Holly Black's TITHE -- thumbs up
<-- Check it out at Amazon.
Holly Black's TITHE: A MODERN FAERIE TALE was a great read! It's a young adult novel, but not innocent at all. Reminiscent of Annette Curtis Klause's BLOOD AND CHOCOLATE or Francesca Lia Block's books or even Emma Bull's WAR FOR THE OAKS.
Sixteen-year-old [...] Kaye finds out there's much more to the faerie world than her little woods-dwelling friends when she stumbles upon an ambushed faerie knight and saves his life. The beautiful and fascinating Roiben is a member of the Unseelie court, a deadly agent of its queen. Kaye learns this too late, though; she's drawn to him. Although Kaye and Roiben are on different sides, they're caught in a power struggle between the Seelie and Unseelie courts that endangers them both.
This book had all the flash I could hope for. It was exciting and fast-paced and edgy and sexy. And short! I was surprised at what a quick read TITHE was, and wouldn't have minded a story that was more fleshed out. The story took place over only a week or so, which always casts doubt on the strength of romantic bonds formed, doesn't it? But I don't care. Holly Black creates as strong a glamour as any character in TITHE--Roebin had that dangerous, cynical, hero-despite-himself appeal that dazzles. And Kaye was revealed to be a young woman of unexpected strength and nobility. And the supporting cast was multi-dimensional. I want more!--Preeti
News from January Locus
Sharon Shinn sold two books in new "Mystic and Rider" series and a novella set in her "Samaria" universe to Ginjer Buchanan at Ace (I wonder where that will appear).
Catherine Asaro will write three fantasy novels for Mary Theresa Hussey at Silhouette for Worldwide's new fantasy line.
Elizabeth Gilligan's Sovereign Silk, book three of her "Silken Magic" series, went to Sheila Gilbert at DAW. (We haven't seen the first book yet, but the author describes it as romantic. So I shall definitely see. )
Madeleine E. Robins delivered PETTY TREASON, second in her "hardboiled Regency" mystery series about detective Sarah Tolerance, to Patrick Neilsen Hayden at Tor.
------ There's an article, "Romancing SF," about Tor's paranormal romance line, which will feature mass market originals by known SF/F and Romance authors, as well as new talent. Tentatively titled Tor Romance, it has a projected launch date of July 2004. And Harlequin is developing a fantasy line to be run by Mary Theresa Hussey. Stories are intended for the female fantasy reader, with a romantic subplot, beginning early in 2004.
DRAGON BLOOD by Patricia Briggs--Preeti's Comments
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I finally read a Patricia Briggs novel all the way through! I know many of you are big fans, but I've always found it easy to leave her books perpetually bookmarked after reading only a few chapters. Not so with DRAGON BLOOD. Barbara, I think you and I are on the same wavelength about this book.[...]
The book is really growing on me upon reflection. I liked the characters' emotional sophistication and their interaction with each other, as well as the message of hope, endurance, and resilience in the face of physical and emotional pain. I also appreciated the tight plot and flashes of wry humor. The worldbuilding, however, didn't blow me away (i.e.-I wasn't left wanting to know more.)
In the future, I'm going to hide the bookmarks when reading a Patricia Briggs book. Otherwise, I suspect I'll be missing a very good story.--Preeti
Patricia Briggs DRAGON BLOOD -- Barbara's Review
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We take up Ward's story four years after the closing of DRAGON BONES. Ward is rebuilding his keep, and playing a tight-rope walking act with the king, who would like nothing better than to see him eliminated as a symbol of resistance to his reign.
[...]Okay, Ward does get the girl in this one, so it does rate as a sf romance. And covered in the story are some interesting elements of accepting Tisala as a woman fully capable of managing on her own competently, thank you, but also having different skills.
There are some segments that are a not for the squeamish, similar to the early part of THE HOB'S BARGAIN. The author strikes a delicate balance of being pretty specific that Tisala - and then Ward - are being tortured, but without details that would repel. And it is an interesting part of growth of both Tisala and Ward, both of whom are strong characters to start with, that they accept what happens to them and those around them honestly but without pity or self-aggrandizement (how's that for a word?)
Probably what is most enjoyable about the book is significant time spent with Ward in first person perspective, while he does what has to be done. And then time spent in other character's POV where the event is seen as much more important and "heroic" than Ward seems to consider it. The author literally builds a hero before your eyes and makes him come alive.
We rescue people, do a couple of stupid but seemed smart at the time things, learn a few more things about dragons -- wow, check out the scene with Ward on the hill where DRAGON BONES started, what a set-up that is! Learn a bit more about the world where Ward is just trying to get along the best he can, including another journey with the dwarves and a bargain struck that brings back a character from DRAGON BONES.
Once again, an action driven story but a truly great, but subtle, bit of character driven story that entranced me almost as much as the action.
I liked DRAGON BONES and I think I actually liked this one better for some additional elements that showed up--a bit more story parts that showed better skill as a writer.--Barbara