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Lent
Lent | Jo Walton
8 posts | 2 read | 8 to read
From Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award-winning Jo Walton comes Lent, a magical re-imagining of the man who remade fifteenth-century Florencein all its astonishing strangeness Young Girolamos life is a series of miracles. Its a miracle that he can see demons, plain as day, and that he can cast them out with the force of his will. Its a miracle that hes friends with Pico della Mirandola, the Count of Concordia. Its a miracle that when Girolamo visits the deathbed of Lorenzo the Magnificent, the dying Medici is wreathed in celestial light, a surprise to everyone, Lorenzo included. Its a miracle that when Charles VIII of France invades northern Italy, Girolamo meets him in the field, and convinces him to not only spare Florence but also protect it. Its a miracle than whenever Girolamo preaches, crowds swoon. Its a miracle that, despite the Popes determination to bring young Girolamo to heel, hes still on the loose...and, now, running Florence in all but name. Thats only the beginning. Because Girolamo Savanarola is not whoor whathe thinks he is. He will discover the truth about himself at the most startling possible time. And this will be only the beginning of his many lives. "Rendered with Walton's usual power and beauty...It's this haunting character complexity that ultimately holds the reader captive to the tale." N. K. Jemisin, New York Times, on My Real Children
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xicanti
Lent | Jo Walton
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Pickpick

LENT is religious fiction and historical fantasy. It‘s distinctly litfic in tone but also reminiscent of 70s SFF. The main character is often portrayed elsewhere as one of history‘s great villains. There‘s a time loop. It‘s generally pretty weird.

It‘s also great, at least from where I stand. It got me thinking about religion and historiography from new angles, and it made me want to read a lot more about Savonarola.

xicanti NB: by religious fiction, I mean fiction deeply concerned with religion, not the stuff you see shelved under Inspirational. 3mo
tournevis Jo would love your take on this, esp. the bit about 1970s SF 3mo
40 likes3 comments
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xicanti
Lent | Jo Walton
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70 pages to go! I should be able to finish LENT tonight, at long last. I had one day where I only scrounged enough mental energy to read a single chapter, so I feel like I‘ve been inside it forever. I hate reading slowly.

I ate some Skittles while I read a bit more. They‘re those non-rainbow Pride ones, which seems like a weird marketing choice to me but whatevs. They still taste good and they were $0.94 on clearance.

Susannah So, are the Skittles still flavored as if they had color, so you never know what the flavor will be? This is fascinating! 😁 2mo
xicanti @Susannah they seem to be different flavours, but it turns out Skittles are kind of like Jello: it‘s tough to distinguish them without the colours. 2mo
47 likes2 comments
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xicanti
Lent | Jo Walton
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It‘s frickin miserable out right now: 12 and rainy. That‘s completely unacceptable for late August. Tonight, I have even less patience than usual with cold-lovers (ie, none).

I made my favourite warm Brussels sprout salad with bacon, tomato, and balsamic dressing to sorta cheer myself up. LENT‘s helping, too. All my reservations have melted away and I‘m now hard into it, though I‘m pretty sure I won‘t finish it tonight.

Hestapleton That looks yummy! Recipe? 3mo
Jerdencon Yes - that looks so good! 3mo
xicanti @Hestapleton it‘s 250g of sprouts tossed with 3 slices of chopped bacon and 1T melted coconut oil, then roasted at 200°C/400°F for about 40 minutes. The dressing is 1T olive oil, 1/2T balsamic, 1/4T lime juice, 1/4t each hot mustard and minced garlic, and some salt and pepper. I make the dressing as soon as I put the sprouts in the oven and let about 10 quartered grape tomatoes marinate in it while the rest cook. Then I combine it all & dig in! 3mo
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xicanti @Jerdencon this comment came in while I was typing the recipe out! I just shared it. :) 3mo
Jerdencon Thank you! 3mo
Megabooks Sounds amazing!! 3mo
Crazeedi @xicanti my husband is going to adore this dish, we have 6 brussel sprout plants in the garden, 😊 3mo
xicanti @Jerdencon any time! 3mo
xicanti @Megabooks it really, really is. 3mo
xicanti @Crazeedi it‘s one of my very favourites. It‘s also easy to double so more people can have it as a full meal. 3mo
47 likes11 comments
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xicanti
Lent | Jo Walton
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I like to read by book light during thunderstorms so I can properly appreciate the lightning.

