It’s been a while since I’ve stayed up way past my bedtime to read just one more chapter, but that was pretty much what I was doing all of last week.
Estara recommended W.R. Gingell’s fantasy books some time back, and I finally got around to reading SHARDS OF A BROKEN SWORD, which is a compilation of three of her interlinked shorter novels (novellas?). Needless to say, I loved it.
Her writing hit all the right buttons for me – she had clever and strong-minded heroines with a keen sense of the absurd, male counterparts who were worthy foils for them, and plots centred around twisty, mysterious puzzles. I adored the first two stories, though the third felt a bit rushed towards the end. All in all though, a most refreshingly enjoyable fantasy.
I immediately dived into the second of her books that I own – MASQUE, a Beauty and the Beast retelling, and which, for some reason, has been sitting on my Kindle for a while (I suspect I picked it up when it was for free or discounted). If you’re like me and don’t care for fairy-tale retellings, don’t worry as I was halfway through the book when I realised the parallels to Beauty (yes, I can be slow). Again, this was pretty much my catnip – a whodunnit in a fantasy regency-like setting. While the villain was a bit too obvious, it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story one bit. I thoroughly loved spending time with Isabella, Lord Pecus, and the rest of Bella’s merry band.
I’m currently reading SPINDLE, which you get for free when you sign up to her newsletter. If you’ve guessed it’s a Sleeping Beauty (with some added Rapunzel) retelling, you’re right. I have to say that I’m not loving this as much as the previous two, possibly because Poly has just awoken up from an enchanted sleep and is still trying to find her feet. She’s different to the very self-assured heroines of the previous books, and I’m missing that self-confidence in her interactions – but things are picking up! I noticed WR Gingell references Diana Wynne Jones in the dedication of this book, and this story definitely has a DWJ flavour to it.
And once I’m finished with this, well, Gingell’s written a couple more books, and there’s a new release in April.