Five Rivers Recommends: Good Books and Warm Drinks

Ah, winter! When the wind takes on that crisp chill that can creep through your clothes, and snowflakes congregate and merge into an icy mulch that given time and pressure could lead you to a slippery downfall. During this season you could go out…but why would you when the call of a blanket and a good book is so strong?

Here at Five Rivers we encourage some quality blanket-time this winter, and our books of 2015 can keep you company as well! We even have a book-drink pairing, because you know you live on the wild side! Even if you do prefer to keep your bum off that icy pavement, you spice things up when your hot cocoa just can’t cut it.

For the first of this Book/Drink Pairing, we kick off with Dave Duncan’s The Eye of Strife, a composition of tales by a curious assortment of witnesses trying to sort out the mystery of a lost, fabled jewel from a thousand years ago, paired with the similarly alluring Ecuadorian Canelazo.

The Eye of Strife will sweep you off to different places from the huge but enclosed Vasquian temple of the Father to the open desert valley of Ilpule Oasis. The multifarious setting is complemented by diverse motivations. The mystery is set and you can taste the subtle spice of deceit!
Your hot Canelazo in hand is similarly inviting—warm and sweet, with a splash of citrus for intrigue, the subtle spice of cinnamon will keep you on your toes (or the rum will knock you out!)
We’re including a simple recipe for your Ecuadorian Canelazo (if you want to tone down on the rum and keep your adventures on the page that is totally up to you! There is also that option of turning it up.)


2 cups water
1 cup turbinado or light brown sugar
4 ounces rum
1 small orange, juiced
8 cinnamon sticks star anise or cloves as garnish if desired


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar on low to medium heat. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved, creating a dark, simple syrup. 
  2. Add to the simple syrup the remaining 1 cup of water, rum, orange juice, and cinnamon sticks. Stir until heated, being sure not to boil it as that will cook off the alcohol.

You can grab your copy of The Eye of Strife and start your adventure here:


Tell us what you think of the book and the drink! And we are even open to suggestions. See you in the comment box!