Friday, July 23, 2010

What is Janni Lee Simner reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Janni Lee Simner. Her first novel for teens, Bones of Faerie, is a post-apocalyptic fairy tale, set after the war with Faerie has destroyed much of the world. Her second, Thief Eyes, is a contemporary fantasy based on the Icelandic sagas, Njal's Saga in particular.

One book tagged in her Writers Read entry:
Laini Taylor's Blackbringer--with its miniature winged fairies and talking crows--is steeped in a sort of whimsy that doesn't always work for me, but in this case, that whimsy was bound up in worldbuilding that was so original and dark and textured that it won me over.

In Blackbringer world is a tapestry woven by the dreams of djinns. Only the tapestry is fraying--as tapestries do over time--letting in darkness and an ancient enemy who seeks the unmaking of all things. Worse, the memory that the tapestry is even real has slipped from the world--as such memories do--leaving most creatures unaware their existence is imperiled. So it falls to the (miniature, winged) fairy Magpie Windwitch--the first non-djinn with the ability to reweave the tattered threads--to set things right. And she does, and if as readers we never doubted it, that doesn't change the fact that the tapestry feels so real that it's hard not to look for its hidden threads behind the workings of our own world when...[read on]
Among the early praise for Thief Eyes:
"Adopting figures from Icelandic sagas, Simner (Bones of Faerie) creates a captivating modern odyssey ... Incorporating references to Star Wars and Norse myth alike, Simner is poetic whether writing about magic and sorcery or simply getting inside her characters' heads."
Publishers Weekly

"Simner's second book, a fantasy set in modern times but rooted in ancient Icelandic sagas, has great reader appeal. The plot is compelling—a page-turner ... The climax is a humdinger, and while the resolution is bittersweet, it makes sense and is consistent with the magical rules of the book. There's some innocent romance to pique reader interest, while dark magic will attract readers who enjoy touches of Norse mythology in their fantasy reading."

"Simner skillfully weaves Haley and Ari’s modern emotional struggles into the ancient saga and enlivens the story with an intriguing cast of characters from the original tale. With its urgent pace and unique setting, this offering from the author of Bones of Faerie (2009) will stay with readers."
Visit Janni Lee Simner's website and blog/journal.

Writers Read: Janni Lee Simner.

--Marshal Zeringue