Sweet Trouble

Rants, raves, book reviews and one girl's thoughts on life, the universe and everything.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

One Good Knight

Mercedes Lackey's latest offering in her "500 Kingdom's" series lacks the charm of the first entry, The Fairy Godmother. There are some entertaining moments in One Good Knight, and interesting premises - perhaps my complaints stem from an over familiarity with the author's work. Certain themes, such as the main characters need for glasses, becomes a little too heavy handed after showing up in more than one book! - but it's not quite as charming as it's predecessor.

Both novels are set in a world which is influenced by something called "Tradition." This refers to Fairy Tale tradition, and relies on a certain amount of the reader's being familiar with a variety of old tales to truly appreciate. The wink-wink/nudge-nudge humor is fun at first, but again grows old in the second book. Where as The Fairy Godmother takes the Cinderella story and turns it about into a tale on the origin of Godmothers, One Good Knight tackles the Greek myth of Andromeda by way of St. George and his Dragons. I enjoyed Knight, really, but was glad that it was a library book.

Artemis Foul by Eoin Colfer

The oddly titled novel Artemis Foul introduces readers to the most brilliant criminal mastermind since Holmes' nemesis Moriarty. The fact that Eoin Colfer's main character is only twelve is decieving since this book is a fantastic tale for all ages combining magic, high-tech gadgets and good old fashioned one-up manship into one amazing rollercoaster of adventure. The author himself has been quoted as describing the book as "Die Hard with fairies." I say Yipikiyay!

Artemis Foul's fifth adventure "The Lost Colony" provides the same rolicking good fun as previous instalments. Eoin Colfer's criminal mastermind is working on the side of the angels now, while his former foe, the fairy Holly Short, has opened a detective agency. Their new perspectives on life don't keep this unlikely duo out of trouble, and thus the story begins. Poor Arty finds the onset of puberty to be a distraction from his intellectual musings, while Holly begins to long for her days on the force. In addition to returning favorites Foaly and Mulch Diggums, Colfer delights with new faces such as the diabolical Minerva and a whole new race of magical creatures.

Not to be missed are the rest of Colfer's Artemis books:

Artemis Foul

The Arctic Incident (Artemis Foul, book 2)

The Eternity Code (Artemis Foul, book 3)

The Opal Deception (Artemis Foul, book 4)

Fairest by Gail Carson Levine

As an astute reader might guess from the title (and the cover, which features a mirror) Gail Carson Levine's new novel Fairest is an interpretation of the fairy tale Snow White. Though the story is set in the same world as the delightful Ella Enchanted, Fairest stands on it's own and does not require readers to be familiar with their surroundings.

This is one of those books that is dangerous to say too much about, especially since it is based on such a familiar premise. However, I can say that none of the characters quite behave as expected, which is refreshing after reading a slew of romance novels that are unfortunately predictable. The country Levine creates is awash with music. This society which embraces and revolves around their singing is well thought out; all of the games and events that relate to music are very organic in relation to the story. Aza, the main character is neither princess nor pretty and her insecurities make the story even more compelling. As in Ella Enchanted, and The Two Princesses of Bamarre Gail Carson Levine has woven a rich tapestry of the humorous, unexpected and heart stirring.

*** If you have enjoyed these books I also reccomend:

Beauty by Robin McKinley

Spindle's End by Robin McKinley

Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley

Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix

The Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey

The Black Swan by Mercedes Lackey

The Fire Rose by Mercedes Lackey

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Coming Soon

I'm getting behind on my book recommendations. I loved Inda so much that I may leave it up another month, but I promise to change the others around this weekend. I also got quite the haul from the library this morning so keep an eye out for review on such varied material as:

Fairest by Gail Carson Levine

Undead and Unpopular by Mary Janice Davidson

One Good Knight by Mercedes Lackey

Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella

Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah

Just reading and reviewing these should keep me busy till my own personal Magic Hour when I get my greedy little paws on Tamora Pierce's new book Terrier in two weeks.