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By Singing Light

Pretty much everything here originally appeared at my actual blog: By Singing Light. I particularly focus on upper middle-grade and young adult books. I also enjoy adult genre books, especially speculative fiction.

Currently reading

The Lost Tools of Learning and the Mind of the Maker
Dorothy L. Sayers
The Seventh Bride
T. Kingfisher
Hope in the Dark
Rebecca Solnit
Outrun the Moon
Stacey Lee
Midnight Thief
Livia Blackburne
The White Hart
Nancy Springer
The Great Wall Of Lucy Wu
Wendy Wan-Long Shang
Jim C. Hines
Elizabeth & Leicester: Power, Passion, Politics
Sarah Gristwood
Hunting the Five (De la Roca Chronicles, #1) - Maria Violante Maria Violante contacted me recently through Goodreads and asked if I would like to review her novella, Hunting the Five. It sounded interesting, so I agreed. I’m behind on writing the review, so apologies if it seems a bit rushed!

Here’s a bit of description from Goodreads: Stripped of her memories, her name, and her power, De La Roca has spent the last three hundred years as a mercenary to pay for her release from the inferno.

So in some ways, this is a good old quest story–De La Roca is questing for her freedom, with the requisite tests along the way. This way of looking at the story was probably the strongest, in my opinion. It added an element of interest and intrigue which would otherwise have been lacking.

I have to admit that I struggled with parts of Hunting the Five, simply because any kind of story involving either angels or demons is hard for me to swallow (I’m having a really hard time with the Space Between for this exact reason). This is a very personal issue, and it may not affect other readers at all, but somehow I hadn’t been expecting it, and it threw me out of the story a bit.

At the same time, I think there may have been a larger issue in terms of grounding the mythology of the story. I liked the individual characters and found them nicely drawn in terms of motivation and so on, but their place within the structure of the world was hard to pin down, because the world itself was hard to pin down. It’s not so much that it was inconsistent as that it was blank.

As far as the writing goes, Violante is clearly a skilled writer. I encountered a few points where my inner editor cried a little bit, but that happens in all kinds of books.

If this sounds like your cup of tea, you can check out the Goodreads page, which includes a link to purchase it.

Book source: ebook review copy from author