Hey all! First, I'd like to acknowledge this blog's seventh follower(dabs at tears). Haha, well--seriously, thank you for following this blog. If you have a blog, please comment with the link! I'd love to check it out. So, now that's out of the way, I'm going to put down a couple of books that don't seem to be well-known but most definitely should be. I highly recommend these books :)
The Gift by Alison Croggon
-I own this copy but I believe this is the British, or Australian, version. The English version's title is The Naming. The typical cover for the American version is below.
The Gift, or The Naming, is a great book, full of excitement, ancient magic, wonderfully vivid characters and regions. Everything appeals to your senses, everything captivates your imagination. It's one of those fantasy books that are just in between blatant fantasy and cold reality. I actually just ordered the sequel to The Naming, The Riddle, and can't wait till I get my hands on it! As I haven't read the book in a while, and some of the finer details are foggy in my mind, I'll provide you with a synopsis from www.bn.com; I find that summaries from wiki often contain spoilers:
In the classic spirit of epic fantasy comes this glittering saga of a young girl who learns she possesses an uncanny gift - and is destined to use it to save her world from a terrifying evil. Maerad is a slave in a desperate and unforgiving settlement, taken there as a child when her family is destroyed in war. She doesn't yet know she has inherited a powerful gift, one that marks her as a member of the noble School of Pellinor and enables her to see the world as no other can. It is only when she is discovered by Cadvan, one of the great Bards of Lirigon, that her true identity and extraordinary destiny unfold. Now, she and her mysterious teacher must embark on a treacherous, uncertain journey through a time and place where the forces of darkness wield an otherworldly terror.
Montmorency by Eleanor Updale
-I own this book as well. If I had to use three words to describe this story, they would be: fascinating, intriguing, and unique. Definitely a one-of-a-kind book. Picked this up in a bookstore; I had made up my mind not to leave the store empty-handed, and eventually I found Montmorency by Eleanor Updale. The plot seemed interesting, so I purchased it. I was astonished at how brilliant this book was. The characters, plot, story line----everything is so sophisticated and great. Not one single complaint. I recently discovered that there isn't just one, but several sequels to this book. I'm intending to read the sequel soon. Synopsis from www.bn.com:
When a petty thief falls through a glass roof trying to escape from the police, what should have been the death of him marks the beginning of a whole new life. He soon becomes the most elusive burglar in Victorian London, adopting a dual existence as both a respectable, wealthy gentleman named Montmorency, and his degenerate servant Scarper.
Jip: His Story by Katherine Paterson
-Bought this book in Barnes and Noble. Once again, I went in intending to buy at least one good book, and I succeeded. Jip:His Story, although a short novel(under 200 pages), is a sentimental story I'm sure everyone will value as much as I do once they read it. The storyline is composed of two main parts; a relationship Jip has with someone, and the underlying plot which adds a bit of suspense and drama into the story. The plot itself isn't very in-depth, not too amazing either--what I really think readers of this book think about is the relationship I mentioned. This book is one of the few books I've read that provoked tears from me. It's a treasure. Incredibly genuine characters and great writing to convey it all.
I would suggest you buy this copy because the other version doesn't look too great, in my opinion. Same story and all, but the cover is drastically different...
Synopsis from www.bn.com:
They tell Jip he tumbled off the back of a wagon when he was small,and no one ever came back for him. He never had reason to question this tale—but then a stranger shows up and begins asking about him around town. Who is this man, and could he possibly know something about Jip's mysterious past? (For some reason, the synopsis doesn't mention the relationship I referred to earlier, but it's given considerable space in the book.)
So that's that. Have a good first week of the New Year! :)
(I'm always looking for books to add to my to-read list, so feel free to comment w/ recommendations!)