Friday, 22 April 2011

Is this the real life?...

...Or is it just fantasy?

I have a very funny relationship with fantasy novels. There are a few authors that I adore and read and reread regularly and then there are the rest.

Just recently I have been reading books by Trudi Canavan, I love the books that she sets around the Magician's Guild. The characters come to life in a wonderful way and it makes me want to believe in the world of magic. However her books in the Age of Five trilogy leave me cold.

Tamora Pierce was the first fantasy author that I found and loved, right back in about year 9 at school. 20 years on I still pounce on her new books and everything else on the reading pile is neglected until I'm finished.

This has become harder in recent years as she no longer has a UK publisher, thankfully we now have the Internet. And good friends. Sam over at Books, Time and Silence, recently visited the States and very kindly tracked down a copy of the latest Pierce book and delivered it to me on Wednesday.

This is a collection of short stories that mostly link to characters or places that feature in her other novels. I've become a real fan of the short story over the past year and these do not disappoint. I think it must be a hard genre to write in as you have to tell a whole story, believably, in a short space of time. None of these tales left me wanting, they were all great vignettes with the trade mark strong characters and the subtle feminist message.

There are other fantasy novels out there that I like, some (limited) Pratchett, Nix, Nicholson and Gaiman all are great but ultimately there is something about the strong female characters that Canavan and Pierce create that draw me back time after time.
The Protector of the Small quartet is probably one the series that I have reread the most out of all my books and I would certainly want all four books (bound in one volume) on my desert island.

Now all I have to do is wait for the autumn and the next book in a series...I don't think it will be published before I travel to America so I think that pre-ordering is the way to go.

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