Blackbringer by Laini Taylor

My posts are going to focus primarily on reviews, thoughts and info about crime novels and shows, but there will be exceptions.

One such exception is Laini Taylor’s novel Blackbringer.

While not fitting within my general crime/mystery framework I want to review Blackbringer because, one, since I’ve taken her idea of the snick and used it as inspiration it seems only right and two, I love it.  I love everything about it.  When I’m struggling with my own work and I want to remind myself that great writing and storytelling is possible this is one of a handful of books that I turn to.  In other words:  the snick of Blackbringer overwhelms me and I can’t help myself!

So.  Laini Taylor has written a number of excellent books and I’m very eagerly awaiting the November 6th release of Days of Blood and Starlight, the sequel to the wonderful Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

But Blackbringer has a special place in my heart.  It is one of those books that I came across by chance, just browsing in a bookstore.  I liked the cover art (done by her husband Jim Di Bartolo) and idly picked it up.

The first line is:  “The wolf tasted the babe’s face with the tip of his tongue and pronounced her sweet, and the fox licked the back of her head to see if it was so.”

Instant snick.  And it didn’t let up.  For me this is one of those rare books that satisfies from beginning to end and everywhere in between.  There weren’t just a few chapters or characters or bits of writing that I liked – I liked it all and I’m not even usually a faerie type of person.

As any novel writer knows it’s agonizing to write good book jacket style copy but here goes with a brief summary:

Magpie Windwitch, a small, fierce faerie, still young at only 100 years old, is trying to protect her fading world by capturing one devil at a time with her band of brothers – a motley collection of crows.  Great magic has all but disappeared.  Few faeries even know that a fine weave of magic is all that holds the world tenuously together, but Magpie finds herself at the centre of a race to stop that weave from unraveling.  She and her crows meet a cast of wonderful, curious and traitorous creatures as they fight to save their world.  This excellent, fast-moving tale is told in rich, deft prose that gives the reader time to enjoy each marvelous word without ever bogging down the story.

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I’m not usually so effusive but, honestly, I really think it’s that good.  I know that some of you won’t agree with me.  We’ve all been in the position where we’ve recommended a book or a movie we love only to have the other person trying to find a polite way to tell us that they couldn’t get through the first 10 pages or minutes.  It is fantasy and the target audience is age 9 and up, not every adult reader’s cup of tea, but I highly recommend that you give it a try.

The wolf tasted the babe’s face with the tip of his tongue and pronounced her sweet, and the fox licked the back of her head to see if it was so.”

I mean, come on.

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Interesting Aside:  Laini’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone has been optioned by Universal Pictures.

Interesting Aside 2:  Hodder, the UK publisher for Daughter of Smoke and Bone, is running a promotion for the book — you can enter to win a trip for two to Prague!

The Snick – not the Snark

The Snick is a term coined, as far as I know, by wonderful YA author Laini Taylor to refer to that moment of certainty, that feeling you get when you hit on the just-right plot idea, image, line of dialogue, etc. that is true and right for your story.

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