I finished The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana last night. While I gather my thoughts for a coherent post about it, here are a few more words that sent me to the dictionary:

  • yataghan. A sword without a guard and typically with a double-curved blade. “His hero, Des Esseintes, comes from a long line of grim, muscular warriors with yataghan mustaches.”
  • oriflamme. A scarlet banner or knight’s standard. “And once again, her skirt, the oriflamme of her hair–but seen, as always, from the back.”
  • madrepore. A stony coral of the genus Madrepora. “Still assuming that I am an individual, and human, and not a madrepore of linked beans.”
  • byssus. A fine textile fiber and fabric of flax. “And it was given her to wear a splendid, wholesome byssus, whose splendor shall be like to priceless gems.”
  • I haven’t had to look up so many words while reading a book in quite some time. It was fun. Next time I feel like I need to add some words to my vocabulary I will read an Eco book.