His entry begins:
Silk, by Alessandro Baricco, is a stunning novella that’s one part fairy tale, one part historical fiction, and one part heartbreaking romance. It tells the tale of Hervé Joncour, a merchant who travels the world to find silkworm eggs to sell in the French town where he lives. As the European and African silkworms succumb to disease, he must travel further and further, leaving his wife, Hélène, for months at a time. At last, his travels bring him to Japan, where he falls in love with a woman to whom he never speaks.About Skullsworn, from the publisher:
The story covers years and thousands of miles, but rather than try to render everything, Baricco chooses his moments. Joncour will cross all of Europe and Asia in a short paragraph, but then we get the chance to...[read on]
Pyrre Lakatur is not, to her mind, an assassin, not a murderer—she is a priestess. At least, she will be once she passes her final trial.Visit Brian Staveley's website.
The problem isn’t the killing. The problem, rather, is love. For to complete her trial, Pyrre has ten days to kill the seven people enumerated in an ancient song, including “the one who made your mind and body sing with love / who will not come again.”
Pyrre isn’t sure she’s ever been in love. And if she fails to find someone who can draw such passion from her, or fails to kill that someone, her order will give her to their god, the God of Death. Pyrre’s not afraid to die, but she hates to fail, and so, as her trial is set to begin, she returns to the city of her birth in the hope of finding love ... and ending it on the edge of her sword.
The Page 69 Test: The Providence of Fire.
Writers Read: Brian Staveley.