Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Six magically weird YA fantasy novels

One title on Melissa Albert's list of six magically weird YA fantasy books, as shared at the BN Teen blog:
Worlds of Ink and Shadow, by Lena Coakley

From a mix of historical record, the Brontë sisters’ great novels (and unpublished juvenilia), and the windswept moors, early feminism, and pagan folk beliefs of the Brontës’ upbringing on the Yorkshire moors, Coakley has created a gripping, layered work of portal fiction, complete with forbidden love and devil’s deals. Her page-turner explores the dark terrain of childhood fancies, the indignities of growing up, and the idea of a child as the ruler—benevolent or tyrannical—of their play worlds, imagining the Brontë siblings can travel at will into the fantasy realms they create on the page. But soon their creations start developing inner lives, questioning the world order, and rebelling against being used as as living props. Not only does Coakley evoke the Brontës’ home and invented lives with equal verve, but she maps it effortlessly onto their extraordinary fates, using fantasy to explain how Charlotte, Emily, Anne, and brother Branwell created fictional works including two of the greatest books in the English canon, before meeting their early ends (three of them within a year of each other).
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Page 69 Test: Worlds of Ink and Shadow.

--Marshal Zeringue