The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

CruelprinceI am suffering a book hangover. The only relief is the promise of two more books in this trilogy. The Cruel Prince is the best Holly Black novel yet. This is no small statement. Black has impressed me with her immense talent from the very first. When I read Tithe, I realized YA didn’t mean kid stuff. While I pre-ordered The Cruel Prince nine months before it published and even though I purchased it as an e-book, print, and audible book so that all the Black fans in my family could enjoy it, I wasn’t prepared for the brilliance of this book. I could discuss various aspects of this novel for hours. At some point, I will listen to the audiobook just to savor the rich language.

The premise of the book is three sisters grow up in the land of faerie; the half-faerie sister wants to return to the human world, one sister wants to assimilate, and the heroine wants to triumph over the faeries. The story begins with the murder of the girls’ parents in the human world by a faerie.

As with all Black novels, the characters are complex, multi-faceted characters with flaws. For example, Jude, the protagonist, is a liar and her greatest desire is to become a killer. There is nothing cliché about her portrayal of the characters. The character development in this novel defies expectations.

This novel is a fantasy novel, but Black writes intelligently about real-world situations, including a love-hate relationship with an abusive family member and classroom bullying. The plot is intricate with twists and turns. Black takes the reader on a journey with no known destination.

The world building is phenomenal. It is a sensory delight as Black engages all the senses with her vivid, vibrant descriptions of the faerie world. The reader can imagine the taste of faerie fruit, the feel, and texture of an outfit composed of velvet and owl feather, and the pain of a knife plunged into a hand. Then there are the denizens of faerie, the horned, mischevious little boy, the green-skinned sprite with black eyes, and the hooved prince to describe a few. With these details, the reader is immersed in the world of faerie.

Due to her beautiful use of language, I tend to read Black novels much more slowly than other novels. But this book ended too soon. I wanted more. It is early in the year, but this may be the best book I read in 2018. I highly recommend it.

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Shane by Anna Beguine

Lilith Saintcrow treated her Patreon contributors (https://www.patreon.com) to her upcoming short story, Shane. This short story will be published July 15, 2017 under the pen name, Anna Beguine.  I am very particular about short stories. I find a lot of short stories and novellas lacking. But I loved this twisted werewolf romance. This story featured a female fantasy hero, the perfect man in every way……..except for one little flaw.

Not only should you check out this novella, check out patreon. It is opportunity to support your favorite artists. Saintcrow has been providing a weekly zombie serial, which I am loving.

Shane

The Turn by Kim Harrison

Kim Harrison has my number. I have loved each and every book that I have read by her.  Her Hollows series featuring Rachel Morgan was an addicting must buy.  In this novel, she returns to the same world, but it is before the Turn. The heroine of The Turn could not be more different from Rachel Morgan. Trisk is a brilliant geneticist, but her ambitions are thwarted by two facts: she is a female and she is a dark elf. Passed over by the elite elf genetic labs, she works at a human lab.Instead of solving the elf’s declining birthrate, she is working  on commercial crop plants. While perfecting a drought proof tomato, she makes sure a new biological weapon will not threaten paranormal species.

But the young scion of teh Kalamack clan has been a life long thorn in her side. When he shows up at the lab, Trisk knows that he is spying on her. What she doesn’t know is how far Kal will go to destroy her reputation.

Trisk is a fascinating, complicated character. She must deal with the sexism of the 1960s and the bigotry of the elf clans. But her greatest obstacle may be her ambition.

It was delightful to read about the young Quen, who silently loves Trisk. As for Kal, who is the father of Trent Kalamack from the Rachel Morgan series, it is easy to see why he is so despised by Algaliarept.

Kim Harrison can write no wrong in my book. The Turn

 

Wrong Number, Right Guy by Elle Casey

wrongnumberWow, I loved this book.  It is a straight up romance and it fit my mood perfectly. May Wexel gets a text from her stressed out single mom sister. Who is texting from a shady biker bar. What is Jennifer and the kids doing at a biker bar? No worries, Auntie May comes to rescue with her trusty sidekick, Felix the continence-challenged chihuahua.  She doesn’t find her sister, but she finds trouble with bullets flying and a scary, hairy biker dude dragging her out the back door.  This book has the right amount of sexual tension, humor, and hot sex scenes.  Looking forward to the next story in this series.