Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Thornspell by Helen Lowe

I'm usually not so into fairy tales, but this book has me rethinking that prejudice of mine...it's a re-telling of the story of Sleeping Beauty, but told through the life of the prince--THE prince, the one who rescues Sleeping Beauty. And it's a YA novel--a genre that I love because it's almost a non-genre. The author did an amazing job of just telling her story, rather than telling it for a specific audience--because, after all, isn't that really the most important thing? It's what I look for, anyways--a kind of authenticity of approach that doesn't limit the author, and thereby creates a picture of the world that the reader can apply their own life to, and relate to in their own way.

That's how I felt about Thornspell. The story is definitely fantastic, with fairies (good and bad), shifting realities of real and unreal (that s comes up again and again), and, of course, a magical, powerful sword. But what's truly great about this book is that it's not ABOUT all those elements--they just happen to make the story more enjoyable to read.  Check it out. You'll be surprised how much you like it, especially if you think you don't like fairy tales.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Great Man by Kate Christiansen

Sometimes when I find a great book after a long dry spell of mediocre to not-so-great books, I catch myself reading as though I'm breathing out one long sigh of relief. I usually read these books quickly, which is a shame (since they're so good). But maybe it's not a shame, because this way, I know I'll be able to re-read and find things I didn't see before.

The Great Man was like that for me. I read it quickly; I read it thankfully. It felt fresh, it felt free, and most importantly, it felt effortless. And those are the kinds of books I love the most. Effortlessly well-written, and effortlessly readable.