There is something intellectually rewarding about realism, the sort of mental-gasm I rarely get from genre fiction. There are novels I read to learn about my world and novels I read to escape from it. The latter is where fantasy lies.
I will always love Harry Potter and A Song of Ice and Fire – two very engrossing, brilliant, comforting series (and considering the painful, heart-wrenching deaths, that says a lot). I could never read fantasy continually, but it can be a marvellous genre.
Jenny from Reading the End recommended me the first book of The Tamír Triad, The Bone Doll’s Twin, ages ago. I bought it, read the first page, disliked it and put it away on my shelf. I’m not sure why I even picked it up again last month, but once I fought past the first couple of pages I couldn’t put it down. Three books later and I feel bereft of its company.
Always fight past the first page and always listen to Jenny, lesson learned.
‘For three centuries a divine prophecy and a line of warrior queens protected Skala. But the people grew complacent and Erius, a usurper king, claimed his young half sister’s throne.
Now plague and drought stalk the land, war with Skala’s ancient rival Plenimar drains the country’s lifeblood, and to be born female into the royal line has become a death sentence as the king fights to ensure the succession of his only heir, a son. For King Erius the greatest threat comes from his own line — and from Illior’s faithful, who spread the Oracle’s words to a doubting populace.
As noblewomen young and old perish mysteriously, the king’s nephew — his sister’s only child — grows toward manhood. But unbeknownst to the king or the boy, strange, haunted Tobin is the princess’s daughter, given male form by a dark magic to protect her until she can claim her rightful destiny.
Only Tobin’s noble father, two wizards of Illior, and an outlawed forest witch know the truth. Only they can protect young Tobin from a king’s wrath, a mother’s madness, and the terrifying rage of her brother’s demon spirit, determined to avenge his brutal murder….’ GoodReads, The Bone Doll’s Twin
Any book that describes itself as a girl disguised as a boy who then becomes Queen will either be absolutely brilliant or utter rubbish, I can promise you this is the former.
Flewelling writes beautifully, there wasn’t a moment of disinterest. I’ve read many a series where the momentum wasn’t sustained over three books, however Flewelling neatly tells her story over the three books. With sci-fi series such as Hunger Games or Divergent, I didn’t feel as if the over-arching plot was properly considered before writing began. Where Flewelling excelled was in giving me three books I could have read as one and not noticed any difference or inconsistency.
I could tell you a lot about the story, but past the premise I’d only spoil you. All you need to know is that it is wondrous, magic-filled and a very clever story.
Needless to say, I’ll be buying Flewelling first, and current, series when I lift my book buying ban.
What books take you away from the world?