Jenny's Library

Reading Round-up 2013: Week 10

Posted on: April 17, 2013

cover image for AshAsh by Malinda Lo

After circumstances conspire to make Aisling’s life into a Cinderella tale, she spends much of her time lost in a fog of grief, finding solace only in the familiar woods near her home.  Her wanderings through the forest brings more than one stranger into Ash’s life, and not all of them human; her new experiences and acquaintances tantalizing Ash with the possibility of escaping her dreary existence.

Lo’s debut novel is unique and intriguing, but unfortunately also rather slow and detached at times.  It’s a good addition to any young adult collection, especially in light of how little lgtbq genre there is, but not one that I would make a priority.

cover image for Paladin of SoulsPaladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold

Shortly after the conclusion of The Curse of Chalion, the dowager royina Ista Dy Baocia sets off on a pilgrimage.  Ista is quite violently against the idea of healing her broken relationship with the gods, but the goal of visiting holy sites througout the kingdom gives her a socially acceptable excuse to escape the walls and expectations that surround her.  The gods themselves have other plans, however, as they often do, and Ista’s wandering soon because an expedition with surprising and momentous results.

As awesome as Paladin of Souls is, I have to admit that a lot of the emotional resonance of the story passed me by, owing to my complete and utter lack of faith at any point in my life.  Which isn’t to say that I didn’t like it, I absolutely adored it!  It’s just that many of the deeper moments were illuminating, in terms of understanding how faith works for people who have it, rather than touching on a personal, intimate level.

That said, Ista is awesome and I wish we had more protagonists like her.  More middle aged women. More mothers.  More women who yearn for peace and freedom but recognize the complexities of their obligations.

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