First things first: check out help_japan
if you prefer the fannish auction method of donation! I'm offering fic
and, because I'm sad I can't offer a song this time, in-person baked goods to anyone living between San Diego and Santa Barbara.
Bonus for people on my journal: If you're a Bay Area person, and you don't mind waiting until summer (which is when I get home), go ahead and bid. I'll deliver up to Petaluma, out to Stockton, and down to San Jose.
... No one is going to bid on this, are they.
So on the recommendation of vega_ofthe_lyre
I read all of Crown Duel today while out on a four-hour walk. (When I started, it was so hazy you could not see the mountains which are approximately four miles from my house. I always think I'm making up these conditions, and then they happen again.) I liked it. I think if I'd read it in seventh grade I would have loved it so much that I would even now still be trying to get everyone else I've ever met to read it, and occasionally peppering my conversation with references to the romance of the ~ekirth ring~. Now, unfortunately, my thought process goes, "Oh, it's like Captive Prince, but het, and Damen is actually as Untutored A Barbarian as everyone thinks he is."
I really need to just bite the bullet and read Dunnett, instead of reading all of her knockoffs and inspirations, but I will say that one thing I deeply, deeply appreciate about Captive Prince is that Laurent is as much of a bastard as the main villain of the second half. In fact there is one point where said villain is posturing in black clothing that sets off his sparkly blond hair and I almost choked to death. Meanwhile the main hero Vidaric is hot and all and I adore all his subtle eyegestures of humor and strongly support Sherwood Smith's decision to have lots of scenes in which the heroine cuts straight through his bullshit, but, like, I guess the difference between Vidaric and Laurent is that Vidaric is from those productions of Macbeth in which Malcolm is testing Macduff when he lists all the horrible things he wants to do, and Laurent is from those productions of Macbeth where Malcolm is being at least partially honest, and wants to know if Macduff can be trusted to take him down should his appetites get out of hand.
Yes, I too have noticed the weird trend where my blog has become Captive Prince Appreciation Station. I don't know what to tell you.
I did spend a good portion of those four hours yelling at Mel, the heroine. I don't mean, like, quietly, in my head. I mean, I wandered into a gated community at one point, because I thought it was a shortcut, and I knew I was a sweaty chick with a massive backpack and there were these two cops there whose jobs were to prevent trespassers, and I was thinking, "Okay, stay cool," and then Mel IGNORED THE ENTIRE YEAR OF VIDARIC BEING NICE TO HER IN ORDER TO POINTLESSLY MISTRUST HIM AND ENDANGER THE COUNTRY AGAIN and I hissed JESUS CHRIST, COME THE FUCK ON really loud just as I passed the cop car. Not my finest moment. When she wasn't in charge of political machinations, though, she was pretty cool. I like the part where she steals a bright white horse in the middle of a manhunt because she knows she's gotta go out with panache.