The start to the new year has been lovely. Over the course of New Year's Eve I blazed through Hilari Bell's Rise of a Hero
, and then through Forging the Sword
, the last two books in her Farsala trilogy (the first being Fall of a Kingdom
). Her style is reminiscent of Alma Alexander's in her Changer of Days
duology and features many similarities, although both first books came out around the same time. I don't really consider this to be a bad thing; I think each books expands in separate directions within the context of their own worlds. I particularly enjoyed some of the innovative obstacles the protags face in RoaH.
I think it's YA, but I could be wrong. I could see it as adult epic fantasy.
Yesterday I finished Marie Brennan's Midnight Never Come
, and it stuck me how ahead of the publishing trend my first two books were. My first was a contemporary fantasy when contemp/urban was just starting to expand, and my second was a contemporary faerie tale with roots in an alternative Tudor England. Books like Midnight
that combined my two loves--faeries and real-world fantasy--were limited to Holly Black, Francesca Lia Block, and few others, all of which were YA.
Brennan's writing is luscious, and her leading female character a realistic mix of strength, desperation, and cunning. She also kept regional faerie lore intact, a task that must have had its difficulties.
Now, partially inspired by Brennan, I'm re-reading Charles de Lint's The Onion Girl
. It has reminded me why I love urban fantasy--true urban fantasy, not the gutted version that's being reproduced over and over again today. It also reminds me of a time when women's strength in UF was portrayed through determination and character rather than the false symbolism of a vampire boyfriend or knives.
Classes have started, and in lieu of finishing the last stats courses, I'm indulging in reading-focused history and women's studies courses, as well as psych of law. I'm still researching stereotypes with a professor, and will be for the rest of the year, but our direction may be changing a little-- something we discussed at our 8AM meeting this morning, 4 full hours before my first class. Ah, the sacrifices I make in the name of science.
The sociology department is trying to lure me over to the Dark Side. They've invited me to apply to work on a grant-funded research project, which would do wonders for my resume. Tempting.
Tomorrow I get to watch Pocahontas in class. On one hand, yay. On the other hand, this is ironic, given that I just watched Avatar last weekend, and was not that impressed
I finally figured out how to conduct political warfare via the use of illusions in Black Widow's Walk. I'm surprised it took me so long to come to that conclusion, but now that I have, it opens up all sorts of doors. I'm officially dedicated to finishing BWW by April 1st--a date at the end of the quarter that I picked randomly, but also happens to be the 5th anniversary of the completion of my first book. (Yes, I remember things like that.) If shit happens, shit happens. Regardless, it's nice to finally have an end goal in sight.