Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Flesh and Fire, by Laura Anne Gilman

Continuing in my reading of award nominees of 2010, I recently finished Laura Anne Gilman's Flesh and Fire. This one I could not get for free, at least not easily--the local public library did not have it. So I bought one cheap on Amazon, and will donate it to the library. Sometimes you have to give back...

It won't be too tough to let it go. The book was decent. It's a basic magic fantasy, first of a trilogy called The Vineart War. The magic basis is wine, which gives the author access to the rich vocabulary of the oenophile. And while the descriptive language is interesting, the plot is really pretty basic. The society is rigidly hierarchical, with parallel political and magical structures (The mages were once called that, but are now Vinearts). And the title Vineart is repeated so often, with such omnipresent force, as to become a hammer. The War of the trilogy title appears that it will be with some form of rogue Vineart. Vineart, Vineart, Vineart. Oy. It's a basic coming of age story, and I'm sure the rest will be fine too.

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