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No Glitter Blown

Honest reviews of things that caught my fancy, or not.

Currently reading

Art in Theory 1900 - 2000: An Anthology of Changing Ideas
Paul Wood, Charles Harrison
Male Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan
Gary P. Leupp
Daughter Am I
Pat Bertram
Sharon Kay Penman
Silver Bullet (Falls Chance Ranch #4)
Ranger, Rolf
Song of Oestend (Oestend, #1) - Marie Sexton Stunning mix of spiritual and carnal.I had no expectations when I picked this book other than a bunch of my friends, like 36 of them had rated this 4.27 collectively. So, I'm thinking...Winner! And they were not wrong. But if I had tried to imagine the story just from the blurb, I would have gotten ALL wrong.First, the story contains a significant paranormal element. Frankly, it is another character in the story with the way it interacts. Yet, it isn't just a ghost story. Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of ghost stories and it isn't because I disbelieve--in fact, I've seen stuff that I can't explain and no one else around me could. A few were like, yeah...it's the ghost. I'm like okay...but waking in the middle of the night seeing a shadowy figure in the corner of your room that doesn't move--it quickly changes your mind from the NO box to MAYBE in a heartbeat. In the story, it is not just a ghost, but an entire spiritual belief that infuses it. I've study many cultures with non-western religious constructs so this was extremely easy for me to understand which might not be the case for other readers.Now, while the story has this crucial element, it in no way impedes or dictates the relationship between Deacon and Aren--which I loved. It wasn't used as a crutch in the storytelling, but as an enhancement. I like that the belief system was multivalent--neither all good or bad. It was convincing and did not come across as proselytizing which makes all the difference to me in how I feel about a book. Religion/belief is an intensely personal experience for me and I do not enjoy being preached to.Another strong point in this story, all of the characters are fully developed. There are no place holders, even the tertiary characters are flushed out. Aren and Deacon could have been quite predictable, but then about 55% of the way in, there is a major shift that just takes this story from an intriguing western to a complicated interracial romance set in a desolate ranching location. I loved getting my preconceptions slapped around a bit. This was not a lazy story in any sense.I could probably go on and on about how I was floored, but I'll leave at that.Favorite quotes: "The fact the track through the grass was two men wide was the best part of all. It meant that he wasn’t alone."“I’ve seen a hundred hands come and go. Maybe more. Every one of them needs to fear me. Every one of them needs to respect me. But not one of them needs to like me.”"Wish I could do it for you,” he said. “Wish I had the magic, too, so you could see yourself the way I do.”