Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Making a Writer Happy

I received a review of Bad Spelling posted on Amazon by a really interesting lady. It's such a great review, I have to share it. A boffo review from somebody I don't know who loves my book. That's the sweetest of the sweet. Vixenne Victorienne, you're my friend for life. Want a free copy of "Midnight Oil?" Just ask and it's yours.

By the way, I know all review are the property of Amazon, but that's ridiculous, so I'll just post it in full here anyway. Let's see if they have a cow.


5.0 out of 5 stars Under the Happy Spell of Bad Spelling, February 11, 2012

By Vixenne Victorienne "Kymberlyn Reed" (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews

(VINE VOICE) This review is from: Bad Spelling (The Witches of Galdorheim Series) (Kindle Edition)

The reason I fell in love with this book had to do with the cover and the back blurb, both of which reminded me of one of my favorite animated films 'Kiki's Delivery Service', directed by the brilliant Hayao Miyazaki. Like Kiki, the heroine of this book struggles to find herself and her place in the world, sometimes with comic results.

Most young adult fiction these days tend to be bad pastiches of the orginal bad pastiche Twilight, so when I discover those rare books in which there's no heroine-fail, no "mysterious but HAWT boy" or the standard (and useless) "love triangle", then you have my interest. I've been wondering for a while what the hell has happened to intrepid heroines like Tamora Pierce's Alannah, Phillip Pullman's Lyra and other go-get 'em girls who weren't content to let things just happen to them and who often embarked on grand adventures. Sadder still is the fact that the dumbing-down of YA heroines isn't being done by men, but by women authors whom one would think knew better.

Bad Spelling brings back the intrepid heroine in all her non-perfect yet still active in her own destiny glory. It is also the first fantasy I've read in which the cultures of the farthest reaches of Northern Europe--Norway, Finland, Siberia--figures prominently while not whitewashing the Asian features of many people who live in these polar regions. I especially loved how author Marva Dasef incorporated Norwegian legends into the narrative.

There is also a larger narrative in the book which is intolerance. The prologue for Bad Spelling is set in 1490 at the height of the witch hysteria that swept throughout Europe and cost the lives of hundreds of thousands (and perhaps an even higher number) of innocent women, men and children:

"Tears welled in Edyth's eyes. "What they are doing to us, `tis hateful. Why cannot they just leave us be?"

He took Edyth's shoulders, pulling her to his chest. "`Tis not just us. The inquisitors condemn many not of the craft. They find black magic where it does not exist."

His eyes darkened. "`Tis the fault of that wretched Heinrich Institoris and his cursed Malleus Maleficarum. Even the Church has banned it, yet the so-called citizen courts use it to condemn any who disagree with them."

Edyth shook her head, her face grim. "You speak the truth. `Tis shameful they accuse whoever dissents, be they witch or not!"

The few remaining witches and warlocks decide to leave Europe and travel to a remote island called Galdorheim, where they can live free and out of sight from those they call mundanes (humans without magical ability). The island is protected by a magical shield which renders it undetectable and which makes the normally cold land more hospitable to human/witch life.

Fast forward to present-day Galdorheim. Kat is a young witch with a BIG problem. Her spells, even the simplest, tend to backfire and usually there's green goo involved. Okay, so this is a plot device that's been used before, but that's not the point. It's how such a device is used and not glossed over or turned into something "cute" for whatever hunky, mysterious HAWT BOY happens to eventually come along and save her from. Kat really is a misfit, being the child of a witch and a human. And she's not the only one, her brother Rune is a warlock/vampire and has a rather difficult time controling his hunger around the sight of blood.

Kat feels like an outcast, and little wonder when her mother and her aunt are some of the most powerful witches on Galdorheim. However she discovers that perhaps her bad spellcasting may not be her fault, and so begins a quest to find her father's family, but to save her beloved home from eventual extinction. With Rune as her traveling companion, Kat discovers that her magical abilities work better the farther from Galdorheim she is. On her quest she meets a trio of trolls, one of whom is not all he seems, the Mountain King, a troll advisor who's still upset that a human girl guessed his real name (LOL), , a giant, helpful orcas and some pretty deadly lemmings. She rescues and needs rescuing. Most importantly, Kat's raison d'etre isn't centered around a HAWT boy du jour. She discovers attraction naturally but it's an attraction that also makes sense.

Thankfully there's more to come, but Bad Spelling doesn't end on a cliffhanger. I can't wait to visit Kat and the fantastically modern world of Galdorheim soon Help other customers find the most helpful reviews

No comments:

Post a Comment