Sarah Monette – The Mirador

Within the walled city of Mélusine, destabilized by unsolved murders and the lack of a legitimate royal heir, stands the fortress known as the Mirador, from which wizards strive to consolidate and increase their power. Felix Harrowgate, the Mirador’s most powerful wizard, and his half-brother, former assassin Mildmay the Fox, find themselves mired in new intrigues when Mildmay’s lover, the renowned actress Mehitabel Parr, becomes an unwilling spy for the rival wizards of the Bastion. Felix is further distracted by endless bickering with his partner, Gideon Thraxios, and trying to understand the implications of the backwards sky in the magical dreamworld of the Khloïdanikos. Mehitabel fears the destruction of her theatrical company, and the lowborn Mildmay struggles against the prejudice of wizards and lords.

This one was interesting. If you’ve kept an eye on my blog lately you might have read me raving about the awesomeness of Mélusine and The Virtu. Honestly, I’m really happy to have discovered another author of awesomeness on a whim (and after very helpful recommendations on westeros.org 😉 )

The Mirador is a little different there. First off, the pacing of the book is generally slower than its two predecessors, but actually that’s not too bad. Again, we have more internal and inter-personal conflicts than the more traditional ‘overall’ conflict (war, ursurper kings, take your pick). Before you ask, yes there overall conflicts like this in all three books, but they just don’t take up that much room as they usually would in a more conventional fantasy setting. What I like most about Monette’s work is her characters and their complex personalities.

One thing that I’m having mixed feelings about is the fact that Monette introduces Mehitabel as yet another first-person-POV besides Felix and Mildmay. Even though she is an interesting and intriguing character, I couldn’t help but notice how much Monette cuts back on Felix’ PoV. Sure, she doesn’t fail to convey his story through Mildmay and Mehitabel, still I’d have wanted more of the Felix sections.

In the end, the main plot revolves around the two brothers and the end of the book itself was pretty awesome and gives a great opening for book four, Corambis which is due to come out on April 7th, 2009 and already I can’t wait for that particular story to be continued 😀

Sarah Monette – The Virtu

You know the phenomenon; authors write a really awesome, original and compelling first novel, but somehow the

sequels never really live up to their debuts? Well, rest assured, The Virtu doesn’t belong into that category.

I’d even say that Monette actually packed more plot and plot twists into this one than into its predecessor, Melusine. She does an excellent job in developing her world and more than that, her characters in ways that make me want more (and fortunately I just got her third book, The Mirador in the mail, how handy is that?)

I’m baffled how good Monette is at driving her characters uh…her character’s words were  uh…”batfuck crazy”?

There’s lots of angst, trauma and personality conflicts and half the time you can’t decide whether you hate or love her characters. This really makes me think that I desperately need to update my list of ‘writers of awesome’, because those books should be there 😀

While the Virtu concludes some main plotlines, it leaves enough open for the third and the fourth book to come. I’m not quite sure if the fourth book, Corambis (coming out in April 2009) will conclude Felix’ and Mildmay’s story, but I certainly wouldn’t mind reading more 😀

LGBT fantasy

I currently have a thread going on westeros looking for good LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual) fantasy (and Science Fiction) recommendations. So far the following author’s and books have made it on my list and partly on my bookshelf:

-Lynn Flewelling: Luck in the Shadows (own it)

– Mercedes Lackey – Last Herald Mage (I’m going to check her out at my used book store)

– Marion Zimmer Bradley – Heritage of Hastur and Sharra’s Exile (I really liked her Mists of Avalon, but never read any of her other books)

– Sarah Monette – Melusine, Virtu, Companion to Wolves

– Richard Morgan – The Steel Remains (Can’t wait for that one to come out, gotta pre-order it asap)

I’ll try to keep the list updated, but if you have any other suggestions here, shoot a comment my way.

Thanks!

This made me smile this morning

Sirayn’s comment to this post on my LiveJournal really made my morning:

Tangentially related: check out the Westeros thread on Morgan’s next project, The Steel Remains – when I read that it includes a gay protagonist and scenes of graphic man-on-man action, I thought of you. 😉

Yay for the gay protagonists and scenes of graphic man-on-man action!

Anyway, this makes me smile, even though I’m probably a little less graphic in my writing than Richard Morgan is 😉 But hey, people associate my writing with the LGBT scene; I win at life!