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Posted September 24, 2009
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How many stories can there be that use miniature books as a central plot element? Well, two -- now that the sequel to this book has just been published (The Last Stitch). That was enough to get me to purchase the book. What got me to read it was the opening sequence, in which we meet Adelina -- traveller and talented embroiderer, held captive to create an exquisite robe (by whom?). She rebels by writing her story, section by section, in tiny books which she then embroiders into the design of the robe. Each chapter takes the reader to a different section of embroidery and a new part of the story. The exploration of the embroidery on the robe is nearly as intriguing as the story that unfolds.
Beautiful writing combines with fascinating characters and intriguing plot to keep the pages turning. I like my magical characters to be on the dark side, flawed and unpredictable -- and my needs in this regard were definitely met. The characters -- both human and non-human -- were ones I cared about. Sometimes I wanted to weep for (and with) them; sometimes I wanted to shake them. The plot doesn't go in expected directions and I read faster and faster as the book progressed.
Special mention, by the way, should be made of the beautiful cover artwork by Clare Batten, and of the map of Eirie at the beginning of the book. In addition to the newly-published sequel, two other books in this series apparently are planned (can't wait) and the map is an excellent way to follow the action.
I loved the descriptions of the stumpwork embroidery and was sufficiently intrigued to begin learning about this needlework art.
This is a wonderful first book by a new author. I hope more people discover her work because I want more of it.
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Posted January 12, 2012
Posted January 2, 2009
This is an unusual fantasy. Highly readable, moving easily from one chapter to the next with believable characters and names I could speak without feeling I had a mouthful of scrabble letters. A more than passing friendship with Celtic folklore . . . it is an adult fable. I went to the author's website (www.pruebatten.com) and read some of her early reviews and noticed someone comparing it to Neil Gaiman's 'Stardust'. It has that same tone, as if one is reading an old fairytale.<BR/> If you want to try something out of the normal range of fantasy, I recommend this. I am looking forward to the second book.
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Posted February 12, 2012
Posted January 25, 2012
Posted February 4, 2012
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