New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn takes readers into Africa during the height of British colonialism, to meet a man as wild as the land he loves in this prequel novella....
Ryder White is Canadian by birth but African by choice. He is more at home in the wilds of the savannah, shooting and sleeping his way across the continent, than amongst the hedonistic colonists of Kenyan society.
In a landscape where one false move can cost a man his life, Ryder's skill as a guide is unparalleled, but only the rich or royal can afford his services. When a European prince hires Ryder to help him hunt an elusive leopard Ryder thinks it's just another well-paying job with yet another spoiled voyeur. But this perilous journey is full of dangers that may change Ryder forever....
Ryder returns in A Spear of Summer Grass by Deanna Raybourn, where he encounters a woman from a very different world, to explore beauty and darkness and what is truly worth fighting for.
The daughter of a scandalous mother, Delilah Drummond is already notorious, even amongst Paris society. But her latest scandal is big enough to make even her oft-married mother blanch. Delilah is exiled to Kenya and her favorite stepfather's savannah manor house until gossip subsides.
Fairlight is the crumbling, sun-bleached skeleton of a faded African dream, a world where dissolute expats are bolstered by gin and jazz records, cigarettes and safaris. As mistress of this wasted estate, Delilah falls into the decadent pleasures of society.
Against the frivolity of her peers, Ryder White stands in sharp contrast. As foreign to Delilah as Africa, Ryder becomes her guide to the complex beauty of this unknown world. Giraffes, buffalo, lions and elephants roam the shores of Lake Wanyama amid swirls of red dust. Here, life is lush and teeming-yet fleeting and often cheap.
Amidst the wonders-and dangers-of Africa, Delilah awakes to a land out of all proportion: extremes of heat, darkness, beauty and joy that cut to her very heart. Only when this sacred place is profaned by bloodshed does Delilah discover what is truly worth fighting for-and what she can no longer live without.
My first review of A Spear of Summer Grass
I utterly enjoyed these books! They were so awesome, amazing, and just great to read, entertaining, a little thought provoking, and just so incredible, and loveable! Especially the characters, Delilah and Ryder, Jude and Tusker, Kit and Gideon, Moses and Mossy!
The novella was pretty awesome, being in Ryder's head, and seeing things that happened earlier, things that were mentioned or told as stories in A Spear of Summer Grass, the lion that he shot in town, how he got the scars on his arm. And the possibility that the guy unconscionably let things fall out that Ryder could die, because Ryder was with the lady that the prince dude had brought long. Yeah.
Loved the mystery, though it did hurt people, seeing as Kit died, which is too bad, since then he wasn't there for the show of his work. But between the fire, and his death, and the fact that the police focused on the easiest target, the natives, and in particular, Gideon,
There was the one story, of what really happened between Ryder and his wife, and how she was pregnant with his best friend's baby, the best friend who left to go marry Jude, so yeah, there was that, and that has me wondering if the baby, or child now, since a few years have passed, will have a story to tell in City of Jasmine!
Favourite lines from A Spear of Summer Grass: "I had learned that particular soothing ton from Mossy. She usually used it on horses, but I found it worked equally well with men. Maybe better." And that says something about males! "Not bloody likely, darling." Because you like your liquor and smokes too much? "I had instructed them to paint it the same scarlet as my lipstick, which the dealer couldn't seem to understand until I had left a crimson souvenir of my kiss on the wall of his office." Which is a bit weird, but OK!"No doubt he was keeping me waiting to impress upon me the significance of his position, so I looked around and waited for him to get tired of his own importance." Which, really, is hardly anything! "I didn't say I got to his heart first, Do. I got there first." So which does he value more, his heart, or his private parts? "...a wilderness that hadn't changed since eve went dancing in a fig-leaf skirt." Now that's an image! "His town was so calm, so matter-of-fact, we might have been discussing what he wanted for dinner rather than whether he would live or die." Though he is the type to get into this type of situation often, and might be a bit used to it! "I looked like a walking wedding night." Surely a wedding night would be better then how she looks! "I wasn't surprised his shirts had outlived him." Mine don't! I break things too easily! "'I left for London to go to a wedding.' 'So? That shouldn't of stopped us.' 'I was the bride.'" That just might have stopped the 2 of you! "Uncouth, but entirely sterling of character-one of the best. I hate him." That goes together well-ish! "It was an ongoing game, and she was ahead of me in the tally by five thousand points, but I hoped to make it up eventually. I suspected she was cheating, but I never could figure out how." That is a lot of points! "'Not that I've found,' he replied cheerfully." I don't know if it's a good thing that there's no other place more dangerous, or bad! "Not where I come from. By great-grandmother is past ninety and still she manages a sugar plantation that runs to twenty thousand acres. She tends cattle, deliver babies, keeps the books and she cracks the whip on anybody who gets out of line, including her six sons." That's pretty impressive! "Gideon, I think Mr. Bell wouldn't have bothered with the telephone if he'd had any experience with the marvels of the African bush." It is pretty darned fast! "Well, I've never claimed to love Jesus, Mr. Halliwell. In fact, we're barely acquainted." Just goes to show, you can't say anything about Delilah, assume anything, because it'll probably go badly! "Men are such children. Really, I've seen male lions mauling each other with more subtlety." They don't like growing up! "Don't worry. I have my gun. If I hear something coming toward my tent, I'll just shoot first and worry about what it might have been later." So watch out! "I thought instead of a last mean he might like a last-" Yeah, don't let him finish that sentence! "He said the whole country is too damned small. gave him claustrophobia." Well, it is just an admittedly large island, but it's borders aren't really going to change! "I looked like the world's biggest paperweight." Which would be something to see! "Now take me in, gingernut." Because of his hair? "As soon as you get my lawyer. Until then, you can go hang yourself." Loved how she played him when he thought he was playing her! "He's my ex-husband." And a pretty good person. And he'll come! "And then I had to ruin it all by getting involved with a man who went and got himself murdered. The irony almost choked me." Yeah, it sucks for everyone! "I married a lovely girl and ended up with my own grandmother." Which sounds really bad!
Yeah, this was just a fantastic 2 part series, and with a spin off 2 part series, and yeah, just so good, and I just love them so much!
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Series: Spear of Summer Grass #0.5, 1
First Read: March 27th, 2013
Read: September 19th, 19th, 2014
Reason Why: Rereading! And they're Historical Fiction 2014 Books and Prequel & Sequel Challenge 2014 Books!
Published: April 1st 2013, April 23rd 2013
Far in the Wilds:
A Spear of Summer Grass: