Mesmerizing. Strange. Glorious.
I have to thank fellow bookseller Nicole for introducing me to this stunning book. The technical skill left me astonished. I wanted a bench, as though in a museum, to sit and quietly take in each page of black-and-white pen-and-ink line drawings. Van den Ende's debut is a wordless story of a small paper boat's epic journey across a vast and fathomless ocean. It teems with myriad flora and fauna that reside somewhere between fairy tale and reality. It intrigues. It beguiles. An elegant testament to solitude, strength, and bravery.
This is one of the best YA fantasy novels I ever read! It's got political intrigue, magic, romance and Bolivian folklore which makes this novel stand out from others. Fast paced and gorgeously written. Look out for the sequel too!!
Open this exquisite cover and enter a world equally dark and beautiful, a world where every captivating character is both hero and villain of their own story, their fellow characters' stories and the novel as a whole. And make no mistake, this is a sweeping #ownvoices fantasy. Epic in scope and using as it's foundation the mythology of the pre-Columbian Americas, the first book of the Between Earth and Sky series introduces a cast of incredibly diverse characters within a gripping political and religious plot that I could not put down.
Initially it rankles me, but books which force me to slow down from my usual reading pace and take nothing for granted... these are the books that often turn out most memorable. Case in point.
Few, if any, are writing fantasy at Clarke's level today, and this is a book I'll never forget. In the beginning the novel made me think of Borges and Mervyn Peake and, even more, of a couple books by Magnus Mills. Ultimately, I was reminded most of ideas in some of filmmaker Christopher Nolan's work. Clarke, though, takes her subject where only she could.
A gripping murder mystery in a smartly constructed world of magic, mages, and trolls. This multiple POV narrative chronicles the complex political and religious forces that affect ambitious student magician Onna, charming soldier Jeckran, and compassionate half-troll Tsira. The interplay of power, revenge, and zeal execute slowly but purposefully as Onna's career and Tsira's pursuit converge in wealthy city Hexos.
Set aside your preconceived notions: this is neither a postscript 'Harry Potter' nor a derivative apocalyptic novel. This is a compelling fantasy for fans of alternative timelines (two Chicagos), anti-hero narratives (Sloan is pissed off and NOT okay), and magic co-existing with our sense of reality.
Peake creates visuals in your imagination more striking than those of Tim Burton, and his mode is a type of mythopoeic grotesque operating on gleeful, Dickensian exaggeration. This novel is a most unusual page-turner and a pure pleasure to read. One caution: it may leave you dissatisfied with 99% of fantasy novels being published today.
Delightful! If you need a STARLESS SEA read-alike, you'll find this historical novel as bookish and magical but more approachable.
Intimate narrative and a story within a story device work together elegantly to unfurl the tale of January Scaller and her missing father, their wealthy benefactor, and a mysterious door in Mississippi that opens into another world. TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY has all the elements of a precocious, coming of age story within a low fantasy world. There's adventure, secret societies with nefarious plans, a big best friend pooch called Bad, and places drawn from the wildest reaches of imagination.
When I was in high school my dear friend Heather put this book in my hands, smiled mysteriously, and said, "Trust me."
I devoured it in one sitting.
It is intricate, clever, and excruciatingly satisying. Pay close attention - Megan Whalen Turner is as tricky as her thief and you don't want to miss a thing!
This book came out in 1995. The final book in the series comes out next year. Now is the time folks - trust me.
I recommend sinking into The Starless Sea and luxuriating there. This is not a book to rush. The scope is enormous, the plot is stranger and intricate. This book will take you may places and you'll have to trust it but you should you're in very good hands. I found it delicious and rewarding.