July 11, 2006

Singer by Jean Thesman

white-haired girl in front of tree with cat in its celtic knot branchesThis was the last book I read for this year's Endeavour Award. I actually "read" a couple other books that didn't meet the criteria for writing them up here. I only post books that I read the whole book with no skimming. Some of the last few books (which shall remain nameless) were so clearly not contenders that I did some serious skimming so I could get on to the next one.

This book had its moments, but it came close to making me skim too. It's playing with a Welsh folk tale and there's a prologue that outlines the tale (in which a king's beautiful children are turned into swans by their evil step mother until another woman comes along to break the curse). The problem I had is that most of the events of the book tell the tale of the woman who broke the curse and while there are all kinds of portents and signs that presage the whole swan children episode, the story has nothing to do with the swan children until it's practically over. I think this could have worked, but the backstory Thesman puts together for her curse breaker just wasn't as engrossing as that brief summary of the fairy tale. And once the swan children do appear the telling of their tale really isn't much longer than the summary so there's no real payoff.

I guess I should have spoiler warnings on this stuff, but it just seemed like the book was self-spoiling, so I can't bring myself to care enough to bother.

Posted by jeffy at July 11, 2006 09:55 PM
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