Friday, August 20, 2010

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 7 and 8

A Book that’s hard to read: This is the type of question that is up for interpretation, but I decided to go with a book that was hard to read because of the subject matter.

Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan

A young woman who has endured unspeakable cruelties is magically granted a safe haven apart from the real world and allowed to raise her two daughters in this alternate reality, until the barrier between her world and the real one begins to break down.
This summary doesn't touch on any of the emotional and physically gut wrenching topics this book covers. Seriously, this book is one of the most difficult books I've read. While written quite beautifully, the plot is hard core. I haven't read Push or seen Precious yet, but I imagine there are of a similar vein (while still being completely different if that makes any sense). This book has been pegged as a standard fairy tale retelling, but I would definitely recommend reading this review so you know what you are getting into.

An unpopular book you believe should be a Best-Seller: I am really bad about reading books that a lot of people are already talking about, but I am a bit surprised when I come across a book that is super great but doesn't get much love.

1. Kirith Kirin by Jim Grimsley

In a land ravaged by the rule of the usurper known as the Blue Queen, a young boy fulfills his destiny by entering the service of Kirith Kirin, who seeks to reclaim his rightful throne. Jessex grows strong in his magical studies and fighting skills, finding both companionship and love in the company of the man he serves and discovering his crucial role in the battle against the evil that overshadows his land. Mainstream novelist and playwright Grimsley (My Drowning) crafts an elegant tale of love, war, and magic in the epic fantasy tradition.
This book completely surprised me and has everything I could want in a book. I don't know how this book has flown under the radar, but if you like high fantasy Kirith Kirin is a must. One of my favorite books I read in 2008.

2. The Bone Doll's Twin by Lynn Flewelling

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....
I mentioned how much I liked this book before, but The Bone Doll's Twin really does deserve more love. Flewelling's writing is very similar to Juliet Marillier in this book and I love the fact that this trilogy is already finished. I'm trying to avoid series books at the moment since there is just an overabundance of them it seems.

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