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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Guest Review: Blackbringer -- Laini Taylor

Woohoo! Guest review number two! For you! Today's guest reviewer is Ransom. He's a super smart dancing machine who has great taste in books. Without further ado...
Laini Taylor's Blackbringer is a fantasy epic starring tiny people with wings: fairies. With occasional furry imps, terrifying demons, and miscellaneous woodland creatures. Humans only seldom, and at a distance.

Reading Taylor's book took me back to a moment in my childhood, sometime not too long after reading Watership Down and Fellowship of
the Ring, when I thought to myself "I like books with maps in them". Blackbringer doesn't actually have a map in the inside back cover, and certainly doesn't draw as extensively on fictional languages as Tolkien or Adams, but it took me back nonetheless. Taylor's world is a pleasure to explore. A trusted friend suggests that the author may have dedicated even too much space to the metaphysics, ancient legends, and creation mythos of her world. Didn't bug me-- I ate it up. Anyhow, If one intends to save the entire world, ought not one to know something of where the world came from?

Taylor also writes the sort of characters I want to read more about. Diverse and viscerally hateable villains. Sympathetic heroes. Whom, I hesitate to add, she kills off to good effect. In the interest of minimizing spoilers I won't say too much, but it really gets me every time another one bites the dust.

Thumbs up. I await the forthcoming sequel with bated breath.
Amen! Silksinger is the sequel and it isn't out just yet. I too enjoyed this read. I found it totally gripping. Good verbs. And I loved the ending!

Also, I have a confession. As soon as I started reading Blackbringer I began kicking myself for not having read it sooner. I knew about it -- oh yes, I've been reading Laini's blog for some time now. But here's the thing: I liked her blog so much that I was scared to read her book. What if it was crap? Then I wouldn't enjoy the blog nearly as much. Well. That just tells you how silly I am. The book was fantastic, and so is the blog.

I wonder what we can do about getting a map in the book. Laini's husband did the illustrations, you know.

2 comments:

  1. Hi! Wow, thanks for the review! I love to find out folks are still finding the book in this scary void between books (scary for me, that is) -- I'm happy to report there will be a map of Dreamdark in the Blackbringer paperback, which also places it firmly in the world (in Scotland, as humans would call it) -- and Silksinger will have a world map too. I always loved maps as a kid reader of fantasy, and I still love them. Drawing the Dreamdark map, I felt like I was twelve again, spending hours creating a fantasy world, having so much fun with the map and the history and gods and characters that I never got around to telling the story!

    Thanks again!

    And I know what you mean about being afraid someone's writing will suck. Every time I make a new writer or artist friend, there is that held breath, the hope you won't have to say, "Wow, that's. . . um, great. . . " Ha ha!

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  2. Awesome! Our wish comes true in the paperback! And I'm glad you know the feeling -- still kicking myself though.

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