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Reading Wednesday

I've recently finished the third novel by Cecilia Grant, a romance author I really like - it's not out until June, alas, but you can read her two previous novels, which are awesome. A Woman Entangled does some cool thematic stuff with Pride and Prejudice and Emma. Not a stupid name-drop of the title, but using the books for an actual reason. I am still pondering whether the romance resolved too quickly; it might have been that I was enjoying it not being resolved yet, and so wanted it to go on longer. A Lady Awakened is her first one, the one in which the heroine needs to get pregnant to save the ranch the estate and refuses to enjoy it, steadfastly; instead she and hero fall in love over estate management. The second one, A Gentleman Undone, sets up a plot element in the third, but you don't have to read them in order. They all make sense on their own.

After that, I re-read Dawn by Octavia Butler - I'm re-reading the whole Xenogenesis trilogy for a panel at WisCon, one which I proposed. I'm hoping there might be a similar panel at Readercon. First, this is renewing the pain of knowing she is dead and grieving for what else she might have done in her life. Second, I was reminded of how much Butler was a hard science fiction writer, with her relentless exploration of ideas, but also skilled in the "sociological" investigation of human relations and how they're affected by established culture - still "hard" in my opinion, but showing a deep understanding of people that many hard sf writers never reached (from their place atop the social hierarchy, I wonder?).

BTW, I discovered when buying the books for Kindle (so I could highlight/quote more easily for my panel notes) that Lilith's Brood: Dawn, Adulthood Rites, and Imago (Xenogenesis Trilogy) costs $9.99, but if you buy the books individually, they cost $9.99 each. And they are not long books, they are old-school sf, from the slender mass market paperback days. I do not understand.

Currently, I'm maintaining my fan-community cred by reading Captive Prince: Volume One by S.U. Pacat. I'm not very far into it yet, but am enjoying the skillful exploration of a familiar fanfictional AU situation. (Though this story began as original fiction, it's not based on anything in particular). Character one, dark-haired and olive skinned, very muscular, a fighter, is a prince; he's betrayed by his brother and sent to their enemies to be a sex slave. Character two is also a prince, slim, blond, and gorgeous; character one killed his brother. Conflict ensues! Two has a regent whom I am sure is evil or at least not entirely good! One and two hate each other! So far.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
sartorias
Apr. 10th, 2013 01:42 pm (UTC)
Captive Prince read to me like fairly unexpurgated Lymond fanfic, with all the hurt/comfort stuff pulled out to make it more m/m. But the second one I thought was better done. A really talented writer.
Must seek out that first one you mentioned.
oracne
Apr. 10th, 2013 01:48 pm (UTC)
Cecilia Grant is the best new historical romance writer I've found lately. Sometimes, I think her dialogue has a slightly modern feel, but that's par for the course these days. She pays a great deal of attention to period social strictures, which I like.
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oracne
Apr. 10th, 2013 01:50 pm (UTC)
I've already bought both volumes of Captive Prince - they do the two different POVs, right? I think A Woman Entangled has its own tone - both characters are fairly buttoned up, though I see similarities to both previous books as well.
(Deleted comment)
oracne
Apr. 10th, 2013 02:18 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Do you know if volume 3 will be last?
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( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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