30 in 30: Day 27 (in which I shamelessly plug my own writing, but I’m entitled as it’s my fracking birthday)

Cover of "Snow Queen"

Cover of Snow Queen

If a book contains ______, you will always read it (and a book or books that contain it)!

This is honestly a very tough question. It’s hard to think of a single thing that will always make me read something; I could say strong female lead characters, but that’s not true — there are books that I refuse to read containing that quality.

I suppose something I am truly a sucker for is a sense of myth in the story. Kushiel’s Legacy is a very good example of this; not only is there a very rich backdrop to the story, filled with different cultures and myths based loosely on ones from Earth, but the story of Phedre and Joscelin has its own mythic quality — these characters are true heroes on the hero’s journey, and their deeds will be talked about in centuries to come.

Other examples of this mythic quality, not limited to books:

  • True Grit (the recent one)
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • The Fifth Sacred Thing
  • Lord of the Rings (though, I will admit, I did not finish reading the books — it’s the films I have a true love for)
  • Harry Potter
  • Green Grass, Running Water (by Thomas King)
  • The Tir Alainn Trilogy by Anne Bishop
  • The Black Jewels Trilogy (same)
  • The Snow Queen, by Joan D. Vinge
  • anything by Ursula K. LeGuin, the First Lady of Fantasy
  • Bellica, by Katje van Loon (why shouldn’t I shamelessly plug my own awesome stories, I ask you)

It’s the sense of myth that truly gets my heart racing, that makes me cry for the characters (yes, including my own), that wraps me up so completely in the story that when it’s over I am bereft for having lost a part of myself.

However, that’s the beauty of myths — once I am done mourning, I can read or watch and experience them again, and allow myself to fall in love many times with the same, heart-rending story.

Friday Five, August 12th: Books I Think You Should Pick Up (And Read, Obviously).

Cover of "Good Omens"

Cover of Good Omens

  1. Bitters, by Kaimana Wolff. “Weeks after Victoria and Elan disappear on a romantic elopement, officers find a small plane at the bottom of Bitterroot Lake—with Victoria in it and no sign of Elan except remnants of the plane’s avionics in a burned-out campfire. Ray Walker, the youngest deputy sheriff in his town’s history, cannot let this case become his only failure–especially after Victoria’s sister pays a call. Meanwhile, the Green Fairy is escorting a new man-about-town to all the best places—and keeping him alive.”
  2. Kushiel’s Dart, by Jacquline Carey. I’ve blogged about the amazing Kushiel’s Legacy series on multiple occasions, but if you want to get into it I recommend starting with this book. It is the first, after all.
  3. Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. This book is a hilarious send-up of all those ridiculous apocalypse books that hit the markets from time to time. Involving an angel and demon who are millennias-old drinking buddies, a misplaced antichrist, and the completely accurate prophecies of a witch named Nutter, this is one novel you do not want to pass by.
  4. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire. A bit depressing, but worth it.
  5. The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley. A book with a heady sense of myth if there ever was one. Quite good, highly recommended.

30 in 30: Day 24 (A quote? how the hells am I supposed to choose just ONE?)

Coat of arms of Hogwarts, the fictional school...

Image via Wikipedia

Best quote from a novel

Oh my goddess, we have so many contenders for this post. I simply can’t list just one, unless I wanted to be funny. Contrary to my usual nature, I wish to share quotes that actually mean something to me.

So, from the very talented Jacqueline Carey and her quite astounding literary masterpiece, Kushiel‘s Legacy, my favourite quotes from the Phedre Trilogy.

We are all of these things […]. Pride, desire, compassion, cleverness, belligerence, fruitfulness, loyalty…and guilt. But above it all stands love. And if we desire to be more than human, that is the star by which we must set our sights.

Kushiel’s Avatar

We pay for sins we do not remember, and seek to do a will we can scarce fathom. That is what it is, to be a god’s chosen.

Kushiel’s Avatar

It’s the same questions we ask of our existence, and the answer is always the same. The mystery lies not in the question nor the answer, but in the asking and answering themselves, over and over again, and the end is engendered in the beginning.

Kushiel’s Avatar

All knowledge is worth having.

Kushiel’s Dart

That which yields is not always weak.

Kushiel’s Dart

See what I mean when I say I can’t just choose one?

And I’m not even finished!

Continue reading

30 in 30: Day 03 (in which I review PORN — I mean, part of the Kushiel series)

The best book you’ve read in the last 12 months

This one is harder to answer because I’ve read fewer books in the past year than I usually have. (Yes, you read that right.) Most of the books I’ve read have been non-fiction, which usually means that I haven’t actually finished them yet. And I have trouble picking a non-fiction book as the “best” that I’ve read, because that’s not how I measure their worth — I measure their worth in how USEFUL they are to me (also what KIND of useful — Silver RavenWolf’s books are good as doorstops or toilet paper, so are a lesser kind of useful than ones I’d actually get good knowledge out of…also SRW’s books could probably be classified as fiction, so I guess it’s sort of a moot point).

So. I haven’t read that many fiction books in the past year. That I can remember. I actually don’t really remember much from week to week.

Which means I’m choosing a book I just finished, because it’s fresh in my mind and it’s by one of my favorite authors. Kushiel’s Justice, by Jacqueline Carey.

Continue reading