I‘m now just over 100 pages into LENT, and it looks like I‘m gonna stick with it. I always think of Savonarola as one of the Villains of the Renaissance, but Jo Walton‘s fictionalized version of him has got me intrigued.

Crazeedi I love lightening and thunderstorms! 3mo
xicanti @Crazeedi they‘re my favourite! 3mo
54 likes2 comments
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xicanti
Lent | Jo Walton
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Breakfast with a new book. To be honest, I‘ve felt ambivalent about LENT since I got it, and I‘m even leerier now I see it has a 0% Litsy rating. Still, I‘ll give it a couple chapters and see if it clicks. I‘ve got a history of loving SFF that most folks wrinkle their noses at.

Plus, I think most of my ambivalence is to do with POOR RELATIONS, a forced gender reassignment novel Walton announced a while back and I guess cancelled? It shook me.

shanaqui Hmm, odd, I liked it... guess I didn't actually put my review on Litsy, apparently. I didn't think it was her best, but I was surprised by how quickly I went from “ugh, Savonarola“ to “hmm... interesting“, and by how much of a punch in the gut some of the sections ended with. 3mo
VioletBramble I saw Jo Walton and immediately wanted to stack add this book. Then I saw the reviews. I haven‘t liked many of her recent books. I‘ll hold off on looking for this one. 3mo
xicanti @shanaqui @VioletBramble I made it sixty pages in this morning, and I‘m intrigued so far. I‘m gonna stick with it a while longer. 3mo
47 likes1 stack add3 comments
review
CaitlinR
Lent | Jo Walton
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Mehso-so

I really, really wanted to love this book. Girolamo Savonarola is presented as a demon who keeps trying to save Florence. He is executed again and again, enters hell, and re-emerges, with more knowledge , but not more wisdom, and lacking divine guidance.

Unfortunately, the repetition and sheer weight/length of the tale made me feel as though I too was trapped in Hell.

I‘m a big fan of Jo Walton, and I finished LENT, but ... so-so.

tournevis You are not the first to say this... 5mo
rretzler That‘s too bad! 5mo
shanaqui I felt like in the end we didn't see enough repetitions to give us the payoff, but then also that I'd have gone bananas if there were more repetitions! (And Jo does seem to have a bee in her bonnet about Plato and Florence, lately!) 5mo
17 likes1 stack add3 comments
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shanaqui
Lent | Jo Walton
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Got about 30% read in the hairdresser. It's interesting to read this historical fantasy while also playing the Ezio games from the Assassin's Creed series -- my history is getting all muddled (such as it was to begin with for this area and period).

Would've read more, but spent the evening rewatching old episodes of The Great British Sewing Bee and finishing off this crochet lace blanket. Future snuggly reading times ahead!

rabbitprincess Beautiful! 5mo
Bklover Beautiful blanket!💜 5mo
Hufflepuffle What a gorgeous blanket 😍 5mo
15 likes3 comments
blurb
shanaqui
Lent | Jo Walton
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It took three different retailers and two cancelled orders, but finally I have this book. Biscuit's checking... She doesn't *quite* believe it. #BunniesofLitsy

DivineDiana Sweet Biscuit! ❤️ 5mo
Hufflepuffle What a beautiful bunny!!! 😍 5mo
shanaqui @DivineDiana She didn't even really try to nibble it. Good bun. :D 5mo
shanaqui @Hufflepuffle Biscuit will be pleased by the praise... 5mo
Reviewsbylola Biscuit is a doll! 5mo
17 likes5 comments