Wednesday, October 12, 2011

NEW FANTASY CLUTCH-ABLES

The following two titles are clutch-ables, because I did not want to let them out of my clutches. Both of them rate a delicious 4 and a half cones of almost perfect yummy creamy crunchy smoothness.
 

Among Others by Jo Walton, 2010.
Among Others is probably not going to draw mass readership, but if you are an enthusiastic reader of both fantasy and science fiction you won't want to miss this unique book. Keep paper and pencil handy while reading Among Others, because this girl, who loves to read, has read intelligently and deeply in the science fiction and fantasy genres, and you will find yourself wanting to jot down the titles and authors, that will constantly entice you throughout the story, to start a reading list of your own. (There should be a reading list in the back of this book, but there is not.)  On the surface, this book is about a girl, Morwenna (Mori), who has grown up in Wales, and has left there under difficult and mysterious circumstances. Mori has lost her twin sister in a car accident, and run away from her mother to find her long absent father who lives in England. She is immediately packed off to a boarding school, where she is the odd girl with a limp and a cane, who doesn't do sports. Mori joins a book club at the local public library, goes for acupuncture for her leg injury, and fights the circumstances of her sister's death.  Below the surface of the story the chilly supernatural world of spirits and faeries blows lightly through, more like magic realism than a full-on tale of faerie.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor, 2011.
An urban fantasy set in Prague harbors a talented art student who is the foster daughter and handmaid of a creature named Brimstone.  Enter warrior angels, zombie-like chimera; a parallel universe at war; star-crossed love, heartbreak and betrayal, and the story glides you across a dancing turquoise sea of the unexpected.  You will not want it to end, and will be thrilled to know that it is the first of a planned trilogy.  There is already a wait list for this one, so place your hold soon.

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