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[personal profile] rushthatspeaks
Review of the book I read on Friday, July 22nd. Obligatory disclaimer: author is a friend.

This sequel to Bones of Faerie continues that novel's taut writing, interestingly post-apocalyptic worldbuilding, and complicated character dynamics. The war between Faerie and the human world came very close to destroying both: plants are hostile, spring continued without the season changing for decades, and humans eke out a precarious existence battling their own food sources. Children have started to be born with magic. In Liza's village, for many years, that was grounds for exposure on the hillside, but, partly due to Liza's efforts, things are beginning to change. Liza's own magic involves summoning, calling, and being able to tell things what to do.

Because of Liza, winter has come for the first time in her lifetime. The worrisome thing is that it doesn't seem to want to leave again-- how long is winter supposed to last, anyway? And although some of the Fae have begun to view humans as sentient, including the one who has become Liza's teacher, not all of the great Fae think the war is even over. One in particular sees winter as a sign that both worlds are, inevitably, dying...

I enjoy the characters in this; it makes a fine followup to the first. I found the dynamic between Liza and her shapeshifter boyfriend Matthew somewhat too similar to the dynamic between the protagonist and her shapeshifter boyfriend in Simner's earlier Thief Eyes, but hey, I like shapechangers as much as the next person, and at least Simner is managing to avoid the new tropes of teen paranormal romance nicely. I also find it moderately coincidental that Liza's family is so tied up with the causes and duration of the War, but this is the sort of coincidence people have been using for plot purposes forever, so mostly it just causes me to sigh slightly and go well, I suppose one wants to tell stories about people who are close to important historical events.

And I really love the uneasy blend of trust and distrust that Liza has for her mentor figures: she's just not able to trust anyone fully, and she wouldn't actually be right to do so, even the ones who love her, because people do just keep lying to her. The adults are all morally ambiguous in ways adults don't often get in YA.

So I recommend this. I don't know whether you'd have to read the first book for it to make sense, but I read the first when it came out and haven't reread, meaning I don't have a sharp memory of the details, and this worked anyway. It would therefore probably stand alone reasonably well. I think there's going to be a third? This certainly ends in a way that does not require a sequel while still allowing one, as did the first book.

Date: 2011-07-26 04:51 am (UTC)
lnhammer: lo-fi photo of a tall, thin man - caption: "some guy" (Default)
From: [personal profile] lnhammer
There will, indeed, be a third book, intended to be the final one of Liza's story. (A voice from across the room calls out "If I can ever finish revisions" -- there is deadline stress in the air.)

One of the things worked on in editorial revisions was to make FW stand on its own as much as possible. I think Janni and her editor did a good job on that point.

---L.

Date: 2011-07-26 06:59 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] thomasyan
Ooh, I will have to get this one it is out in paperback.

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