July 10th, 2014

call of mordicai

Blood on the Rock. (25; 9:16)

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta.

Keep the ruby ring.
It bears the blood of princes.
So does all the land.

Jennifer really likes this book, & has been after me for years to read it. I think I've gone so far as to throw it in my bag before, but never actually cracked it, until Jennifer suggested it to me again recently. I pledged to do a 2:1 author gender ratio this year, & the last batch of book club picks threw me off, so the time is finally now. The quick verdict is that I liked it...in spite of itself? & by that I mean: the book is driven by some of the stuff I really don't like in YA. For instance, the core "twist" is misunderstood prophecy & dramatic irony. That bugs me; in real life, human beings are smarter than this! Then of course, the romance is built around this sort of willful stupidity that gets under my skin; I tend to be wary of any story where the conflicts are the sort that could have been avoided by a thirty second conversation. I did like it, however, despite this grousing. The details sold it...well, & frankly, with the drama Jennifer & I had when we first started dating, I can't be too judgmental about that sort of histrionics. What I liked most were the dream-like rules for blood magic & the fact that the religion wasn't just word salad set dressing. I'll read the next one, but I'm not really interested in Froi's redemption arc-- for the same reasons I complained about at the beginning of this-- so I will put it off for a bit.