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Some men are born dragons

When I was a kid, we got all our book bags at Tough Traveler, a locally-owned, American-made company. Their bags were insanely durable and they offered free in-store repairs if something went wrong. Last night, I was thrilled to discover that not only are they still in business, they have an on-line store! My mom still has and uses my old one and I am ridiculously excited about the prospect of buying the exact same bag only in a different color. I'm thinking maybe green this time. If you like really hardy bags you will never need to replace, i can not recommend them enough.

On to the Wednesday reading.

What I just finished

The Last Tsar's Dragons by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple. I've been a fan of Jane Yolen since The Devil's Arithmetic and I'm always a slut for dragons, so naturally I had to try it out when I saw it at the new book shelf at the library. It basically re-imagines the Russian Revolution where both sides had dragons, but I found the dragon action strangely lacking. The great Terry Pratchett once said that the root of all evil is treating people as things and every POV character in this book is just that sort of evil. Rasputin and the unnamed narrator are the worst offenders, but even the otherwise sympathetic Tsarina Alexandra goes from thinking about how much she loves her family in one second to wishing her husband would kill more Jews in the next. As a Jew living in a country where randomly murdering Jews has become a thing now, it made it really hard to like her. The end result was a book with an interesting, if under-used, premise peopled with characters who left me cold. On the plus side, I learned that Leon Trotsky's real name was actually Lev Bronstein, so I guess that's something.

What's Next

The Perilous Guard by Elizabeth Marie Pope. I owned this book back in the day, so when I saw it at the library book sale, I decided to see if it was as good as I remember. If it's not, I'm only out a quarter.

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