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Saturday, July 28, 2007

25 -- Laini's Leading Lady

NOTE: This blog is a continuing dialog between the two faces of rilla. The identity crisis is explained (if such a thing is possible) in the first edition. Click here to read: 1 -- Introduction

Rilla: Today I am interviewing, children’s author, rilla, about a book for young adults she recently read – Faeries of Dreamdark- Blackbringer by writer and artist, Oregon dweller, Laini Taylor.
rilla: Wow, you sound good. Very professional – I think…
Rilla: Ahem. Thank you. So, rilla, what attracted you to Laini Taylor’s book other than the color of her hair?
rilla: Well, I first read about Laini’s book in a rave review on the blog of Fuse#8.
Rilla: I mean – magenta? Really…what exactly would possess…?
rilla: I love magenta.
Rilla: Magenta? For hair…? You’re not thinking what I think you’re…?
rilla: Are you going to ask me a real question …?
Rilla: Sorry?
rilla: A real question about Laini’s book?
Rilla: Umm…OK…ummm…

TAP TAP

Rilla: Will you STOP tapping on my head.
rilla: Can we get the REAL interviewer in here please. This apprentice is wasting my time…?
Rilla: I AM the real interviewer.
rilla: NOT IF YOU DON’T HAVE A QUESTION TO ASK.
Rilla: Wait, wait, I have one…Why would anyone in their right mind read fantasy?
rilla: Sheesh. I’ll just take it from here …
Blackbringer is a tale of an unraveling world – a world that was woven as a dream tapestry by the Djinn masters, where mistakes in the form of devils were locked up in bottles by the faery champion of old, Bellatrix.

So, a thousand years later, why are the bottles coming uncorked and the tapestry failing? Magpie Windwitch, alone of faeries, knows of the devastation caused to the world by a new, undreamed of species, humans. Immune to the ancient spells they are busily opening bottles in the hope of finding a magical being to grant them their wishes. Magpie must follow in their messy footsteps trying to undo the damage. But now they have gone too far.

Someone has opened the one bottle sealed by the Djinn king, Magruwen, himself. The faeries have forgotten the wisdom and lore of their kind in the long peace. They have no idea what the Magruwen thought important enough to leave his mark on. Magpie and her band of cheroot-smoking, gypsy-caravan-toting, play-acting crows must fight an evil that will settle for no less than world annihilation. Before she can defeat it, she must discover what it is, and most importantly, who she is herself. An immense task for a tiny lass – will she manage before it is too late?

Rilla: So does she?
rilla: Does she what?
Rilla: Save the world?
rilla: Read the book.
Rilla: What’s the point of getting you to review it if you won’t tell me how it ends?
rilla: The point is to get you to READ THE BOOK. I recommend it. The magnitude of Laini’s vision transported me into a colorful world of tattooed faeries and nose-picking imps, cursing crows and dastardly devils, and one small, tough faery who won’t take no for an answer. It is a powerful and imaginative creation-myth that brings home to us the destructive nature of our species and the unraveling of our own tapestry or ecosystem. Yet, it gives us the hope that the courage of a few determined individuals, no matter how small, can stop the devastation and begin the healing process. As a reader I was captivated – as a writer I was inspired to follow my own muse the way Laini has done to such effect. Dreams, she insists, are everything.
Rilla: Faeries and dreams, huh? Sounds a bit frou-frou to me.
rilla: It isn’t. The villains are frighteningly real, the tension mounts throughout, the story is every bit as thrilling as you would want. And it proves that strong female protagonists can come in all sizes even ones no larger than will fit comfortably on the back of a crow.

In short, Laini’s book reminded me once again why I LOVE fantasy…

Some of my favorite lines:
“It was an evil bramble, taller than tiptoes and dense as a mermaid’s braid…”
“Batch moved on, a pendulum of drool swinging from his lower lip.”
“It was a formless thing, unfixed, the edges of it bleeding into the night like watercolors on wet paper.”
“In the southern reaches of the great wood, Magpie and the crows sat around a fire with a clan of hedge imps, trading wind songs for scamper ballads and sipping spiced wine.”

Recommended Musical Accompaniment: Afro-Celts: Volume II and Solas
Recommended drink: Spiced Wine…preferably red and from Oregon
Recommended food: Fondue…cheese to be melted on a stick held over a campfire or over the more upmarket version of the campfire…the backyard grill…whichever way…it must be under the stars and moon followed by copious amounts of chocolate.


Laini Taylor's Blog -- Grow Wings

10 comments:

J said...

Hey Rilla,

Missed you today. Sounds like you really enjoy and excellent read. The lines you posted are an example of someone who has mastered the craft. Reminds me of your writing.

J

Anonymous said...

Today the clouds came, the thunder and lightening made a big deal of themselves, the wind blew and it smelled like rain, but no rain came.
A poetic descritption that came to mind after reading your current entry.

Rilla said...

Hey j,
I missed out on an excellent meeting, didn't I? Will be there next time...after the conference. I did enjoy Laini's book immensely. I think you'd like it ;)

Rilla said...

Hey anonymous,
Sure sounds like the weather here. Love that thunder and lightning, don't you?

LindaBudz said...

Might just have to break down and read this one, even though it sounds as though there's nary a portal to be found (lol!).

Seriously, it's great to see Laini getting some good press, and thank you for sharing your perspective on her book!

LynNerd said...

Hi Rilla and rilla,

Wow, those lines that you quoted are super good. I read them and then re-read them. So cool. I'm going to write them down in my "word collection journal." Those are inspiring lines. I agree with J. Laini has certainly mastered the craft.

Rilla said...

Hey LindaBudz:
Yeah, I loved Laini's book and I'm not normally big on fairies and imps, but she sure has a sense of humor and one wild imagination. Let me know what you think ;)
Are you going to be at the SCBWI conference later this week?
Would love to meet...

Rilla said...

Hey LynNerd:
Yeah, you rub off...I got the idea of quoting the lines I love from your reading out your faves all the way to Temecula for the Writer's Retreat in March! Laini sure has a way with words...you want more lines...read the book. Let me know if you want to borrow it.

LindaBudz said...

HA! I WISH! The conference coincides every year with my family vacation in the Poconos. A week of quality time with my parents, sisters and brother (and their spouses) and most of all, my nieces! Who are growing up so fast!

Some year I'll make the choice to miss the Poconos for the conference, but it'll be tough.

Have a fantabulous time and post pictures!!!

Rilla said...

Aww Linda...will miss meeting you. Poconos sounds like fun too, but maybe one of these years you can postpone the Poconos and not have to make such a tough choice. Will post pictures...looking forward to it...tomorrow!