When his latest 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 avoiding 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 help of a naughty hobgoblin if hes to survive.
Anybody who hears his voice will begin to feel an inexplicable hatred for Al, so he can just communicate through the written word or speech apps. As his personal life falls apart around him, he dedicates his life to his work, all the while trying to crack the trick of his curse.
Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with an extraordinary white moustache, an appreciation for craft cocktails– and a most unique wonderful talent. He can cast spells with magically enchanted ink and he utilizes his gifts to safeguard our world from rogue minions of numerous pantheons, particularly the Fae.
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 onions and ogres and parfaits. Its the third-largest city in the UK behind London and Birmingham, but far 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 require; multiple 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 initially and from there to the remainder of the European continent. That was a lot of money and cancer. It was rather the industrial center in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the shipbuilding market was substantial for a very long time, but when it collapsed a few years earlier, 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 finance and tech things occurring in Glasgow, and the city has this fantastic richness of different architecture and community owing to its long history coexisting alongside modern-day structures. Basically its a fantastic city in which to set an urban fantasy, due to the fact that basically anything can happen there.
There are thousands of dishes for ink and lots of them are flammable
Unintentional fires and property 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 primary perpetrator behind the commotion was boiling linseed oil, which smells truly horrible, produces hazardous vapors, and can blow up at any time. Without heating up the oil adequately in advance, the ink would dry too slowly, take in oxygen, and polymerize like rubber. The commercial process now is much more secure, however doing it the old-fashioned way is flirting with spontaneously flammable doom.
I found out a lot about the history of inkmaking from Ink by Ted Bishop, which I highly suggest as a good start, and it has an extensive bibliography for additional reading. The prevalent usage of bugs (like cochineal) and squishy ocean creatures for pigments was especially unexpected to me. (If youve ever eaten food thats used or red lipstick, youve probably been smearing or consuming uponst thy lips the colorful guts of bugs who like irritable pear cacti.) A tiny portion of the research I did end up being utilized in the book; it was an enormous charming rabbit hole that runs as deep background for whatever Al does, and a few of it that I didnt utilize for the very first book will likely discover a location later on in the series.
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 subway that circles around the city core, however likewise has a rail and bus system that permits people to get around pretty well without a car– which is what we did as travelers. Many impressively, routine routes get you out of the city to lovely wee towns that normally use an old stone church, a bar, lots of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had existed as soon as, which is probably real considering that its not a gigantic nation and those dudes got around. The relative ease of navigating both rural and urban locations without owning a vehicle showed me that my lead character didnt require a vehicle. Taxi cabs and hitchhiking would choose up the slack whenever public transportation and a stretch of the legs could not handle the journey.
Haggis is freaking scrumptious
It gets portrayed as this stuff you just eat on a dare, and yeah, I confess I winced the first time I attempted it because 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.
Now, as a counterpoint: I am not a fan of black pudding, because I tried that too and it did unkind things to my palate. Super pleased for everyone who likes it! You can have mine. Ill trade you for your haggis. Dang, I really need to discover some where Im at now. I miss it.
The accents are pure dazzling
I didnt attempt to recreate whatever you hear– that would be an enormous task– but I did settle on a few words and expressions to consistently render the method a Weegie might state them to supply the flavor of the language while (ideally) keeping it easy to read. Of course, you can listen to the audiobook narrated by Luke Daniels and value the accents that method.
A lot of Americans familiarity with the Scottish accent originates from Shrek and other entertainment, but invest a long 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 completely different noise. Since 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 needed to go that people frequently associate with Scotland: Laddie. I was told that word may get used in the nation here and there, but was not really a thing that Weegies say. Calling someone a jammy bastard has absolutely nothing to do with jam or even pajamas.
Kevin Hearne hugs trees, animals doggies, and rocks out to heavy metal. He likewise believes tacos are a pretty clever 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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Glasgow has a small subway that circles around the city core, but likewise 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. Many impressively, regular paths get you out of the city to lovely wee towns that normally 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 probably true because its not a massive country and those guys got around.
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 along with contemporary 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 first book will likely discover a place later in the series.
He can cast spells with amazingly enchanted ink and he uses his presents to secure our world from rogue minions of numerous pantheons, particularly the Fae.
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