Whiskey and Water: A Novel of the Promethean Age

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Whiskey and Water

Several years ago, Matthew the Magician ended an age-old war. It only cost him everything-and everyone-he knew and loved. Turning against his mentor, Jane Andraste, in the realm of Faerie left him physically crippled and his power shattered. But Matthew remains the protector of New York City. So when he finds a young woman brutally murdered by a Fae creature, he must brin Several years ago, Matthew the Magician ended an age-old war.

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So when he finds a young woman brutally murdered by a Fae creature, he must bring her killer to justice before Jane uses the crime to justify more war-and before he confronts an even larger threat in the greatest Adversary of all Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published July 3rd by Roc Trade first published More Details Original Title. Promethean Age 2. Other Editions 1. Friend Reviews.

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  • Whiskey and Water (Promethean Age, book 2) by Elizabeth Bear.
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  • Whiskey and Water + Blood and Iron by Elizabeth Bear Review – Bookspotcentral.

More filters. Sort order. Aug 13, Ben Babcock rated it liked it Shelves: read , from-library , fantasy , mythology-remix , alternate-history , urban-fantasy. Significantly better than the first book in this series, Whiskey and Water picks up the loose ends from Blood and Iron and sustains them through half the book, building to a much more satisfying climax consisting of multiple battles and tense magical standoffs. My gripe: why did I have to wait for book 2 for all that heavy worldbuilding to pay off?! As with its predecessor, Whiskey and Water suffers from a surfeit of mythology and mythological characters, particularly when it comes to Devils.


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  8. The Significantly better than the first book in this series, Whiskey and Water picks up the loose ends from Blood and Iron and sustains them through half the book, building to a much more satisfying climax consisting of multiple battles and tense magical standoffs. The complex, and apparently ineffable, rules of magic and Fae once again serve as the cornerstone for the major plots. This time around, I simply gave up trying to make sense of the magical guidelines and tried to enjoy the story. It worked. Sort of. Joining them are some new faces: Kit Marlowe the one and only ; Devils Lucifer, Satan, and Christian an unconvincing antagonist at best ; archangel Michael; and several mortals who may or may not die over the course of the book.

    And again, it's difficult to tell who the "good guys" are. Nominally, Matthew and his cohorts are supposed to be the protagonists. Jane Andraste serves as an antagonist, for her attempts to rebuild the Promethean Club may result in another war with Faerie. Meanwhile, Lucifer has his own agenda, as does the charming Christian, who poses as an apprentice to Jane.

    I found this aspect of the plot entirely unfulfiling. I never understood Christian's motivations--sheer malevolence, or was he working toward a greater plan? There were few characters I could just sit back and enjoy. Donall Smith was one, because he seemed like a genuinely honest and good person. Like the other mortal characters, he suddenly becomes involved in an epic, centuries-old conflict. Unlike the other mortals, however, Donall actually has the guts to stand and fight.

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    Aside from him, the best parts of Whiskey and Water happened around the climax of the book, when every petty conflict comes to a head simultaneously. The rules that govern the Promethean Age seem too mutable. I'll again compare this series to the Dresden Files , by Jim Butcher. The Dresdenverse has a complex set of rules, but I seldom feel burdened or confused by them.

    However, that may be due to the excellent writing and characterization in the Dresden Files books. The Promethean Age series' complex ruleset may be its single worst feature, but it's the characters and conflicts upon which the success of these books rests. And for me at least, there's just too much magic , too many beings who are, at least from a human's very limited perspective, apparently omnipotent.

    The preponderance of powerful beings presents a problem: when unstoppable force meets immovable object, something's got to give. When Dragon faces off against Prometheans, when Hell and Heaven duel, and when one Fae queen plots against the other, the battlefield quickly gets complicated, and the plot can become hard to follow.

    Unfortunately, Elizabeth Bear's problem is that she tries to do too much and is forced to try to balance too many characters and too many conflicts. As a result, while I enjoyed the book--particularly the ending--I'm still somewhat confused, and not entirely certain of exactly who won or even for whom I should have cheered.

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    While I'm all for moral ambiguity, I like to at least have a hero. View all 4 comments. Aug 27, Brownbetty rated it it was amazing. I intended to review the first one because it made me kick my feet in delight but couldn't quite manage it; it's difficult to review a book one really enjoys because one wants to convey the enjoyment of the book, but of course only the book could do that. Interestingly, my first thought upon reading Blood and Water was, "This reminds of a lot of bad books, only good! This is a good chunk of the mythology and folklore of much of the English speaking world, so naturally it exercises quite a draw.

    I consider the topic to have been covered to my satisfaction by Emma Bull , and now Elizabeth Bear. Generally, one of the problems I encounter with books dealing with Faerie is that the mundane world is drawn too mundane. I live here, and I happen to know it's pretty quirky: so does Bear. I had never previously considered how the Fae would react to a body-modding otherkin. If you wish to know the answer to this important question, it is contained within her books. Her Faerie is just as solidly real as the mundane world, although not immutable, and only deceptively familiar.

    Bear's Faerie doesn't blunt the nuance of real life; instead it spins binary into nuance, and gently and elegantly bends stereotype into corkscrews. Gender is bent, when it is not flipped, religion is refracted, history is played backward at 45rpm, and true love is unhelpful. Neil Gaiman wishes he wrote this book. If I had to sum it up in a sentence, that sentence would be a quote from the book: "All stories are true.

    Having read this book, I forced my mother to read it so that she might tell me what she thought of it: she disliked it.


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    She complained to me that there was no one solid relationship that was not in some way damaged or untouched by ambition and betrayal. I, on the other hand, liked the fact that there was no one villain unredeemed by affection, or some form of altruism. Although Bear is working with archetypes, there are no two-dimensional characters.

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    Feb 14, Emily rated it really liked it. The sequel to Bear's Blood and Iron-- a book that was occasionally a little like watching two strangers play three-dimensional chess. Fascinating, but not always easy to understand, or to invest with emotional meaning. This book is more like when you've been at the chess tournament for a while, have begun to absorb the rules, and have chatted with both players in between games.

    Much easier to understand, both intellectually and emotionally.