Little jaunt to the underworld? Don’t forget your passport. The second installment in Lev Grossman’s Fillory series, The Magician King, continues to play with realist fantasy and the right amount of irony to meld the two. Quentin and his pals provide a sly and subversive fairy tale for grown-ups, with a caution: be careful what you wish for. You might get it.
Posts Tagged ‘fantasy’
At the heart of Lev Grossman’s latest novel, The Magicians, lies the idea that a fantasy world exists, but one far more complex, and at times limiting, than Quentin Coldwater, the unlikely hero, might wish. Drawing on the rich fantasy traditions of Tolkien, Plover and Rowling, Grossman subverts genre expectations in wholly original ways.
How do you know when vampire lit has reached critical mass? When it gets an academic conference. Vampire literature is now receiving some scholarly attention with a conference at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK. Despite the smirk factor, the conference—”Open Graves, Open Minds: Vampires and the Undead in Modern Culture”— [...]
I’ve come a bit late (only 14 years or so) to the wonder that is Megan Whalen Turner, author of the young adult fantasy series The Queen’s Thief. Of all the books I’ve read in recent memory, not many compare to this series, which is serial narrative of the best kind—the kind that gets richer and more complex as it develops. Before this month, there were three novels: The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, and The King of Attolia. A fourth, A Conspiracy of Kings, has just been released. I can’t wait to read it.
Award-winning lyricist, Amy S. Foster–who has written songs for musicians such as Diana Krall, Michael Buble, and Andrea Bocelli–makes an eloquent transition from songwriter to novelist in her debut novel, When Autumn Leaves. Like a well-written song, the novel evokes a powerful atmosphere. Foster’s vivid descriptions bring the charming town of Avening, a magical haven in the Pacific Northwest, to life. And the story captures our attention from the first note, when we meet the title character. Autumn is a member of the Jaen, “an ancient order of women who dedicate their lives to the service of others.” For years, she has guided the people of Avening, a town whose steady undercurrent of magic has attracted a unique citizenry. In the novel’s first chapter, Autumn learns she is being reassigned. She must leave Avening–but before doing so, she must choose her successor.
Clare: Henry holds up an onion and looks at me gravely and says, “This . . is an onion.”
I nod. “Yes. I’ve read about them.”
Henry has decided to teach me to cook.
Henry: Lourdes brings small plates of exquisitely arranged antipasti: transparent prosciutto with pale yellow melon, mussels that are mild and smoky, slender strips of carrot and beet that taste of fennel and olive oil. We eat Nell’s beautiful rare tuna, braised with a sauce of tomatoes, apples and basil. We eat small salads full of radicchio and orange peppers and we eat little brown olives that remind me of a meal I ate with my mother in a hotel in Athens when I was very young. We drink Sauvignon Blanc, toasting each other repeatedly. (”To olives!” “To baby-sitters!” “To Nell!”). Nell emerges from the kitchen carrying a small flat white cake that blazes with candles. Clare, Nell, and Lourdes sing “Happy Birthday” to me. I made a wish and blow out all the candles in one breath. “That means you’ll get your wish,” says Nell, but mine is not a wish that can be granted.
Novel Dishes: The Time Traveler’s Wife IV: Recipes for Respite: Kimy’s Sangria, Duck Breasts with Raspberry and Pink Peppercorn Sauce, and Almond Torte
Clare: “But don’t you think that it’s better to be extremely happy for a short while, even if you lose it, than to be just okay for your whole life?”
Richard DeTamble: “I’ve often wondered about that. Do you believe that?
Clare: “Yes, I do.”
Novel Dishes: The Time Traveler’s Wife III: Menu for a Proposal – from Vichyssoise to Mango Ice Cream
An array of cold (yet sensual) dishes:
Vichyssoise / Poached Salmon, Served Cold with Citrus Mayonnaise / Homemade White Wine Fish Stock / Grilled Asparagus with Rosemary / Mango Ice Cream with Raspberry Coulis
Novel Dishes: The Time Traveler’s Wife II: Dinner with Friends, Featuring Clare and Charisse’s Rescued Risotto
“We begin eating, with enthusiasm. The risotto is slippery and mild, the squash is sweet, the chicken is swimming in butter. It makes me want to cry, it’s so good.” — from The Time Traveler’s Wife