Wednesday, 27 July 2016

2016 Booklist #22: All the Birds in the Sky

By Charlie Jane Anders.  I LOVE the cover of this book (apologies for the picture being sidewise!). However, perhaps it gave me higher expectations of how much I would love the book, which I'm afraid I feel a bit underwhelmed about. I think part of the problem was the style, which I think was trying to angle for a fairytale/fable feel.  Which is fine,  but I did find both Patricia and, to a lesser extent, Lawrence's families quite unbelievably horrible.  In Patricia's case in particular,  I did wonder if there was a point of view element to how horrible her family was to her, because it appeared to be so completely irrational. I loved the idea of the two types of magic coming together, and the magic school, part Hogwarts, part Hunger Games (sort of).  I loved the potential 'epic-ness' of the story, but I'm not sure the book was big enough for the story it wanted to tell, and to be honest, a week or so after finishing the book, I can't actually remember how it ended...

2016 Booklist #21: Hild


By Nicola Griffith.  What a remarkable book! In terms of the historical detail, it reminded me of Hillary Mantel's Wolf Hall.  This is, i think, an amazing interweaving of historical scholarship with and an absorbing narrative.  However, the best thing about the book was the point of view.  Hild lives in a very female world.  The main protagonists (or antagonsts) are women - like her mother and the Queen.  Yes,  the king is 'all powerful'  but he is portrayed as someone who is not really in control, influenced by superstition and emotion. He is really a side character in the main character.  I loved how intelligent Hild is. Her power in court is due to her place as King's Seer ( in niece),  but there is no supernatural angle to he skill.  She is observant and canny (and a little lucky).  I look forward to reading the next planned books in the Hild trilogy