Thursday Tea: September 17 (Freedom & Necessity)

Thursday Tea Thursday Tea is a weekly meme hosted by yours truly. To play along, all you need is some tea, a book, and the answers to these questions: what tea are you drinking (and do you like it)? What book are you reading (and do you like it)? Tell us a little about your tea and your book, and whether or not the two go together.

The tea: I keep forgetting to bring other sorts of teas with me to work, so it’s Super Irish Breakfast for the fifth day in a row. Still delicious, but I do wish for another flavor sometimes.

Freedom & N (small)The book: At the moment I’m reading Freedom & Necessity by Steven Brust and Emma Bull. The cover and the title are possibly the more boring combination I’ve ever seen for a book, but it’s actually a really very good story! It’s got intrigue, communists, humor, conspiracies, women dressing as men, Friedrich Engels, lots of fight scenes, absolutely wonderful characters, and even a bit of magic. It moves along really quickly, too, even though it’s presented in letters and journal entries (and some new articles and telegrams) and even though the book is strangely tall (over 9″ tall!), making each page seem like it takes an hour to finish. I know you probably don’t believe me, but it’s a really great book and you shouldn’t let the cover and title trick you into thinking it’s dull.

Here’s a summary from Amazon so you can get a better idea of the plot:

It is 1849. Across Europe, the high tide of revolution has crested, leaving recrimination and betrayal in its wake. From the high councils of Prussia to the corridors of Parliament, the powers-that-be breathe sighs of relief. But the powers-that-be are hardly unified among themselves. Far from it . . .

On the south coast of England, London man-about-town James Cobham comes to himself in a country inn, with no idea how he got there. Corresponding with his brother, he discovers he has been presumed drowned in a boating accident. Together they decide that he should stay put for the moment, while they investigate what may have transpired. For James Cobham is a wanted man—wanted by conspiring factions of the government and the Chartists alike, and also targeted by a magical conspiracy inside his own family.

And so the adventure begins…leading the reader through every corner of mid-nineteenth-century Britain, from the parlors of the elite to the dens of the underclass. Not since Wilkie Collins or Conan Doyle has there been such a profusion of guns, swordfights, family intrigues, women disguised as men, occult societies, philosophical discussions, and, of course, passionate romance.

Do they go together? Oh sure. I mean, I suppose I should really be drinking something like Earl Grey or English Breakfast, but as I can’t stand those teas I suppose it’s a good thing I’m not. I like Super Irish Breakfast much better, and I do think it goes with the book in a “the countries are near each other” kind of way.

What are you drinking/reading this Thursday?

3 thoughts on “Thursday Tea: September 17 (Freedom & Necessity)”

  1. I think I’ll prep me up some green tea w/ pomegranite. Thanks for the idea! and I’m just about to start The Help! I’m putting aside Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – I just can’t get into it (which bums me but oh well)

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