Book Recommendations, Was DWJ's answers: Harry Potter

Gross Family argross at
Sat Sep 1 09:08:40 EDT 2001

I have a book recommendation, though it's still only available in Australia
and Great Britain, until September, I think, when it will be published in
the US--and that is _The Bone Doll's Twin_ by Lynn Flewelling. Because it's
the first in a trilogy (and here's a warning: it ends on a cliffhanger!) has
maps in the front, and at first glance, looks like a generic garden-variety
fantasy, I would probably have avoided it like the plague, except that I
know the author from another mailing list, and have also read her previous
books and loved them. _The Bone Doll's Twin_ is set in the same world as the
previous books, only centuries earlier, and tell of a magical attempt to
save the life of a child who is the rightful ruler but whom the powers that
be would like to kill. If that sounds like terribly stock fantasy, I'll just
say that the method of keeping the child alive is unusual, and has all kinds
of psychological-emotional consequences and implications, and that in effect
the book is about the inner life of this child, and is beautifully written.
I love the cover of the British edition, BTW.

I also highly recommend the previous books by Flewelling, collectively
called the Nightrunner books: _Luck in the Shadows_, _Stalking Darkness_ and
_Traitor's Moon_; and also _Rhapsody_ by Elizabeth Haydon and its sequel,
_Prophecy_. These look so much like standard generic fantasy that I couldn't
believe they were as good as they are. There are some standard fantasy
features and themes, but the books are interesting because of the writing
style, the characters, and because of a framing device which is highly
original and highly intgriguing. There's a third book coming out soon,

Some other books that have bewitched me lately:

_Sabriel_ and _Lirael_ by Garth Nix. _Lirael_ is really only half a book;
its second part had better come out soon before I go nuts!
_When the King Comes Home_ by Caroline Stevermer. I'm another one who loves
_A College of Magics_.
The "Aunt Dimity" books by Nancy Atherton. The first one is called _Aunt
Dimity's Death_. If you need cheering up, these are the books to read. They
are funny mystery/fantasy books that make you feel as though you're drinking
hot chocolate in front of a warm fire.
I haven't got hold of _Passage_ by Connie Willis yet!!! I can't wait,
And one other book I read a long time ago, but which I highly recommend as a
just-can't-put-it-down book is _The Face in the Frost_by John Bellairs.



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