keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)
The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Ninth Annual Collection
by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling (eds.)
534 pages (trade paperback)
Genre: Fiction/Fantasy/Horror

I've only read one story from this anthology--Ellen Kushner's "The Hunt of the Unicorn." In some ways it was disappointing because I'd expected a Riverside book; while the setting is reminiscent of the city, there are no overt references and it really is a standalone. The ending also had no punch for me although it might be better understood upon rereading. Kushner's weakest work to date for me; but it's old too (1995), so I'll cut her some slack.

Obviously not a review of the collection, or even a review for anyone other than myself.
keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)
Thomas the Rhymer
by Ellen Kushner ([profile] ellen_kushner)
247 pages (hardcover)
Genre: Fiction/Fantasy

If I'd just seen this book at the library, I doubt I would have chosen it--the inside cover description isn't to my taste. But this is a Kushner book, and since Ellen Kushner is currently #2 on my list of all-time favorite authors, I couldn't not read it. Although the general plot still isn't my normal preference--I tend to shy away from books involving world crossovers, especially to a world with elves in fantasy--I found Elfland fascinating. And of course, the characters are rendered with Kushner's trademark intensity. At one point early on, I wnated to strangle Thomas on Elspeth's behalf, for being a lustful idiot.

But I digress; here's a basic story summary first. Thomas, a wandering harper nicknamed the Rhymer, falls in love with a young farm girl named Elspeth (more on her later). Then he meets the Queen of Elfland and is promptly whisked off to spend seven years as her lover. Spoilers and oh-so-amazing theme analysis )

Wow, that was long. Theme makes me ramble, it seems.
keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)
I basically wasted all of yesterday reading The Fall of the Kings, and when I finished it late last night I was sorely disappointed. If I had bought this book instead of The Privilege of the Sword after reading Swordspoint, I don't think I would be half as in love with Riverside. By TFOTK, Richard and Alec are both dead, Katherine is in her 60s, and magic is real. The beginning of the book started off beautifully and I liked it all the way through about 3/4 of the book, in fact--Basil/Theron is a decent pairing, if not up to par with Richard/Alec. But the ending was terrible. I understood why it had to happen that way, but it didn't meet my expectations. It was painful, and not in a good way. I've read tragedies before and liked them perfectly well; I have no aversion to crying. But this book didn't make me cry, it just made me want to throw it across the room by the end. Still, I will probably return to the first half sometime in the future, if only to analyze. In the meantime, I want to reread TPOTS. :>

Overall, a decent book worth buying if only to complete my Riverside set, but not at the same level as Kushner's other two Riverside novels.
keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)
Yep, I'm still alive. I wrote this last night while bored at a friend's Xmas Eve party, and I have half of a serious religion entry written too.

The Privilege of the Sword )

One of three Christmas books--the other two are GGK rereads, so I'll probably be able to analyze more deeply. By the way, does anyone have recommendations for books about atheism? Either viewpoint is fine.

Now off to find out Ellen Kushner's LJ username!


keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)

January 2011



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