret life of criminal offense. Now Al is required to play investigator– while avoiding real investigators who are questioning why death appears to always follow Al. Investigating his apprentices death will take him through Scotlands wonderful underworld, and hell need the assistance of a naughty hobgoblin if hes to make it through.
However he is also cursed. Anyone who hears his voice will start to feel an inexplicable hatred for Al, so he can just interact through the written word or speech apps. And his apprentices keep dying in strange freak accidents. As his personal life falls apart around him, he devotes his life to his work, all the while trying to break the trick of his curse.
Glasgow is an exceptional city
Edinburgh and the Highlands get a great deal of attention when folks think of going to Scotland– and for great factor– but Glasgow has layers, like onions and trolls and parfaits. Its the third-largest city in the UK behind London and Birmingham, but even more affordable. It has universities, plural; a 37-acre Necropolis full of creepy Victorian-era gravesites and mausoleums for all the goth vibes you require; several football groups 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 utilized to be that all the New Worlds tobacco was delivered to Glasgow initially and from there to the rest of the European continent. That was a great deal of cash and cancer. It was quite the commercial hub in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the shipbuilding market was huge for a very long time, however when it collapsed a few years ago, the city population generally halved from 1.2 million to 600k– part of what makes real estate more affordable there. Now theres a great deal of finance and tech things occurring in Glasgow, and the city has this terrific richness of diverse architecture and community owing to its long history existing together along with contemporary buildings. Generally its a fantastic city in which to set a metropolitan fantasy, due to the fact that basically anything can take place there.
There are thousands of recipes for ink and great deals of them are flammable
Accidental fires and home damage were so typical in the old days that inkmakers needed to do their thing outside city walls on a calm day in case shit spoiled. The main perpetrator behind the commotion was boiling linseed oil, which smells truly awful, produces harmful vapors, and can blow up at any time. Without heating up the oil sufficiently ahead of time, the ink would dry too gradually, absorb oxygen, and polymerize like rubber. The commercial procedure now is much safer, however doing it the old-fashioned way is flirting with spontaneously combustible doom.
I found out a lot about the history of inkmaking from Ink by Ted Bishop, which I highly recommend as an excellent start, and it has an extensive bibliography for additional reading. The prevalent use of bugs (like cochineal) and squishy ocean animals for pigments was specifically unexpected to me. (If youve ever eaten food thats worn or red lipstick, youve most likely been smearing or consuming uponst thy lips the colorful guts of bugs who like prickly pear cacti.) A small fraction of the research study I did wound up being used in the book; it was a gigantic lovely rabbit hole that operates as deep background for whatever Al does, and a few of it that I didnt utilize for the first book will likely discover a place later on in the series.
Public transportation is quite rad
Ive lived in places without a decent public transport system most all my life, so whenever Im in a city that has it, Im quickly impressed. Glasgow has a little subway that circles the city core, but likewise has a rail and bus system that allows individuals to get around quite well without an automobile– which is what we did as travelers. A lot of impressively, routine paths get you out of the city to charming wee towns that normally provide an old stone church, a pub, lots of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had actually been there when, which is most likely true considering that its not a gigantic nation and those men navigated. The relative ease of navigating both rural and metropolitan areas without owning an automobile showed me that my protagonist didnt need a vehicle. Taxis and hitchhiking would get the slack whenever public transportation and a stretch of the legs could not deal with the journey.
Haggis is freaking scrumptious
It gets depicted as this things you just eat on an attempt, and yeah, I admit I recoiled the first time I tried it since it had actually been developed up in my head as A Gross Thing You Will Only Try Once, but damn, I liked it. A lot.
Now, as a counterpoint: I am not a fan of black pudding, since I attempted that too and it did unkind things to my palate. Super delighted for everyone who likes it! Dang, I actually need to find some where Im at now.
The accents are pure brilliant
I didnt attempt to recreate everything you hear– that would be a huge task– but I did choose a couple of words and phrases to consistently render the way a Weegie might say them to supply the flavor of the language while (ideally) keeping it simple to check out. Of course, you can listen to the audiobook narrated by Luke Daniels and appreciate the accents that method.
Most Americans familiarity with the Scottish accent comes from Shrek and other entertainment, however invest some time in Scotland and youll recognize that there are a wide variety of accents throughout the nation. The Glaswegian (or Weegie) accent is its own thing, but fifty miles away in Edinburgh you get a totally different sound. Considering that the Weegie accent and dialect stands out from other areas of Scotland, I required a professional reader from Glasgow to have a look at the manuscript ahead of time and make corrections. One word that needed to go that people often relate to Scotland: Laddie. I was informed that word may get used in the country here and there, however was not actually a thing that Weegies say. Calling someone a jammy bastard has definitely nothing to do with jam or even pajamas.
Kevin Hearne hugs trees, pets doggies, and rocks out to heavy metal. He likewise believes tacos are a quite awesome 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 small train that circles around the city core, however also has a rail and bus system that allows individuals to get around pretty well without a cars and truck– which is what we did as tourists. Most remarkably, routine paths get you out of the city to lovely wee villages that usually offer an old stone church, a bar, lots of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had actually been there when, which is probably true given that its not a massive nation and those guys got around.
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Now theres a lot of finance and tech things happening in Glasgow, and the city has this fantastic richness of different architecture and neighborhood owing to its long history coexisting alongside contemporary buildings. A tiny portion of the research study I did wound up being used in the book; it was a massive lovely bunny hole that runs as deep background for whatever Al does, and some of it that I didnt use for the first book will likely discover a place later in the series.
He can cast spells with amazingly captivated ink and he uses his gifts to safeguard our world from rogue minions of numerous pantheons, especially the Fae.