No Timeslip Tuesday today...Blackout, by Connie Willis, travelled south with me but remained unopened...The Puzzle Ring, by Kate Forsyth, was opened, but I'm still in the middle of it.
But I do want to recommend the one book out of the 10 I took with me that I did read and enjoy despite the sad way I spent my weekend--Mistwood, by Leah Cypess (Harper Collins, April 27, 2010, 303 pp in ARC form). It's the story of Isabel, a shapeshifter who is, despite her inhuman powers and an agenda that has no room for love, one of the most endearing characters I've read in ages. There's lots of political intrigue, magic, and just enough romance, and it is a true page turner.
Cypess does an extraordinarily deft job of keeping the reader inside Isabel's point of view--like her, we aren't sure who to trust, what machinations are at work, and to whom she should give her loyalty. She's built her world with enough solidity to make it work, while avoiding information dumps, and her magic is kept nicely subservient to the plot, rather than being overwhelmingly over explained. Since all of this is done in rather lovely writing (and the aforementioned romance is rather a nice one), the result is a book to squee for.
I agree with the back of the ARC that this is one for fans of Kristin Cashore and Megan Whalen Turner*, although it felt less Dense then either of those--it seemed a faster, lighter read. Which is not bad--sometimes one wants a rich layer cake, sometimes a fruit tart, and both types of books/deserts offer their own type of complexity.
I packed Mistwood on the strength of Angie's glowing review, and it was just the sort of book I needed. I am pretty sure that I will put this on my Christmas present list, and so I would like to pass my ARC on to another reader. Leave me a comment by midnight on the 15th of March, and it could be yours.
*ha--I just saw on her website that Queen of Attolia is listed as one of her favorite books! I am not surprised.
And the winner, produced by random number generation, is Kathy! (I'll be emailing you...)
(ARC picked up at ALA midwinter)