Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with a remarkable white moustache, a gratitude for craft mixed drinks– and a most unique magical skill. He can cast spells with magically captivated ink and he utilizes his gifts to safeguard our world from rogue minions of different pantheons, particularly the Fae.
However when his newest apprentice, Gordie, shows up dead in his Glasgow flat, Al discovers proof that Gordie was living a secret life of criminal activity. Now Al is required to play investigator– while preventing actual investigators who are questioning why death seems to constantly 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 make it through.
He is also cursed. Anyone who hears his voice will start to feel an inexplicable hatred for Al, so he can only interact through the written word or speech apps. And his apprentices keep dying in strange freak mishaps. As his personal life collapses around him, he dedicates his life to his work, all the while attempting to break the secret of his curse.
Glasgow is a remarkable city
Edinburgh and the Highlands get a lot of attention when folks think about checking out Scotland– and for great factor– but Glasgow has layers, like onions and ogres and parfaits. Its the third-largest city in the UK behind London and Birmingham, however much more budget-friendly. It has universities, plural; a 37-acre Necropolis filled with creepy Victorian-era gravesites and mausoleums for all the goth vibes you need; 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 used to be that all the New Worlds tobacco was shipped to Glasgow initially and from there to the remainder of the European continent. That was a whole lot of money and cancer. It was rather the industrial hub in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the shipbuilding industry was substantial for a long time, but when it collapsed a couple of years back, the city population essentially halved from 1.2 million to 600k– part of what makes housing more sensible there. Now theres a lot of finance and tech stuff taking place in Glasgow, and the city has this wonderful richness of different architecture and community owing to its long history existing together along with contemporary structures. Essentially its a great city in which to set an urban dream, since practically anything can take place there.
There are countless dishes for ink and great deals of them are flammable
Unintentional fires and home damage were so typical in the old days that inkmakers had to do their thing outside city walls on a calm day in case shit spoiled. The primary offender behind the racket was boiling linseed oil, which smells really dreadful, produces harmful vapors, and can take off at any time. Without heating the oil adequately ahead of time, the ink would dry too slowly, take in oxygen, and polymerize like rubber. The industrial procedure now is much more secure, but doing it the old-fashioned way is flirting with spontaneously combustible doom.
I discovered a lot about the history of inkmaking from Ink by Ted Bishop, which I extremely recommend as a great start, and it has an extensive bibliography for additional reading. The widespread usage of bugs (like cochineal) and squishy ocean animals for pigments was especially surprising to me. (If youve ever consumed food thats used or red lipstick, youve most likely been smearing or taking in uponst thy lips the vibrant guts of bugs who like irritable pear cacti.) A small portion of the research I did wound up being used in the book; it was a massive lovely bunny hole that operates as deep background for whatever Al does, and a few of it that I didnt utilize for the very first book will likely find a location later on in the series.
Public transport is quite rad
Glasgow has a little train that circles around the city core, but likewise has a rail and bus system that enables individuals to get around pretty well without a vehicle– which is what we did as travelers. A lot of impressively, regular paths get you out of the city to captivating wee towns 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 when, which is most likely real considering that its not a gigantic country and those dudes got around.
Haggis is freaking scrumptious
For reals. And I love tatties and neeps too. It gets portrayed as this things you only eat on an attempt, and yeah, I confess I winced the very first time I attempted it since it had actually 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, since it is not widely readily available outside of 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 taste buds. Super delighted for everyone who likes it, though! You can have mine. Ill trade you for your haggis. Dang, I actually need to discover 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 an entirely various sound. Considering 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 told that word might get used in the nation here and there, however was not actually a thing that Weegies state.
I didnt attempt to reproduce everything you hear– that would be a big task– but I did choose a couple of words and expressions to regularly render the way a Weegie might say them to provide the taste of the language while (hopefully) keeping it simple to read. Obviously, you can listen to the audiobook narrated by Luke Daniels and value the accents that method.
Kevin Hearne hugs trees, 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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He can cast spells with magically enchanted ink and he utilizes his presents to protect our world from rogue minions of various pantheons, especially the Fae.
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Glasgow has a small subway that circles around the city core, but likewise has a rail and bus system that enables people to get around quite well without a cars and truck– which is what we did as travelers. A lot of remarkably, routine routes get you out of the city to lovely wee towns that usually use an old stone church, a bar, lots of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had been there once, which is most likely true considering that its not an enormous nation and those dudes got around.
Now theres a lot of financing and tech things happening in Glasgow, and the city has this wonderful richness of different architecture and neighborhood owing to its long history existing together along with modern buildings. A tiny fraction of the research I did wound up being utilized in the book; it was an enormous lovely 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 find a place later in the series.