Marysia Kosowski profile
Place of birth: Korbach, Germany
Now living: San Diego, California
3 favourite authors
- Meredith Ann Pierce
- Tanith Lee
- Robin McKinley
3 favourite books
- Darkangel by Meredith Ann Pierce
- Biting the Sun by Tanith Lee
- The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley
3 favourite films
- Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
- Lord of the Rings
But Marillier can be forgiven some familiar tropes, because no one does character development so well. The Good Folk come alive on the pages, as earthy and otherworldly as the faery creatures that populate Brian Frouds paintings. Flint and Neryns growing friendship and budding romance is deftly rendered. Many traditional quest fantasies separate the hero and heroine until the end of the story, so Neryn and Flints constant interaction is a refreshing improvement upon the genre. Strong characters, a believable romance, and a clear anti-authoritarian message make Shadowfell one of the best young adult novels published this year. I highly recommend it to all fans of Juliet Marillier and anyone interested in Celtic fantasy
A recently published collection, Wonders of the Invisible World, includes the rest of McKillips short stories from the late 90s through 2012. Missing only a few odds and end such as The Gorgon in the Cupboard novella and a Witch World story, these two books are more complete than most authors haphazardly selected collections. Long-time fans of McKillip will be delighted to find these previously hard-to-obtain stories. Harrowing the Dragon is a collection done right: all the authors current short fiction in one place.
Like an old-fashioned pastoral full of idyllic scenes and virtuous heroines, the novel is essentially a utopia, a world of possibilities in response to the shortcomings of the modern world. Utopias are rare indeed in modern fantasy, and this book has too solid a premise to sell itself short on a not very cohesive plot. But I hope J.S. Warren continues to write more fantasy, as I would love to see how she grows into her considerable talents.
Far from the besieged home of Simon and Jaelithe, in peaceful Norsdale, we meet Gillan, who longs to leave her dull life in a secluded country abbey. But when her wish comes true, she finds more than a little adventure. As she ventures out, not only is her life in danger, but also the power that lies within her, waiting to be discovered.
"Knowing which Andre Norton novel to choose from her prolific output can be a daunting task. I confess the late great Ms. Norton is not my favorite author. Ive liked a few of her novels, while many of her co-authored books published in recent years suffered from lack of editing and an over-reliance on archaic language. Year of the Unicorn is the novel that changed my mind. Nortons very loose adaptation of the Beauty and the Beast story becomes a tale of love and trust, betrayal and a quest for identity." Fantasy Book Review
I read this book on the recommendation of people who really loved it, and when I finished it I was unsure whether I liked it or not. It was interesting and engaging, even archetypal, but also a little under-baked. I feel that most of the supporting characters had more personality than the two leads. Death especially was an intriguing figure, but his character was so vaguely sketched I had trouble seeing him as both a force of nature and a lovelorn man longing for companionship. Keturah was sometimes too perfect and at other times too lackadaisical, wasting time doing chores when she was given a brief reprieve from death to find her true love. She certainly took her freedom lightly. Aside from her beauty and her supposed courage, I didnt know why Death (an eternal, immortal being who has surely seen many women come and go) should want her for his queen. Chronology was sometimes a problem, as it seemed that too much was going on in one days time.
Is Ajjiit a unique and enjoyable book? Absolutely. Would simpler diction make it a better reading experience? Yes, it would. The tone is also appropriately dark and even gory throughout, reinforced by Andrew Trabbolds black and white illustrations, which are beautifully rendered but decidedly creepy. I realize this is a matter of personal preference, however, and other readers may appreciate these legitimate artistic choices better than I. Despite its shortcomings, Ajjiit is a fascinating and original work that seeks to eliminate genre barriers and tap into the dreamlike sensibilities that lie at the root of humanitys storytelling tradition. Readers of dark fantasy and horror with an interest in Arctic mythology should pick up this book. Its a partial success for me, but I hope Ajjiit is only the first of many books in a new genre of reinvented and revitalized folklore.
The Piper himself is the low point of this book for me, and thats a shame, as I seek out retellings to find him in them. I rather like the man. I like his mysterious origins (human or faery?), his otherworldly musical talent, his excellent fashion sense. I like his naiveté, doing all the hard work first because he genuinely trusts the townspeople to pay him. Lest you think Im romanticizing, I like his moral ambiguity, the way an honest-seeming person can shatter our illusions with disproportionate revenge. Is it an act of barbarity, or is he saving the children from societal corruption? Gloria Skurzynski reduces this complex morality figure to an avaricious, manipulative predator. Its effective but disheartening, all the more so because we know people like this exist in the real world. Was this the true face of the Pied Piper in 1284? Most likely. But give me Robert Browning any day.
Ice is an interesting and unique entry in the canon of retold fairy tales for young adults. It is certainly worth a read, but there are better retellings of this story. If you liked this book or like the folktale its based on, Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George is more authentic, and Edith Pattous East is the best rendition so far.
Both terrific authors in their own right, Robin McKinley and husband Peter Dickinson team up on Fire: Tales of Elemental Spirits to give us five new stories of fantastical worlds. Unfortunately it remains a half-baked collection. Robin McKinleys and Peter Dickinsons Water collection was not perfect but a joy nonetheless, all the stories well crafted and full of interesting surprises. Fire, their latest installment in the projected elementals series, is not as strong. The stories suffer from being under- or over-written, some confusing plot holes, and in some cases a real lack of cohesion.
Award-winning author Sharon Shinn delivers a strong novel in Archangel, the first in her unusual Samaria series, where Biblical mythology exists side by side with the remnants of a futuristic civilization, where a caste of angels guards over vying human cultures where angels and mortals are encouraged to love, and the fate of the world rests on a song.