A few weeks ago I wrote about those times when there are just enough anachronisms or inaccuracies in a book’s worldbuilding to make it feel a little off. I was talking about a historical fantasy book in that case, but even in secondary worlds it’s jarring to have, say, people riding on horseback while shooting … Continue reading Fantasy Worlds and Reader Assumptions
In Victoria Aveyard's Red Queen, the Silver-blooded nobility possess magical powers; some can control water, others fire. Trampled under their feet are the Red-blooded commoners, with no powers to speak of. Mare Barrow is one such powerless Red - or, more accurately, she's a Red, but she's not powerless. When the king learns of her ability, … Continue reading Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard
In a world where clairvoyance is commonplace enough to be branded by the government as 'unnatural', and those gifted with it persecuted and executed, voyants band together in an organised syndicate. Paige Mahoney, a dreamwalker, is the right-hand woman of one of the syndicate's mime-lords - that is, until she is kidnapped and enslaved for … Continue reading The Bone Season and The Mime Order, by Samantha Shannon
Fleeing an arranged marriage to a stranger, Lia, youngest child and only daughter of the king and queen of Morrighan, runs away with her friend and settles in a village at the other end of the country. There she develops a new identity, living in a cottage and working in a tavern. Soon two men … Continue reading The Kiss of Deception, by Mary E. Pearson
'Don't judge a book by its cover.' It's an old refrain, reminding us not to make snap judgements based on appearances. And yet, like so many of these proverbs, it doesn't actually make much sense when taken literally. I do judge books by their covers, and I don't think that makes me shallow or shameful. … Continue reading Do you judge a book by its cover?
Quite a few of my links this week come from The Guardian, oddly enough, though they're mostly older ones. To start things off, Neil Gaiman on Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming. I often hear people say that books aren't important anymore because of the internet, but with most of the information … Continue reading Literary Linking 14/03/15
The Falconer is set in an alternate, steampunk-inspired version of Victorian Edinburgh, in which ornithopters and mechanical tea-making machines (Mrs Doyle from Father Ted would loathe this world!) are commonplace. After Aileana Kameron's mother is killed by a faery, she trains and hunts down faeries in the hopes of one day killing her mother's murderer … Continue reading The Falconer, by Elizabeth May