Sunday recs: Court of Fives and other stories

Firstly: get yourself a copy of Kate Elliott’s newest book, Court of Fives. I finally got myself one and glommed the book in a few breathless sessions. I would’ve read it in a single day (I got halfway through in a few hours on my first reading session) but I was helping people move on Fri & Sat, so no book marathon for me. Anyway! It’s definitely the kind of book you want to enjoy in long, deliciously breathless sessions. Here’s how Kate describes the book:

I call this “Little Women meet American Ninja Warrior in a setting inspired by Greco-Roman Egypt” while the publisher has pitched it as “Little Women meets Game of Thrones meets The Hunger Games.” (source)

I could go on and on about how much I loved this book. :D I’m a huge fan of Kate Elliott’s work and look forward to her new releases. I was a bit apprehensive about the YA part, because in general I’m not a big YA fan – but Court of Fives was just a damn good book, and the YA was mostly in the protagonist’s age and some of the conventions in the book. OK, so I guess the YA thing also meant that the awesome worldbuilding couldn’t be described in as much detail as Elliott usually likes to do (and which I like). But it was also cool to see how much can be revealed through rather little overt description.

Things I loved: the worldbuilding (Ptolemaic Egypt creates great fodder for inspiration!); the sibling relationships (sisters being sisterly, yessss); the Fives game itself (great descriptions of action too); how the protagonist Jes kept on being sensible and making rational decisions despite being a teenager amid difficult circumstances.

I wish the next book was out already! :D I loved the ending for CoF, but damn, it was a tantalising one.

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In case you can’t get out and buy CoF right this minute, here are two delightful things to read in the meantime:

Et je ne pleurais jamais les larmes cicatrisantes magiques; c’est seulement un mensonge joli: Aarne-Thompson Index No. 310 by Elizabeth R. McClellan (in Niteblade) – a great Rapunzel poem with a twist. I do love a good narrative poem.

Stone Hunger by N.K. Jemisin (in Clarkesworld) – an excellent secondary-world story with creepy and compelling worldbuilding (as is usual for Jemisin – she has such good worldbuilding in all her novels too). After reading this and finding out that it was a sketch of sorts for the world of Jemisin’s newest novel The Fifth Season, I got even more excited about reading said new novel. I asked my local library network to order the book and apparently three copies are making their way to three libraries. Yay!

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So many exciting novels coming out or just appeared! I’m especially excited about Aliette de Bodard’s The House of Shattered Wings, Fran Wilde’s Updraft, and Zen Cho’s Sorcerer to the Crown. I wish I had more money so I could buy all the books, but I will ask my local library network to order them if nothing else – as in the case of The Fifth Season, it’s so great that they’re very much open to ordering new books based on customer recommendations. I heart libraries.

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Worldcon in Helsinki in 2017!

So, Helsinki won the bid for Worldcon in 2017! I’m incredibly excited about this news! It’s going to be so awesome. My hometown is a fabulous spot for Worldcon (I MIGHT be a bit biased, of course :D), and Finnish cons are really well organised so I know this one will be too. I’m just ridiculously excited that writers whose work I admire may be coming to my city in two years.

Worldcon, a bike ride away from my house! HOW COOL IS THAT.

Sunday recs: birds and the earth

One rec today, a long and wonderful read:

The Earth and Everything Under by K.M. Ferebee (in Shimmer Magazine).

I just read this story last night (it appeared last year) and was struck by a strange, melancholy sense of beauty. I absolutely love the way Ferebee writes! She creates a strange world both like and unlike our own, and paints such images with her words. I love it. This was the perfect reading after an exhausting, busy day. Such word-magic to sink into!