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Monday, April 28, 2008

Some recent reviews...

It has been a crazy week... signings... writing... etc. and etc. I had some wonderful reviews and they keep me going. My thanks to these very kind three ladies... :)
Starsight, by Minnette Meador
Sheila Deeth
April 23, 2008

Here's a confession. I didn't like fairy tales as a child. I wasn't scared of them - they just annoyed me. Life wasn't meant to be so unpredictable and so unfair, or if was I didn't want to read about it.

I wanted to read my big brother's books - real books the same shape and size as grown-up ones, with lots of words and no pictures. But my brother said I had to prove I was serious first. He told me to read the Snow Queen, but I loathed it so much I volunteered to clean his room instead. That way, I could read chapters from his bookshelf once a week without anyone knowing.
They read Alice in Wonderland to me in grade school. I tried to cover my ears. And in junior high I had to listen to the Hobbit. I couldn't understand the attraction at all, and deduced that fantasy really wasn't my thing.
At college, the young man, who later became my husband, had a novel way of making sure I stayed in touch. He loaned me his copy of Frank Herbert's Dune. It was a thick book that took a long time to read, and when I was finished I had to give it back. My husband likes Dune because he's always loved science fiction (so have I), but it was the first book verging on fantasy that I really enjoyed. Then I bought the Narnia books, Lord of the Rings (and the Hobbit and the Silmarillion of course), the complete works of Lewis Carroll, Earthsea (back when it was only a trilogy)... I was hooked. I even started meeting with friends once a week to play a variant on Dungeons and Dragons.

Then we married and had kids.

It wasn't till I picked up my copy of Minnette Meador's Starsight, mailed freshly minted, signed and personalized by the author (a gather friend), that I realized how long it was since I'd enjoyed a long fantasy (unless Harry Potter counts). I tried George R.R. Martin's books recently, but couldn't get into them - the short reading sessions of a busy life meant the story became too disjointed for me to follow. I was actually nervous as I started Starsight, wanting so much to enjoy it, but beginning to wonder if my reading had come full circle.

I guess Minnette allayed my fears fairly quickly. Eechas instead of hairy horses disturbed me - maybe that's one of my problems, keeping the language of a fantasy world in mind. Guiders. Power (always in italics). I wasn't sure, but I kept reading; persevered into the second chapter. Then suddenly the whole of Minnette's strange world came into focus in my imagination. I was there, transported for a chapter at a time, and the names and images were ready and waiting to return as soon as I came back. With so many names - such strange names - I'm not sure how she did it. But I'd have to say, Minnette has a very deft hand at weaving enough detail into her tale to keep it all flowing smoothly in and out of memory.

Two things attracted me to the book before I read it: Piers Anthony's endorsement on the front cover, and Spider Robinson's on the back. The pictures on the cover made me think I might be in for a Lord of the Rings look-alike, but I was pleased to be wrong. Starsight is set in world of its own, with human characters, flawed and believable, stories and histories interwoven and slowly revealed, and an enjoyable premise of good misused and evil strangely attractive.

Somewhere along the way, I realized I was reading book one of a set. Now I've finished, and the world's still waiting, it's peoples poised for disaster and war, its problems and deceits only partially resolved. Please get the next one published soon Minnette.

Meanwhile, maybe it's time I tried a Song of Ice and Fire again, my fantasy taste-buds now revitalized and hungry for more. Thanks Minnette.
©Sheila Deeth, April 2008
A Fantasy Novel Worth Reading- A Review of Starsight
A. F. Stewart
April 14, 2008

I just finished my copy of Starsight by Minnette Meador, and I absolutely loved it. I highly recommend it.

Here's my review:
Starsight is a superior, old-fashioned, epic tale of wizardry, evil and empires.
The book tells the tale of Trenara, Joshan and their allies, as they battle the Machiavellian schemes of Sirdar, and it weaves an intriguing, complex journey for the reader.
The world inside the pages comes alive fully, unfolding with a vibrant energy, and wholly realized characters. From the first page to the last word, I was captivated and entertained. The author creates an inventive outlook on the world of wizards, kings, and magic, giving us characters to care about as they slowly deal with the expanding threat, amidst their secrets, flaws and decency.

Starsight is the first volume in a series, and I can't wait until the next book. It is a remarkable fantasy novel.

Starsight is available through online retailers and Stonegarden.net
Five Stars Is Not Enough! This Book Deserves More!!!, April 26, 2008
Tia Fanning "Fanning the Flames of Romance" (Fantasy, Illinois) - See all my reviews

Five stars does not even come close to how much I love this book. It deserves ten, perhaps twenty stars! Author Minnette Meador takes you on a thrilling journey to a turbulent time in history and spins you a romantic tale that will have you emotionally engaged until the very last page. As you read, you'll be laughing with the characters, crying with the characters, screaming at the characters one moment (yes, as if they could actually hear you), then cheering them on the next (and making all the people around you think you're utterly crazy for talking to a book!) However, more importantly, you will fall in love with the characters, the story, and the author's eloquent writing style. Anyone is who is a fan of history, legend and/or mythology-- and of course, romance-- should read this book. You will not be disappointed.