Tasted any good books lately?
BookTasting is my favorite way to merge my two highest passions: books and tea. After all, what is better than reading, except reading along with an ideal cuppa? That’s what BookTasting is all about: finding the perfect tea companion to enhance or complement a book for the best overall reading experience.
A fascinating element of tea drinking is the varieties that have evolved to create such a palette of choices from a single plant (Camellia Sinensis)–depending on the region, harvest season, and the fermentation process. Add to that the blends of herbs, flowers, or other flavors, and tea choices become almost endless.
Much like the almost infinite variety (thank Goodness!) of genre literature. And the best kinds of books—like the best kinds of teas—are the ones able to be savored over and over again, without losing their magic.
Stephen R. Donaldson’s The Mirror of Her Dreams is one such book. It tells the story of a modern day princess in a high tower, a young woman under an enchantment without realizing. She is Terisa Morgan, a young woman who feels always on the verge of evaporation—so enwrapped in a life of emptiness and irrelevance, she’s compelled to decorate her apartment entirely in mirrors, to convince herself she really does exist.
And into this life-suddenly and dramatically—comes Geraden, an Apt so long in training he’s the oldest one yet to become Master. From a place called Mordant, where mirrors are magic and Imagers are powerful conjurers. By a Congery well aware of Geraden’s potential to botch things up.
The Mirror of Her Dreams is a rich, satisfying tale of dreams and awakenings, of the blending of the known and unknown, and of a partnership that proves once again that the universe, however mysterious, sometimes does know exactly what it’s doing.
But it is Donaldson’s narrative voice and his poetic use of imagery that gives the novel its intensity. His artistic skill gives the imagination the work it’s meant to do. A “good story” becomes food for thought. Stimulating. Profound.
It’s the taste of St. Pauls London Breakfast Tea, a fantastic companion to the novel. The tea is a rich, satisfying breakfast blend, with malty overtaste as its hallmark trait. Perfect for awakenings, for the early morning rise from dreams. To bridge the known and the unknown.
But it is the hint of bergamot (the herb of the favored Earl Gray tea) as the poetic touch that gives the tea its intensity. The high tone of bergamot against the low, dark tones of a breakfast blend give the taste buds the work they are meant to do. A good tea becomes thoughtful food. Stimulating. Profound.
Donaldson’s The Mirror of Her Dreams and St. Paul’s London Breakfast Tea is a poetic partnership that proves once again that the universe, however mysterious, sometimes knows exactly what it’s doing.
Give it a try, and see if you don’t agree! I’d love to hear your thoughts on tea and reading, and to hear what other favorite titles you’d like BookTasted.
And be sure to visit my website at www.jackiegamber.com for more BookTastings of science fiction and fantasy classics (and to discover the perfect tea with my own fantasy novel Redheart). Say hello; you could win a tin of Harney and Sons tea, and more!
Jackie Gamber is an award-winning freelance editor, as well as award-winning author of the fantasy novel Redheart, available now through Seventh Star Press www.seventhstarpress.com. Special introductory e-book offer, only $1.99!
A veteran of the USAF, Jackie is now, among other things, a rosarian, a professional BookTaster, and an avid believer in imagination. Visit Jackie and her BookTastings on the world wide web at www.jackiegamber.com.