Feb. 5th, 2009

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So, Frances Hardinge. I really liked Fly-by-Night, but for some reason didn't feel the deep love for it that I would have expected to feel. And Verdegris Deep I liked even more - loved even - but not with such a gut-level love that I expected to see quite so much glow (glowingness?) in what I wrote about it when I read it during 2007's 48 Hour Book Challenge. Anyway, she's an author I will grab new book by without a heartbeat's hesitation, and this time I feel all the love, liking and admiration that a lot of my reading buddies felt for the others. And did I mention love? Yes? Because I love this book. Just making sure that's clear.

The only thing I don't love is the cover, which is a bit generic sparkly children's 'adventure' story for my taste. And sure, there are elements in there which fit the 'adventure story' bill, but there are also elements which could better be described as racial conflict story, or as dysfunctional family story in a Diana Wynne Jonesesque way. And there's the very powerful story of Hathin, and how she deals with being given the role of minder of her important, potentially-powerful (but possibly 'an imbecile') sister, Arilou, and how she copes again and again with loss and apparently hopeless situations. And it's funny. But that special kind of funniness that comes in the middle of tragedy, and doesn't make it less in any way. There is far more tragedy than I expected when I picked up the book, and far more than I expected from the first 6 or so chapters, but it's not in any way diminished by the humour.

More behind a cut, so all the quotes don't break friends' LJ... )

(Apologies if this posts oddly - LJ would not give me a cut where I wanted it and indenting for quotes at the same time, no matter what I did. I want the wasted half-hour of life back.)


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