Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with an amazing white moustache, a gratitude for craft mixed drinks– and a most special magical talent. He can cast spells with amazingly enchanted ink and he uses his presents to secure our world from rogue minions of various pantheons, particularly the Fae.
But when his newest apprentice, Gordie, turns up dead in his Glasgow flat, Al discovers proof that Gordie was living a secret life of criminal offense. Now Al is required to play investigator– while avoiding actual detectives who are wondering why death seems to constantly follow Al. Examining his apprentices death will take him through Scotlands magical underworld, and hell require the help of a mischievous hobgoblin if hes to make it through.
He is likewise cursed. Anyone who hears his voice will begin to feel an inexplicable hatred for Al, so he can just communicate through the composed word or speech apps. And his apprentices keep passing away in strange freak mishaps. As his personal life crumbles around him, he commits his life to his work, all the while attempting to crack the secret of his curse.
Glasgow is an exceptional city
Edinburgh and the Highlands get a lot of attention when folks think of checking out Scotland– and for excellent reason– however Glasgow has layers, like trolls and onions 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 filled with spooky Victorian-era gravesites and mausoleums for all the goth vibes you need; multiple 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 shipped to Glasgow first and from there to the rest of the European continent. That was a whole lot of money and cancer. It was rather the commercial center in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the shipbuilding industry was substantial for a very long time, but when it collapsed a couple of years ago, the city population essentially halved 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 wonderful richness of diverse architecture and community owing to its long history coexisting alongside modern-day buildings. Generally its a wonderful city in which to set a metropolitan fantasy, because pretty much anything can take place there.
There are countless recipes for ink and lots of them are combustible
I learned 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 prevalent usage 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 consuming or smearing uponst thy lips the vibrant guts of bugs who like prickly pear cacti.) A tiny fraction of the research study I did wound up being utilized in the book; it was a gigantic charming bunny 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.
Unintentional fires and property damage were so common in the old days that inkmakers had to do their thing outside city walls on a calm day in case shit spoiled. The main perpetrator behind the ruckus was boiling linseed oil, which smells really dreadful, produces harmful vapors, and can explode at any time. Without warming the oil sufficiently in advance, the ink would dry too gradually, take in oxygen, and polymerize like rubber. The commercial procedure now is much safer, however doing it the old-fashioned way is flirting with spontaneously flammable doom.
Public transportation is quite rad
Glasgow has a small train that circles around the city core, but likewise has a rail and bus system that enables people to get around quite well without a car– which is what we did as travelers. The majority of remarkably, regular routes get you out of the city to lovely wee villages that typically use an old stone church, a bar, lots of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had been there as soon as, which is most likely real considering that its not a gigantic country and those men got around.
Haggis is freaking delicious
Now, as a counterpoint: I am not a fan of black pudding, since I tried that too and it did unkind things to my taste buds. Super delighted for everyone who likes it, though! You can have mine. Ill trade you for your haggis. Dang, I truly need to find some where Im at now. I miss it.
For reals. And I like neeps and tatties too. It gets represented as this stuff you just consume on a dare, and yeah, I confess I winced the very first time I attempted it since it had been built 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, because it is not widely readily available beyond Scotland.
The accents are pure dazzling
The majority of Americans familiarity with the Scottish accent originates from Shrek and other entertainment, but spend a long time in Scotland and youll acknowledge that there are a wide range of accents throughout the nation. The Glaswegian (or Weegie) accent is its own thing, however fifty miles away in Edinburgh you get a totally different noise. Given that the Weegie accent and dialect stands out from other locations of Scotland, I needed an expert reader from Glasgow to take a look at the manuscript ahead of time and make corrections. One word that had to go that individuals often relate to Scotland: Laddie. I was informed that word might get used in the country occasionally, however was not truly a thing that Weegies say. Also, calling somebody a jammy bastard has absolutely nothing to do with jam or perhaps pajamas.
I didnt try to recreate everything you hear– that would be a huge job– however I did choose a few words and expressions to consistently render the method a Weegie may state them to provide the flavor of the language while (hopefully) keeping it simple to check out. Naturally, you can listen to the audiobook told by Luke Daniels and appreciate the accents that way.
Kevin Hearne hugs trees, family pets doggies, and rocks out to heavy metal. He likewise thinks tacos are a quite nifty 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 things happening in Glasgow, and the city has this wonderful richness of varied architecture and neighborhood owing to its long history existing together with modern-day buildings. A tiny fraction of the research study I did wound up being used in the book; it was an enormous 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 on in the series.
Glasgow has a little train that circles around the city core, but also has a rail and bus system that permits individuals to get around pretty well without a cars and truck– which is what we did as tourists. The majority of impressively, regular routes get you out of the city to captivating wee villages that normally offer an old stone church, a pub, lots of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had actually been there as soon as, which is most likely true since its not an enormous country and those men got around.
He can cast spells with magically captivated ink and he utilizes his presents to protect our world from rogue minions of different pantheons, especially the Fae.
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