Sunday, April 1, 2012
What I Found.
I am a fantasy reader. I always have been. Why have the real when you can have the speculative, right? So one of the big beefs of my life is the dearth of really excellent fantasy writers. Even that icon of fantasy writing, Tolkien, annoys the living daylights out of me. The man needed an editor who wasn't afraid to tell him when he was being downright boring! Indeed the fantasy market is so flooded with Tolkien wannabes I was limiting my craving for speculative fiction to archaeology texts. Too sad making I know.
Then last week, Star started pulling books of the library shelves for me telling me I might like this that or the other. She did really well by me. I have an unread Philipa Gregory that I'm just starting but the surprise package was The Two Pearls of Wisdom by Alison Goodman.
I wasn't real keen. I'm not big on Japanese or Chinese mythology. I'm not big on Japanese or Chinese history. As races I find them incredibly cuel ~ worse for being intelligently cruel! And people wonder why The Hunger Games doesn't disturb me! Hasn't got a patch on reality. I digress.
I borrowed it anyway because it was a pretty desparate week & we were travelling even more than usual & I'm so pleased I did because this is one absolutely brilliant book. If you are at all squeamish, forget it! Don't even try. If you are a little hardier this is a book with a great deal to offer.
Loosely based on Japanese & Chinese mythology [a little more loaded towards the Chinese I think] this is wonderfully original & beautifully concieved fantasy. It is complex & rich with a solid base in reality. Eona, a crippled girl, poses as a boy to attempt to bond with one of the 12 celestial dragons & obtain both riches & power for herself & her master. Discovery is certain slow & cruel death. The plot is driven by court intrigues & power struggles & I did something I almost never do with any book; I read it straight through from cover to cover. It is an absolute page turner!
I can't wait to read The Necklace of the Gods ~ the second part of the duology.