Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is a great debut novel
by a very talented writer. This book grabs you from the get go
and keeps you reading through a complex tale full of twists.
While the tale of a young woman pulled from her world into one full
of court intrigues may seem stereotypical this is everything but.
Deathless is the story of
Koschei the Deathless, a figure from Russian folklore, and his bride
to be, Marya Morevna. The novel combines the magic of fairy tales
with the endless bureaucracy of Socialist Russia to create an
imaginative and, at times, hilareous journey. While the story lags
at times the Valente's beautiful prose stylings make up for any loss.
Ultimately this is a book more about journey than destination.
Plus it has socialist house elves!
WHY DID PAAMA LEAVE ANSIGE?There
are men of violence. There are men who drink. And then
there was Ansige, a man with a vice so pathetic as to be laughable.
He ate; he lived for his belly. No one would believe that a
woman could leave a man for that, but before you scoff, consider
this. With his gluttony, he drew in other sins – arrogance
complicated by indolent stupidity, lust for comfort, ire when
thwarted, avarice in all his business dealings, and a strange
conviction that always, somehow, there was some undeserving person
who had more food than he did.I can hear some of you
complaining already. 'A woman who cooks and a man who eats should be
a match made in heaven!' Do you really think so? Then you
have not grasped that Ansige was not an epicure, but a gourmand.
Paama's talents were wasted on him. (p. 11)
Karen Lord's debut
novel Redemption in Indigo is a blending of Senegalese and Caribbean
stories about a young woman and her greedy, slovenly husband. The
author takes pains to paint a detailed and involved story-scape,
placing the reader firmly in Paama's world.
The story itself is
laid out in short chapters that segment the tale into different
aspects, from Paama's dealings with Ansige to her involvement with
the djombi, chaos stick and a certain indigo antagonist. This
breaking of the story helps to maintain a very steady pace and at no
point did I feel as though the story was dragging.
The story is
written in a third person omniscient point of view, invoking an
ancient storyteller regaling a group of villagers huddled around the
fire, even imparting his own bits of added wisdom throughout. This
helps to fill in the world for the reader without taking a blase or
preachy tone as can often happen.
in Indigo is a powerful novel that I would recommend to anyone. The
characters evolve throughout the novel and scenes flow very nicely
from one to the next. After completing the book I found myself
thinking back on the characters and there were none that I disliked,
all find their own path to redemption. A truly touching story that
will leave you thinking well after completion.
In novel after novel, and
story after story, Charles de Lint has brought an entire imaginary
North American city to vivid life. Newford: where magic lights dark
streets; where myths walk clothed in modern shapes; where a broad
cast of extraordinary and affecting people work to keep the whole
At the center of all the
entwined lives in Newford stands a young artist named Jilly
Coppercorn, with her tangled hair, her paint-splattered jeans, a
smile perpetually on her lips--Jilly, whose paintings capture the
hidden beings that dwell in the city's shadows. Now, at last, de Lint
tells Jilly's own story...for behind the painter's fey charm lies a
dark secret and a past she's labored to forget. And that past is
coming to claim her now.
"I'm the onion girl,"
Jilly Coppercorn says. "Pull back the layers of my life, and you
won't find anything at the core. Just a broken child. A hollow girl."
She's very, very good at running. But life has just forced Jilly to
Bob Tarte had his first encounter with a cat when he was two and a half years old. He should have learned his lesson then, from Fluffy. But as he says, "I listened to my heart instead, and that always leads to trouble." In this tell-all of how the Tarte household grew from one recalcitrant cat to six--including a hard-to-manage stray named Frannie--Tarte confesses to allowing these interlopers to shape his and his wife's life, from their dining habits to their sleeping arrangements to the placement and furriness of their furniture. But more than that, Bob begins seeing Frannie and the other cats as unlikely instructors in the art of achieving contentment, even in the face of illness and injury. Bewitched by the unknowable nature of domesticated cats, he realizes that sometimes wildness and mystery are exactly what he needs.With the winning humor and uncanny ability to capture the soul of the animal world that made" Enslaved by Ducks" a success, Tarte shows us that life with animals gives us a way out of our narrow human perspective to glimpse something larger, more enduring, and more grounded in the simplicities of love--and catnip.
Alastair Reynolds's first
novel is "hard" SF on an epic scale, crammed with
technological marvels and immensities. Its events take place over a
relatively short period, but have roots a billion years old--when the
Dawn War ravaged our galaxy.
Sylveste is the only man
ever to return alive and sane from a Shroud, an enclave in space
protected by awesome gravity-warping defenses: "a folding a
billion times less severe should have required more energy than was
stored in the entire rest-mass of the galaxy." Now an intuition
he doesn't understand makes him explore the dead world Resurgam,
whose birdlike natives long ago tripped some booby trap that made
their own sun erupt in a deadly flare.
Meanwhile, the vast,
decaying lightship Nostalgia for Infinity is coming for Sylveste,
whose dead father (in AI simulation) could perhaps help the Captain,
frozen near absolute zero yet still suffering monstrous
transformation by nanotech plague. Most of Infinity's tiny crew have
hidden agendas--Khouri the reluctant contract assassin believes she
must kill Sylveste to save humanity--and there are two bodiless
stowaways, one no longer human and one never human. Shocking truths
emerge from bluff, betrayal, and ingenious lies.
The Malazan Empire simmers
with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting
and bloody confrontations with ancient and implacable sorcerers. Even
the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some
respite. Yet Empress Laseen's rule remains absolute, enforced by her
dread Claw assassins.
For Sergeant Whiskeyjack
and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, their lone
surviving mage, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a
time to mourn the many dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free
Cities, yet holds out. It is to this ancient citadel that Laseen
turns her predatory gaze.
However, the Empire is not
alone in this great game. Sinister, shadowbound forces are gathering
as the gods themselves prepare to play their hand . . .
The year is 2380. The Intersolar Commonwealth, a sphere
of stars some four hundred light-years in diameter, contains more
than six hundred worlds, interconnected by a web of transport
“tunnels” known as wormholes. At the farthest edge of the
Commonwealth, astronomer Dudley Bose observes the impossible: Over
one thousand light-years away, a star . . . vanishes. It does not go
supernova. It does not collapse into a black hole. It simply
disappears. Since the location is too distant to reach by
wormhole, a faster-than-light starship, the Second Chance, is
dispatched to learn what has occurred and whether it represents a
threat. In command is Wilson Kime, a five-time rejuvenated ex-NASA
pilot whose glory days are centuries behind him.
These books are great for any age, they have beautiful illustrations and teach wonderful life lessons. As a cat lover thease are some of my favorite children's stories. The cats also use the term "Human Beans" instead of human beings, which of course, is adorable.
Like everyone else, precocious high school senior
Quentin Coldwater assumes that magic isn't real, until he finds
himself admitted to a very secretive and exclusive college of magic
in upstate New York. There he indulges in joys of college-friendship,
love, sex, and booze- and receives a rigorous education in modern
sorcery. But magic doesn't bring the happiness and adventure Quentin
thought it would. After graduation, he and his friends stumble upon a
secret that sets them on a remarkable journey that may just fulfill
Quentin's yearning. But their journey turns out to be darker and more
dangerous than they'd imagined. Psychologically piercing and
dazzlingly inventive, The Magicians is an enthralling
coming-of-age tale about magic practiced in the real world-where good
and evil aren't black and white, and power comes at a terrible price. This book is a little Harry Potter, a tad of CS Lewis and some acid tripping thrown together.