Reminder: I will be at the Jane Austen Event at the Town & Country Barnes & Noble in Houston on Saturday. I’ve heard there will be scones, so you have to come and join me, Alyssa Goodnight and Jennifer Ziegler. We’ll be signing books and chatting about Jane Austen and our favorite books and adaptations.
The Serpent Sea by Martha Wells is the sequel to her 2011 fantasy The Cloud Roads. It continues the saga of the Raksura shapeshifter Moon and his new clan, the Indigo Cloud people. Wells creates a world so richly imagined that even the people and places that are not part of the main plotline captured my interest. The world lives on even when the book is closed. Plus the main character of Moon is so relatable, and the Raksura are so well realized in all their irascible, cranky glory, that it’s just plain fun. Add in a fast-moving plot, and now I can’t wait for the next one, coming out next year.
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson. My new YA book crush. A young princess has been marked by God as the Chosen One to save her people. She is sent to another kingdom in an arranged marriage, and she discovers hidden strengths. Carson takes all the cliches of fantasy and turns them on their head. The arranged marriage is described humanely, with all the awkwardness that comes with two strangers expected to get along; the princess is dismissed as useless by everyone, even herself, but she comes into her own. Carson also treats the religion in the book, a Catholic analog, with respect, which is unusual in fantasy.
I have a stack of books about a foot high as a result of going to back to back book signings (Robin Hobb, Elizabeth Moon), so I have forbidden myself from entering a bookstore (well, except for the Houston Barnes & Noble this Saturday) until I get through the stack. A writer must have discipline*. Stop laughing. We must. Really.
*A writer must have discipline or a writer will have a zero balance in her bank account.