Sunday, January 2, 2011

Great Book: The Anvil of the World

Many people have recommended Kage Baker to me, usually for her Company novels, but I've never been able to get into them.  I heard another recommendation for The Anvil of the World, which might be a YA book, and decided to try it.  A very wise decision -- this is a delicacy of a book, which had me glad to read it and left me glad to have read it.

It's hard to understand why I liked it so much -- I can list many things that should have turned me off; the plot is episodic, so that it almost seems like three stories chunked together into a book; the magic system seems random, with characters varying between vulnerable and omnipotent; I could find Messages in the book by the handful; I can probably go on.  But instead everything seemed to work perfectly -- the book is building itself in the three stories.  The characters never doubt what they and their peers can do.  The Messages are presented with charm and excitement -- they are there to drive characters and plot, not the reader.  I've immediately put the next book on this list, and I'll be rounding up other books by this author.  A

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