Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with a remarkable white moustache, an appreciation for craft mixed drinks– and a most unique magical talent. He can cast spells with amazingly enchanted ink and he utilizes his presents to safeguard our world from rogue minions of numerous pantheons, particularly the Fae.
But when his latest apprentice, Gordie, turns up dead in his Glasgow flat, Al discovers evidence 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 appears to always follow Al. Investigating his apprentices death will take him through Scotlands wonderful underworld, and hell require the help of a mischievous hobgoblin if hes to survive.
He is likewise cursed. Anybody who hears his voice will start to feel a mysterious hatred for Al, so he can just communicate through the composed word or speech apps. And his apprentices keep passing away in strange freak accidents. As his personal life falls apart around him, he commits his life to his work, all the while attempting to break the secret of his curse.
Glasgow is an amazing city
Edinburgh and the Highlands get a lot of attention when folks believe of visiting Scotland– and for great factor– however Glasgow has layers, like trolls and onions and parfaits. It was rather the commercial center in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the shipbuilding industry was big for a long time, but when it collapsed a few decades ago, the city population essentially cut in half from 1.2 million to 600k– part of what makes housing more affordable there. 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.
There are thousands of recipes for ink and lots of them are flammable
I discovered a lot about the history of inkmaking from Ink by Ted Bishop, which I highly recommend as a good start, and it has an extensive bibliography for additional reading. The prevalent use of bugs (like cochineal) and squishy ocean creatures for pigments was especially surprising to me. (If youve ever eaten food thats red or used lipstick, youve probably been consuming or smearing uponst thy lips the colorful guts of bugs who like irritable pear cacti.) A small fraction of the research I did end up being used in the book; it was an enormous charming rabbit hole that operates as deep background for everything Al does, and a few of it that I didnt use for the first book will likely find a place later in the series.
Unintentional fires and residential or commercial 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 main offender behind the ruckus was boiling linseed oil, which smells truly terrible, produces hazardous vapors, and can blow up at any time. Without heating the oil adequately in advance, the ink would dry too gradually, soak up oxygen, and polymerize like rubber. The industrial process now is much more secure, however doing it the old-fashioned way is flirting with spontaneously flammable doom.
Public transport is pretty rad
Ive lived in locations without a good public transportation system most all my life, so whenever Im in a city that has it, Im easily impressed. Glasgow has a little train that circles the city core, but likewise has a rail and bus system that enables people to navigate quite well without an automobile– which is what we did as travelers. Many impressively, regular paths get you out of the city to captivating wee towns that normally provide an old stone church, a pub, great deals of sheep, and a claim that either William Wallace or Rob Roy MacGregor had actually existed as soon as, which is probably real given that its not an enormous country and those men navigated. The relative ease of navigating both rural and city areas without owning a vehicle revealed me that my lead character didnt require a vehicle. Cabs and hitchhiking would get the slack whenever public transportation and a stretch of the legs could not handle the journey.
Haggis is freaking tasty
It gets represented as this stuff you only eat on a dare, and yeah, I confess I winced the very first time I attempted it due to the fact that it had 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 delighted for everyone who likes it, though! You can have mine. Ill trade you for your haggis. Dang, I really require to discover some where Im at now. I miss it.
The accents are pure dazzling
A lot of Americans familiarity with the Scottish accent comes from Shrek and other entertainment, however invest some time in Scotland and youll acknowledge 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 an entirely various noise. Because the Weegie accent and dialect is unique from other areas of Scotland, I needed a professional reader from Glasgow to take an appearance at the manuscript ahead of time and make corrections. One word that needed to go that individuals often relate to Scotland: Laddie. I was told that word might get utilized in the country occasionally, but was not truly a thing that Weegies say. Calling someone 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 gargantuan job– but I did settle on a few words and expressions to consistently render the way a Weegie might state them to offer the flavor of the language while (hopefully) keeping it easy to check out. Obviously, you can listen to the audiobook narrated by Luke Daniels and appreciate the accents that way.
Kevin Hearne hugs trees, family pets doggies, and rocks out to heavy metal. He also thinks tacos are a pretty nifty 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 uses his presents to safeguard our world from rogue minions of different pantheons, particularly the Fae.
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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 community owing to its long history coexisting alongside modern structures. A tiny portion of the research I did wound up being utilized in the book; it was a gigantic lovely rabbit hole that operates as deep background for whatever Al does, and some of it that I didnt utilize for the very first book will likely find a place later in the series.
Glasgow has a little train that circles around the city core, however also has a rail and bus system that allows people to get around pretty well without a car– which is what we did as tourists. A lot of remarkably, regular routes get you out of the city to lovely wee towns that typically 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 most likely real because its not an enormous country and those guys got around.