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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
Silksinger - Laini Taylor by Laini Taylor

In this sequel to Blackbringer, Taylor returns to the story of Magpie and Talon, while also weaving in the stories of several new characters.

Yay! I loved this book. Granted, I wasn’t quite as blown away as I was by Blackbringer, but I think this was simply because the world was familiar instead of being completely new. I was happy that we also got significant amounts of Mags and the other characters from the first book. I’ve noticed a slight tendency for sequels to move to completely different characters, offering at most a tantalizing glimpse of the characters from the first book. I think it works for some series and not for others, so I was glad to see that Taylor chose to stick with Magpie.

And once again, the worldbuilding was absolutely amazing. The language and slang, the landscape, the culture. Above all, I felt that it was all done with a purpose. It helped to inform the motivations and actions of the characters. Because Taylor convinced me that her world and history were real (okay, you know what I mean), I believed that Hirik’s secret was a big deal.

I loved Whisper as well. Magpie is great, but I was glad to see someone who appeared to be fragile and delicate, but who actually had a great strength of character, and a pretty neat skill which wasn’t being tough and wielding a sword. We need sword-wielding girls in books, but we also need girls who sing silk into fabric.

One of the other things I really liked was the slow, understated romance. It’s definitely there, but it was so nice to have a break from the “from the first time I saw him/her, we were magically, instantly, passionately in LOVE.” This felt more like Anne and Gilbert than Heathcliff and Cathy, and that I am completely in favor of.

Book source: public library
Book information: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2009

My Laini Taylor reviews:
Dreamdark: Blackbringer
Lips Touch (about halfway down)


I loved this second book in the Dreamdark series. I’m fine with fairies as long as they’re not sparkly and cute, and these ones most certainly are neither of those things. While Magpie is back, we have a new heroine in Whisper, one who adds a nice new note to the story. [2010 in books]