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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
Clockwork Heart - Dru Pagliassotti by Dru Pagliossotti

The story of Taya, the icarus (basically just a winged messenger), and the unexpected turns her life takes after she rescues an Exalted.

I wasn’t expecting to love this book. The cover art was bad, it seemed like it might veer in a kind of trashy direction. Anyway, whatever the reasons, I was expecting to read it and not be highly impressed.

I was wrong. While it never astounded it me, it was an entirely enjoyable story, with some very well-written bits. I especially enjoyed the main characters. The mystery aspect wasn’t incredibly strong, but I’m not sure that it was meant to be. Instead we were given the growing relationship between two people from very different backgrounds (but different in a way that worked, as opposed to inducing eye-rolling and exclamations of “Oh, come on“).

And then there was the worldbuilding. It was fantastic. From the first introduction of the city and society I believed it. I believed the caste structure, I believed the language and the different groups which had developed. Pagliossotti sold her creation like crazy. In fact, as much as I enjoyed the story and the characters, I think the worldbuilding was what made the book for me.

I did also appreciate that, while there are mentions of lovers and this clearly is not a chaste society, that didn’t necessarily mean that we had to have steamy explicit scenes.

I very much hope that we’ll have a sequel to this some day, or at least another book set in the same world.

Book source: public library
Other links: Leila’s review; review at Angieville; book’s page
Book information: Juno Books, 2008


Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliossotti: This may be the book that surprised me the most for the year. I was expecting it to be okay, maybe, and instead I ended up really liking it and immediately going back to re-read the best bits. I loved the world Pagliossotti created, and I’m really happy to hear that there’s a sequel in the works. [2010 in books]


Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliossotti: A re-read, because I enjoyed it the first time. Enjoyed it again. I believe there’s a sequel in the works, which is nice, as long as it’s good. [March 2011]