Saturday, May 21, 2011

What is Jane Lindskold reading?

This weekend's featured contributor at Writers Read: Jane Lindskold, the bestselling author of the Wolf series, which began with Through Wolf’s Eyes and concluded with Wolf’s Blood, as well as many other fantasy novels. Her latest novel is Five Odd Honors.

Her entry begins:
This year for Christmas my sister-in-law gave me a lovely blank notebook crafted from handmade paper. I decided to use it to keep track of what I’m reading. What I discovered is that I read more than I even realized, so this is going to be a sample with an arbitrary focus on books by authors I know here in New Mexico.

I’m not much of a short fiction reader, but I can honestly say I really enjoyed the anthology Golden Reflections, edited by Joan Spicci Saberhagen and Robert E. Vardeman. Full disclosure: Not only was I a contributor to this anthology, I was also one of its “godparents.” Golden Reflections is based around one of my absolutely favorite SF novels, Fred Saberhagen’s alternate history Mask of the Sun.

That said, if you think about it, that doesn’t mean I’d automatically like the end result. After all, I have an emotional investment not only in Fred’s original material, but also in how the anthology itself came out. What I can say is that it came out very well indeed.

Golden Reflections is a unique form of anthology in that, in addition to the novellas inspired by Fred’s work, the entire text of Fred’s Mask of the Sun is included. Participating authors include Daniel Abraham, John Maddox Roberts, Dean Wesley Smith, Harry Turtledove, Walter Jon Williams, and David Weber. Settings are mostly in Central and North America, but Ptolemic Egypt gets a nod, too.

The one element each story has in common is...[read on]
Kirkus named Five Odd Honors one its best science fiction and fantasy books of 2010. Their review:
Lindskold (Nine Gates, 2009, etc.) delivers the third installment in her Breaking the Wall series, continuing her urban-fantasy tale of magic and Chinese legends.

The novel continues the adventures of Brenda Morris, a magic-wielding present-day descendant of beings from a hidden, magical world steeped in Chinese myth. The previous book involved the creation of nine gates in order to enter this hidden world, the Lands Born from Smoke and Sacrifice. Here, the Ninth Gate is opened, but the Lands have been weirdly transformed by magic, their living inhabitants nowhere to be found, apparently trapped behind powerful elemental barriers. After her friends are also captured, Brenda becomes a key part of a daring rescue mission. The fictional world Lindskold has created is an engaging combination of modern life and Chinese mythical lore. However, readers should become familiar with the previous books in the series before picking up this one. This novel occasionally gets bogged down by its considerable exposition. That said, Lindskold’s overall vision is unique, and fans of urban-fantasy with a magical focus will be satisfied.

A fine continuation of a complex, one-of-a-kind urban-fantasy series.
Visit Jane Lindskold's website and blog.

Writers Read: Jane Lindskold (February 2009).

The Page 69 Test: Thirteen Orphans.

The Page 69 Test: Five Odd Honors.

Writers Read: Jane Lindskold.

--Marshal Zeringue