Today I finished the exceptionally brilliant Heart of Stars by Kate Forsyth. Normally the conclusion to a fantastic series fills me with a melancholy akin to farewelling a friend you probably won’t every see again, or a fantastic holiday that must end. However, for two reasons the as I drew nearer and nearer the final pages I managed a quiet excitement. Firstly, it is a very talented fantasy novelist indeed whom the reader can trust to actually wrap the series up – not drag it out endlessly promising this will really, really be the last one. One of the masterful aspects of Kate’s writing is her pace. Reading the blurbs I sometimes wonder how all that can fit in one book – which are standard size, not overly large, the genre. There is a genuine satisfaction that comes from having all the important questions answered.
The second reason I am not in a mope is my to-read shelf. My excitement over the books I plan to read is a great antidote to the end of great series, so I will share them now. The only dilemma I have now is the order in which I should read them.
This is a time slip novel by the author of The Locket of Dreams and The Ruby Talisman. Belinda Murrell has proved her talent as a thoroughly entertaining reader with a gift for description and the easy appreciation of pace which distinguishes her sister, Kate Forsyth. I’d like to read this as I enjoyed the Ruby Talisman so much and I really enjoy finding the recurring themes in the stories by Kate and Belinda. Another appealing aspect is that it is not part of a series – I am just not ready for that level of commitment again so soon. I didn’t really appreciate “time slip” when I first came across the genre through Jackie French, but having read a few of them now I am really looking forward to the mix of historical fiction and social realism.
I absolutely loved the first series , The Ranger’s Apprentice, and have had this book on my shelf for months while I ploughed through The Witches of Eileanan and Rhiannon’s Ride . There’s a lot to love about this series too. I had been thinking “maybe not just yet” because it is a little too similar the Kate Forsyth books of which I have read 9 in a row (with a brief pause between series to read The Ruby Talisman). However the major differences are a) the obvious age difference of the intended audience, b) Flanagan “writes for boys” while Forsyth has very strong female leads and c) there is a greater percentage of wry humour in Flanagan than the more occasional comic relief in the aforementioned Forsyth series/s.
Now this is definitely a funny book for boys, and I would have read it ages ago if I hadn’t locked myself in for a nine book deal. A definite juxtaposition to my recent reading habits, but am I still too wrapped in the world of magic and sorceresses to appreciate Phommavahns contemporary references? Hmm, I think I’ll read this second.
Ok, need to help daddy with the post bath naked “Running of the Babes” so a snap decision
Pearl, Punchlines, Invaders! Good one.