Tuesday, February 08, 2005


I think I received 19 books for Christmas. That isn't counting whichever books I end up buying with a $15 gift card to Barnes & Noble. So far I've read eight of them.

The first was The Lady and the Lion, which was a very quick read, being a beautiful picture book. Next I read Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith -- previously published as two books, Crown Duel and Court Duel. My sister Sondy gave it to me, and she wrote a review of it -- you can find it through the link I have on the sidebar to her book reviews. Basically I agree with what she said, except that I did find Mel's behavior towards the obvious romantic interest a bit annoying. Sure, the circumstances led to misunderstanding, but she was continually thinking of a negative explanation and then assuming it to be the truth. As one who idealistically tends to assume the positive, I couldn't really understand Mel. But I didn't dislike her -- I wanted her to figure things out for her own good. And the book kept me reading, chapter after chapter, wondering when she would get it. And wondering about... other things. I don't want to give too much away, just let me say this was a delightful, well-told story, made even better by the author taking the time to do the research to understand the obligatory medieval setting of fantasy literature.

Another I've read is Caravan by Dorothy Gilman. There's a review of it on Sondy's page, as well. I wasn't quite as enthusiastic about it as Sondy, thinking it good but not great for most of the book. But then I came to a moment in the end in which I knew the decision of the main character would either make the book a disappointment or take it to the next level. She made the right choice (although with a post-modernistic philosophy which slightly annoyed me), and the book tied together at the end to become quite good. It was also a fairly unpredictable book, or at least would have been if I didn't already know some of the future details through my own fault.

Then there's A College of Magics by Caroline Stevermer. Throughout almost the entire book I had a feeling that certain things and people were not as they seemed and that surprises would be revealed before the end of the book. I had just decided that I was wrong and resigned myself that there was nothing more to the book than what met the eye, when, voila, a surprise! It was not exactly what I had expected, but the author had actually set it up quite well. I highly recommend the book, even though Faris, the main character, did not at all have a personality I could relate to.

Ok, that's enough not-quite-book-reviews for now. I'll torment you with more another day.

No comments :