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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
The Dream-Maker's Magic - Sharon Shinn Opening line: “This is the story my mother told me:”

Apparently this is the last volume of a trilogy, which I didn’t realize until I looked at the back flap after I finished the book. Oops. All the same, it works as a stand-alone novel.

Somehow I didn’t quite expect to like the book. I think at first I was somewhat skeptical of Kellen’s dressing as a boy. That has been used so often at this point and I often don’t find books where girls dress as boys very satisfying (Alanna was never my favorite Tamora Pierce heroine). However, in this case Shinn worked with the idea in a very different way. Kellen doesn’t dress a boy to prove a point or to take on the system. She is forced by her mother to not only dress but to live as a boy and in certain ways this proves to be extremely painful for her.

When I read Gateway I ended up feeling like I never quite fell in love with the characters. That feeling was present in The Dream-Maker’s Magic, although to a much smaller degree. I cared a lot more about Kellen and Gryffin. Still, they never quite worked their way into my heart and I’m not quite sure why. In a similar way, I never entirely bought their world. Now, this may be partly because Shinn has done the groundwork in the first two books. As a new reader, however, I was left with a sense of a world that almost worked but didn’t quite.

This was still an enjoyable read and a nice take on several different fantasy elements.

Book source: public library
Book information: Viking, 2006; grade 7 up

My other Sharon Shinn review: