I tried to write this post yesterday but my WordPress refused to upload images or save my post, and then failed again earlier today, so I’m trying once more.
This past weekend I found myself in a Goodwill thrift store once again to tag along with a friend. I stumbled across some hard covers and decided to pick them up despite knowing nothing about them:
I have heard Cecilia Dart-Thornton’s name but never read her work. My newly acquired copy of the Ill-Made Mute was published in 2001. While some reviews suggest that pace and plot are in issue, other describe her writing style as beautifully lyrical and descriptive. One of the big draws for me are references to Seelie and Unseelie creatures. As a big fan of White Wolf’s vintage Changling role-playing game and Arcadia collectible card game, I was intrigued to see how Dart-Thornton uses these terms.
The Historian immediately hooked me when I opened this 2005 hard cover and found a map of Europe inside with synopsis of a story inspired by Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Reviews are mixed but are overall positive.
Children of Blood and Bone was a difficult choice and I almost put it back. Published in 2018, it’s a Young Adult novel, over-hyped with a massive 7 figure book and movie deals, and containing some standard fantasy tropes. Normally those three strikes would be enough for me to shy away from. However, it is told in first person narrative, the setting is inspired by West African lore and culture, and reviews are (mostly) positive. The sequel, Children of Virtue and Vengeance, came out in late 2019. The negative reviews talk about abandonment of the emphasis on the world-building that was superb in the first book, a plot that feels like it was rushed under great pressure, and a dearth of character development, including too much angst, selfishness and immaturity. Positive reviews are brief and generic, which is not a good sign. I’ll probably just stick to this first book and approach it as a stand-alone novel…