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    Saturday, January 07, 2006

    BOOKENDS
    BIG TASTY FANTASY!!! I have two absolutely fantastic fantasy titles for you -- if you're fantasy reader, these are musts for you!
    Snow-Walker by Catherine Fisher
    Just as chilly as it sounds Snow-Walker is an epic fantasy tale, centering around the enchantress Gudrun and her son Kari -- whom she banishes at birth to a fortress in the desolate north to ensure her continued reign over her husband's jarldom. As Gudrun's tyranny increases, two cousins are exiled to the same fortress, hoping that what they find there -- whether beast, monster, human, or sorcerer -- will be something they can use to defeat Gudrun and her increasing power over the land and people.
    I absolutely loved this book. I read it over the holidays, and once I had a few minutes to really get into it, I didn't want to put it down (and often I didn't -- even for meals). Magic, treachery, outlaws, creatures, trolls, quests -- this book has it all. A fantastic piece of storytelling!
    (coming to the YA collection soon!)

    Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
    The glorious city of Elantris, with all its magic, power, brilliance, benevolence, was a city of gods -- or mortals so divine they could hardly be anything else. And it seemed eternal, giving hope to everyone. Until ten years ago, when the society in all its radiance collapsed. Now, people who experience The Transformation to Elantrian are cursed with leaprous skin, insatiable hunger, and bodies that won't heal themselves; Elantris itself is crumbling and rotting. When Princess Sarene comes to the city of Arelon, bordering Elantris, only to learn that her husband-to-be died only days before, she adopts the collapsing kingdom as her own and seeks its salvation; meanwhile, in Elantris, a small group of people tries desperately to forget their undying pain & disease, protect themselves from the gangs and guards that threaten, and uncover the amazing secrets of the fallen city and society.
    Admittedly, I picked up this book because the author is a friend of a friend, and I actually picked it up twice b/c the first time I discovered I really didn't want to read it. However, the second time was different. After the introduction of the key players and situations, I absolutely devoured this gripping story. Full of interestingly-developed characters, treachery & intrigue & war, politics & societies & mercantilism, religious mysticism, and a search for truth and beauty, I definitely recommend this book for fantasy readers looking for more!
    FANTASY Sanderson

    I can't say enough about these two books -- I thoroughly enjoyed them both!

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