But when his newest 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 investigator– while preventing actual detectives who are questioning why death seems to always follow Al. Examining his apprentices death will take him through Scotlands wonderful underworld, and hell need the aid of a mischievous hobgoblin if hes to endure.
Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with a remarkable white moustache, an appreciation for craft mixed drinks– and a most distinct magical talent. He can cast spells with amazingly captivated ink and he utilizes his presents to secure our world from rogue minions of numerous pantheons, especially the Fae.
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 collapses around him, he commits his life to his work, all the while attempting to break the trick 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 good reason– however Glasgow has layers, like onions and trolls and parfaits. Its the third-largest city in the UK behind London and Birmingham, however even more affordable. It has universities, plural; a 37-acre Necropolis loaded with scary 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 initially and from there to the rest of the European continent. That was a lot of cash and cancer. It was quite the commercial hub in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the shipbuilding industry was big for a long time, however when it collapsed a few decades back, the city population generally halved from 1.2 million to 600k– part of what makes housing more sensible there. Now theres a lot of financing and tech stuff happening in Glasgow, and the city has this fantastic richness of varied architecture and neighborhood owing to its long history existing side-by-side together with contemporary structures. Basically its a fantastic city in which to set a metropolitan fantasy, due to the fact that practically anything can occur there.
There are countless recipes for ink and lots of them are combustible
Accidental fires and home 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 went bad. The main perpetrator behind the ruckus was boiling linseed oil, which smells really awful, produces poisonous vapors, and can take off at any time. Without warming the oil sufficiently in advance, the ink would dry too slowly, absorb oxygen, and polymerize like rubber. The industrial process now is much more secure, however doing it the old-fashioned way is flirting with spontaneously combustible doom.
I learned a lot about the history of inkmaking from Ink by Ted Bishop, which I extremely recommend as an excellent start, and it has a substantial bibliography for more reading. The extensive usage of bugs (like cochineal) and squishy ocean creatures for pigments was specifically surprising to me. (If youve ever eaten food thats worn or red lipstick, youve probably been taking in or smearing uponst thy lips the colorful guts of bugs who like irritable pear cacti.) A tiny portion of the research I did wound up being utilized in the book; it was an enormous beautiful bunny hole that operates as deep background for whatever Al does, and some of it that I didnt use for the very first book will likely find a location later on in the series.
Public transport is quite rad
Ive lived in locations without a decent public transport system most all my life, so whenever Im in a city that has it, Im quickly amazed. Glasgow has a small subway that circles the city core, however also has a rail and bus system that permits people to navigate pretty well without an automobile– which is what we did as travelers. Many remarkably, routine paths get you out of the city to captivating wee villages that normally offer an old stone church, a bar, great deals of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had actually been there as soon as, which is most likely real considering that its not an enormous nation and those men got around. The relative ease of getting around both city and rural areas without owning a lorry revealed me that my protagonist didnt require an automobile. Taxi cabs and hitchhiking would pick up the slack whenever public transportation and a stretch of the legs could not deal with the journey.
Haggis is freaking delicious
For reals. And I like tatties and neeps too. It gets depicted as this stuff you only consume on an attempt, and yeah, I confess I winced the very first time I attempted it because it had been developed up in my head as A Gross Thing You Will Only Try Once, but damn, I liked it. A lot. Had it as frequently as I might while I existed, due to the fact that it is not widely 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 palate. Super delighted for everybody who likes it, though! You can have mine. Ill trade you for your haggis. Dang, I actually need to find some where Im at now. I miss it.
The accents are pure fantastic
The majority of Americans familiarity with the Scottish accent originates from Shrek and other entertainment, however spend a long time in Scotland and youll recognize that there are a vast array of accents throughout the nation. The Glaswegian (or Weegie) accent is its own thing, but fifty miles away in Edinburgh you get a completely various noise. Because the Weegie accent and dialect is unique from other areas of Scotland, I required a specialist reader from Glasgow to take a look at the manuscript ahead of time and make corrections. One word that had to go that people frequently connect with Scotland: Laddie. I was told that word might get utilized in the nation occasionally, but was not truly a thing that Weegies say. Calling somebody a jammy bastard has definitely nothing to do with jam or even pajamas.
I didnt attempt to replicate everything you hear– that would be a colossal task– however I did choose a couple of words and phrases to consistently render the way a Weegie might state them to supply the taste of the language while (ideally) keeping it easy to read. Obviously, you can listen to the audiobook narrated by Luke Daniels and appreciate the accents that method.
Kevin Hearne hugs trees, pets dogs, 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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Now theres a lot of financing and tech stuff happening in Glasgow, and the city has this fantastic richness of different architecture and neighborhood owing to its long history coexisting along with modern-day structures. A small portion of the research I did wound up being used in the book; it was an enormous charming rabbit 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 subway that circles around the city core, however likewise has a rail and bus system that allows people to get around pretty well without a cars and truck– which is what we did as tourists. A lot of remarkably, routine routes get you out of the city to lovely wee villages that generally offer an old stone church, a pub, lots of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had been there when, which is probably real considering that its not an enormous country and those dudes got around.
He can cast spells with magically captivated ink and he utilizes his gifts to safeguard our world from rogue minions of different pantheons, specifically the Fae.