You kind of pick up the story by osmosis rather than following a clear plotline.
Maybe the bottom line is that Bear is very smart and I'm kind of dumb. I don't care. These books are beautiful and I'm going to keep reading them. Although, if anyone wants to send me a quick synopsis to help me with the plotline, I wouldn't complain. I'm also very interested to read some of Bear's science fiction, to see how she writes that and if it is similar or different to her so lyrical fantasy. I've already pre-ordered the next two Promethean Age books, these two set back in the sixteenth century, and I'm looking forward to getting to read them. Whiskey and Water continues the story begun with Blood and Iron, picking up seven years after the events of the first book, reacquainting us with the same major characters--Matthew the mage, Carel the Merlin, and Elaine, a Queen in Fae--while also introducing a whole slew of great new major and minor characters, including among them Christopher Kit Marlowe, lately of Hell, where the beautiful and actually quite entertaining Lucifer Morningstar reigns as lord.
As in the first book, the relationships between and motives of the characters are complex and subtle, and while the build-up to the eventual showdowns between various factions seemed to move in that direction rather slowly, concentrating more on the characters than events, they each arrived at their destination almost before I realized we had actually gotten to what would be the endgames.
Another great read, and more to recommend the rest of the series. Seven years after the events of Blood and Iron, the intrigue in the supernatural world is heating up.
Dead bodies killed by Fae are turning up in New York, an Elizabethan poet has left Hell to challenge an archmage to a duel, and angels and devils are pursuing their own machinations. The delight for me in this series is how the main characters know perfectly well that they're caught up in a web of fate, and are doing their level best to defy it.
The cast of characters in this book gets large enough that I was wanting to take notes so I could flip back along each thread of plot. I know what I'm doing when I eventually get a hypertext edition of this one Satisfying like a warm cup of stiff black tea. Bear doesn't flinch from making her characters suffer, and her fairies aren't necessarily kind.
I loved Kit and Whiskey, but all of her characters sang here, and the complex plot wrapped up nicely in the end. Great stuff. This needs to be read twice - once to know all the players not just identify them , and once for the story. Here at Walmart.
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Recent searches Clear All. Update Location. If you want NextDay, we can save the other items for later. Yes—Save my other items for later. No—I want to keep shopping. Order by , and we can deliver your NextDay items by. Elaine Andraste is human but has lived in Faerie for years, bound to the will of the Mebd, the Summer Queen of Faerie, and forced to do her bidding. As Seeker of the Daoine Sidhe, Elaine is charged with seeking out human children of fae heritage changelings and bringing them to the land of Faerie, which is slowly but inexorably diminishing.
Iron is fatal to the fae and their power has been leaking away slowly as the forces of industrialization, urbanization and modernization have yoked nature to the will of man in an ever increasing degree. Yet the uneven balance of power between the fae and the Prometheans might still tip in favour of Faerie and Elaine is given a task that will be crucial the continued survival of Faerie. Once every years a Merlin is born to humankind.
Named after the legendary wizard of Arthurian myth, the Merlin is not simply a wielder of magic — rather, the Merlin is magic incarnate! If she fails, the continued existence of Faerie is at risk and Elaine herself might lose something that is more precious to her than the fate of humankind. Matthew Szczegielniak teaches English Literature at a local college in New York but he also leads a secret life.
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Like Elaine, Matthew is given the task of winning the Merlin and her power for the Promethean cause — a task that not only puts him on a collision course with Elaine, but also pitches Elaine into a direct conflict with her mother Jane Andraste, who is the archmage of the Prometheus Club. Before the end, Matthew is forced to examine his own motives and finally choose between his loyalty to the Prometheus Club and his own moral integrity — and it is a choice upon which hinges both the fate of humankind and Faerie.
He belongs to a clan of Scottish werewolves and is set to assume the kingship of his clan when his ailing father passes away — a responsibility that he is most unwilling to shoulder. At the same time he is trying to mend his strained relationship with Elaine, something that is further complicated when the Merlin identifies him as the Dragon Prince that is promised, which is grim fate indeed:. Twice in a millennium, a Dragon Prince is born. He is born to death and glory, to madness, to loss, and to eventual sacrifice. The prince is always a drighten , a warlord.
He comes in a time of turmoil, and changes everything. Unites the beleaguered against their foes, pays some terrible price through his own greed or shortsightedness or cruelty.
Series: The Promethean Age
Is betrayed by someone who should love him, and dies bloodily. Keith suddenly finds himself thrust into a narrative pattern that has been defined by the stories of the Dragon Princes before him, of which King Arthur is the most legendary one. He has to assume the roles of war leader and sacrifice, constrained by a story that, despite individual variations, always plays out in the same way — as a tale of war, betrayal and sacrifice. Legends, myth and stories are quite literally the fabric that constitutes the very nature of Faerie:. The ballads were the true history of Faerie, and a false one.
They were true because stories have echoes and interplay and Faerie is the result of the tension between those. The pattern of a tapestry was not the substance of the strands. But pattern could be manipulated by how the strands were woven — which were pulled taut, which brought to the surface, which drawn beneath. And more than one version of a story could be true at once.
And moreover, the stories of the past affect the future, and echo and repeat over and over again, in infinite variation, through courage and determination.
Whiskey and Water (Promethean Age, #2) by Elizabeth Bear
It is, in fact, rather impressive how Bear manages to weave together the disparate mythical material Faerie lore, Celtic and Christian mythology, Arthurian legend and werewolf mythos into a seamless whole where each strand resonate with the others in a unique manner that nevertheless is rich with multiple variations in allusion and symbolism. The Prometheus Club is one of the concepts that are particularly rich with various connotations from our cultural history. In Blood and Iron , the Prometheus Club is the primary opponent of Faerie and Bear explicitly links their fight against the fae with the forces of modernization and industrialization.
Fx in the book, the Prometheus Club is given a pivotal role in ventures such as the transatlantic railroad system in America, exploiting it as a means to put a magical restraint of iron on the natural world from which the creatures of Faerie draw their strength as many of the fae, in one or other manner, are embodiments of natural phenomena. Their name is in itself a powerful symbol. In Greek mythology Prometheus is the deity credited with creating mankind out of clay as well as stealing the gift of fire from the gods and giving it to man — an act for which he was punished severely.
Please do not include links in your message. But Elizabeth Bear not only dares this in Ink and Steel , she comes close to succeeding.
Whiskey and Water: A Novel of the Promethean Age
Ink and Steel is the third book in her Promethean Age sequence, but while Blood and Iron and Whiskey and Water are set in the modern age, this is a 16th Century prequel. Ink and Steel opens with the death of Kit Marley, a playwright and member of the secret Promethean Society, which uses the magic of Kit's writing to support the queen.
Needing a new writer, they recruit Kit's former roommate, William Shakespeare.
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While suffering writers' block on Titus Andronicus , Will is also determined to find out the truth behind Kit's death and the secret traitor among the Prometheans. But Marley is not really dead, but half-blinded and taken into the lands of Faerie by Morgan le Fey, of the Arthur myths. He is able to occasionally visit Shakespeare, to help with both the writing and the spying.