Saturday, March 12, 2005

So then I read

an interesting fantasy novel, Sarah Micklem's Firethorn. It took me about a hundred pages to get into it, but once I was about a third of the way through I found it increasingly gripping--the late scenes are really bloody and violent and bleak in a most compelling way, and it's got an attractive feminist bent. It wasn't quite what I was expecting--more like Rosemary Sutcliffe than Robin McKinley; most like George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire Books. Micklem and Martin both write books that are vivid & really well written and compelling, but don't have the thing that makes me read a book over and over again (though it's not clear that's a good thing--it's just an observation about a certain kind of reading). But I will read the next volume of Micklem's trilogy with great interest--she's an excellent prose stylist among other things, has a good eye for anthropological-religious-type detail and the sort-of-medieval world is very fully imagined.

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