Lord Tophet

It shaped up to be a very iiinteresting weekend. We moved the in-laws yesterday, and my day took a detour into frighteningly greasy pizza and McDonald’s fries. Then, there was Robert Burns’ birthday, and all Scottish people celebrate that by eating haggis, highly nutritious and heavy Scottish rustic food. Hard cider may or may not have added to any trouble…

We’ve discovered, once and for all after last year’s gall bladder surgery, that I am lipi-betic, and you can bet that I’ll be very cautious about what I eat for a while.

***

As I lay in a tartan induced haze last night, I had a dream. In my dream, I did something I wanted to do, a change as of late. A few months ago, Bryon and I went to our friend Denny’s for a reception for Gregory Frost, one of the University of Iowa’s favorite sons. We were there again, in my dream, and I was explaining to Greg how much I was really enjoying Lord Tophet.

Greg is delightful company. We met at a presentation I was giving at Wiscon on Baba Yaga, and he told me who he was. I had read Fitcher’s Brides, Greg’s re-telling of Bluebeard, which is one of the most horrifying books I’ve ever read. I complimented him on the book, and we’ve both been keeping Iowa literate in our own way ever since.

Well, Lord Tophet. Of course, Shadowbridge is the prequel to Lord Tophet, and you need to read it first. It’s good, and it does much the same thing that Lord Tophet does, except that when you get to Lord Tophet, the second half of the adventure, Greg hits his stride as a story teller. The background to the epic is built, Leodora breaks free of her past, the tales are skillfully weaved into the rich tapestry of the span, and the gods notice what’s going on.

I find myself insensate to what else is going on around me when I read the book. Falling into a story is the highest compliment I can give a book. It’s skillfully rendered and fully realized. Breathtakingly so.

Only 150 more pages to spend in this world, and I regret that. I hope Gregory Frost revisits someday. You? You should be reading this.

Catherine

Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

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