Last month, I reread the five existing books of The Order of the Air series by Melissa Scott and Jo Graham. These are some of my favorite comfort reads. Parts of these period adventure-fantasies are very cozy, but aside from the wonderful characters’ mutual support, love, and humor, there are also some tense and exciting action sequences, with almost ordinary people teaming up to resist evil and try to make the world better.
From Steel Blues:
She put her hand on his arm, sleeve and flesh beneath it, warm and alive. “The world can’t be saved.”
He shrugged. “Maybe not. But what else am I doing with my life?”
No speeches. No oaths. No promises that no one could keep.
“Well,” [she] said. “If you put it that way.”
The main characters aren’t mighty heroes — though some are hot pilots, along with the archaeologist and, later, the thief/con artist — but they are quiet heroes. Many of their choices to do the right thing seem fairly small and personal in the moment, like helping some abandoned children or breaking somebody’s bad-luck curse. Some of their choices are obviously dangerous, like tracking a possessed man to try to put his demon back under control, and those sequences make for some great drama, but I also really like how the authors portray that the little things matter, too — in themselves and in their sometimes far-reaching consequences. [Read more…]