Kari Sperring's first novel was a finalist for the Crawford Award, a Tiptree Award Honor Book, aLOCUSRecommended First Novel, and the winner of the Sydney J. Bounds Award for Best Newcomer. Now she returns to the same amazing and atmospheric world with an entirely new story set several hundred years after the earth-shaking events ofLiving With Ghosts. When a wealthy young woman, obsessed with a childhood vision of a magical Shining Palace, sets out with her true love to search for a legendary land, she discovers the devastated WorldBelow - the realm of the Grass King - and the terrifying Cadre, who take her prisoner, and demand she either restore the king's concubine... or replace her. div
In the World Below, the court of the elemental spirit known as the Grass King slowly dries up. In the World Above, heiress Aude P�lerin des Puiz searches for the origins of her family's wealth and discovers a desiccated "vast floor of thin gray grass" where rice paddies once thrived. The droughts are connected and only Aude can set them right. This imaginative steampunk fantasy is populated by charming characters-the bookish, na�ve, and impulsive Aude, committed to social and economic justice; Jehan Favre, the soldier she loves; and the twin ferret sisters whose story is linked to Aude's-and Sperring's imagery is rich and striking, as with the Grass King's court with air "that tasted of spice cake and fresh bread and oranges." Unfortunately, the plot and writing ramble and lurch unevenly, and the result can be as vague as Aude's half-remembered childhood glimpse of the magical court. (Aug.) c Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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August 07, 2012
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