When his most current apprentice, Gordie, turns up dead in his Glasgow flat, Al finds proof that Gordie was living a secret life of criminal activity. Now Al is required to play detective– while preventing real investigators who are wondering 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 naughty hobgoblin if hes to survive.
Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with a remarkable white moustache, a gratitude for craft cocktails– and a most unique magical talent. He can cast spells with amazingly enchanted ink and he uses his presents to protect our world from rogue minions of numerous pantheons, specifically the Fae.
He is also cursed. Anyone who hears his voice will begin to feel a mysterious hatred for Al, so he can only interact through the composed word or speech apps. And his apprentices keep passing away in peculiar freak mishaps. As his individual life crumbles around him, he commits his life to his work, all the while attempting to split the trick of his curse.
Glasgow is an exceptional city
Edinburgh and the Highlands get a great deal of attention when folks consider going to Scotland– and for excellent factor– however Glasgow has layers, like ogres and onions and parfaits. Its the third-largest city in the UK behind London and Birmingham, however far more budget friendly. It has universities, plural; a 37-acre Necropolis complete of creepy Victorian-era gravesites and mausoleums for all the goth vibes you need; several football teams to cheer (and fight) 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 first and from there to the remainder of the European continent. That was a great deal of money and cancer. It was rather the industrial hub in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the shipbuilding market was substantial for a long period of time, however when it collapsed a couple of years ago, the city population essentially cut in half 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 fantastic richness of diverse architecture and neighborhood owing to its long history existing together with modern-day buildings. Generally its a great city in which to set an urban dream, because basically anything can take place there.
There are countless dishes for ink and great deals of them are combustible
I discovered 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 further reading. The prevalent usage of bugs (like cochineal) and squishy ocean creatures for pigments was particularly surprising to me. (If youve ever eaten food thats used or red lipstick, youve probably been taking in or smearing uponst thy lips the colorful guts of bugs who like prickly pear cacti.) A tiny fraction of the research I did wound up being used in the book; it was a massive charming rabbit hole that runs as deep background for everything Al does, and a few of it that I didnt utilize for the first book will likely find a place later on in the series.
Unexpected 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 offender behind the racket was boiling linseed oil, which smells truly horrible, produces poisonous vapors, and can take off at any time. Without heating the oil adequately ahead of time, the ink would dry too slowly, absorb oxygen, and polymerize like rubber. The industrial process now is much safer, but doing it the old-fashioned method is flirting with spontaneously flammable doom.
Public transport is pretty rad
Ive lived in places without a good public transportation system most all my life, so whenever Im in a city that has it, Im easily pleased. Glasgow has a little train that circles the city core, but likewise has a rail and bus system that allows individuals to get around pretty well without an automobile– which is what we did as travelers. The majority of remarkably, routine routes get you out of the city to charming wee villages that typically use an old stone church, a club, great deals of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had existed once, which is probably real since its not a gigantic country and those dudes got around. The relative ease of getting around both rural and city locations without owning a car revealed me that my protagonist didnt need a cars and truck. Cabs and hitchhiking would choose up the slack whenever public transport and a stretch of the legs couldnt handle the journey.
Haggis is freaking tasty
For reals. And I like neeps and tatties too. It gets portrayed as this stuff you just eat on a dare, and yeah, I confess I recoiled the very first time I attempted it since it had been developed in my head as A Gross Thing You Will Only Try Once, however damn, I liked it. A lot. Had it as often as I could while I existed, due to the fact that it is not widely available 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 everyone 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 fantastic
The Glaswegian (or Weegie) accent is its own thing, but fifty miles away in Edinburgh you get a completely various noise. Given that the Weegie accent and dialect is unique 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 might get used in the nation here and there, however was not truly a thing that Weegies say.
I didnt try to replicate whatever you hear– that would be an enormous task– however I did settle on a few words and expressions to consistently render the way a Weegie may state them to provide the flavor of the language while (ideally) keeping it simple to check out. Obviously, you can listen to the audiobook told by Luke Daniels and appreciate the accents that method.
Kevin Hearne hugs trees, family pets doggies, and rocks out to heavy metal. He also believes tacos are a pretty cool idea. He is the author of A Plague of Giants and the New York Times bestselling The Iron Druid Chronicles series.
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Now theres a lot of finance and tech stuff occurring in Glasgow, and the city has this terrific richness of diverse architecture and community owing to its long history coexisting along with modern-day structures. A tiny fraction of the research study I did wound up being used in the book; it was a gigantic lovely bunny hole that runs as deep background for everything Al does, and some of it that I didnt utilize for the very first book will likely find a place later on in the series.
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Glasgow has a little train that circles around the city core, but 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 travelers. Most remarkably, regular paths get you out of the city to lovely wee towns that typically provide an old stone church, a bar, lots of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had been there when, which is probably true given that its not a massive country and those men got around.
He can cast spells with magically captivated ink and he uses his presents to safeguard our world from rogue minions of various pantheons, particularly the Fae.