Monday, October 31, 2005
Sunday, October 30, 2005
I hated TOUCHED BY VENOM, written by an apparently new fantasy author, Janine Cross. It was a relentlessly depressing, strange book. Here's what I remember from reading it two weeks ago: young peasant girl in brutal ancient land has her situation go from bad to worse to awful over the course of several years. And then the book ends. I don't care to read any more in the saga and have never been more grateful for my poor long-term memory.
WARNING--SOME SPOILERS AHEAD
Zarq is the daughter of peasant potters. Her mother is descended from the reviled green-mottled aboriginal people who have been conquered by the invaders who now rule the land. The little I remember is that the land is politically organized around lords who own dragons. Women have few rights. I can't even remember why the dragons are a big deal, but they are. A brutal, patriarchal religious and political system revolves around these dragons (presented for most of the book as non-sentient.)
Zarq's father ends up being killed by aristocrats, her elder sister ends up a slave, and her mother slowly goes mad over the loss of her eldest daughter. She becomes obsessed with finding her, leading to more tragedy for Zarq, as she is driven from place to place, eventually ending up at a poor convent where old bull dragons are taken to live out the ends of their lives.
The injustice of the world Zarq lives in was just too maddening. In stories set in oppressive societies, heroes are usually underdogs for a little while and then they begin to triumph over evil, you know? Zarq pretty much stays oppressed and powerless throughout this novel. Any triumphing is being saved for sequels.
Posted by Preeti @ 09:32 PM ET [Link]
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Do you love Sharon Lee & Steve Miller's "Liaden" stories but hate those flimsy, hard-to-shelf chapbooks? Introducing LIADEN UNIVERSE COMPANION, VOLUME ONE - the first in a series of collected Lee and Miller short fiction. Volume One contains all of the stories from the first five Liaden chapbooks plus a story - "King of the Cats" - that appeared in an anthology. SRM Publishers (Lee and Miller's small press) sold out of the pre-ordered hardcover, but the trade paperback is still available at $15.95 through SRM.
-Where the Goddess Sends
-A Choice of Weapons
-To Cut An Edge
-King of the Cats
-A Spell for the Lost
-A Day at the Races
-The Wine of Memory
-Pilot of Korval
-Balance of Trade
Posted by rebekah @ 09:33 PM ET [Link]
Monday, October 17, 2005
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Friday, October 14, 2005
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Sunday, October 9, 2005
Thursday, October 6, 2005
Wednesday, October 5, 2005
I'm annoyed that this book I've been looking forward to for a year didn't wow me. Clare Dunkle's IN THE COILS OF THE SNAKE started off great, but too much within me instinctively strains against Dunkle's society of elves and goblins in rural 19th century England. That, and the absence of a character as charismatic as Marak from THE HOLLOW KINGDOM didn't help. Oh, and the end seemed rushed. If I dwell too much on this book, I'll probably end up divesting it of any worth in my mind when, in fact, I thought it was a good read with huge problems.
Miranda is a human molded by the old goblin king to marry his son and heir Catspaw. Now that she's 17, she's been allowed to leave the human world and enter the Hollow Kingdom--the goblin land--where she's looking forward to the respect and status she'll get as the King's Wife.
However, this is not to be. Goblin kings marry elves, who had been thought to have all but died out. But appearing shortly before Miranda's wedding is a band of elves. Their leader, Ash, is willing to trade with Catspaw -- an elf wife for the books of elvish magic that have been in the goblins' keeping. Ash is determined for the elves to thrive again.
The practical Catspaw throws over Miranda--who is furious and hurt--and means for her to marry some high-ranking goblin. She demands her freedom instead, leaves the goblin kingdom, and is promptly magically entrapped by the elf lord, who is driven to act by his magic. This infuriates Catspaw, despite the fact that he's taken an unwilling 17-year-old elf-bride of his own, and the two sides look to be headed for battle.
So where do I even begin listing the things I didn't like? I think I'll have to resort to bullet points. Spoilers abound, so beware!
Posted by Preeti @ 01:28 AM ET [Link]
Monday, October 3, 2005
Saturday, October 1, 2005