So, the RITA award winners are up. Always a great way to find new authors. When I read them on Sunday morning, I noticed that Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr won the YA RITA, and it was sitting on my desk.
As it was a very hot afternoon, I picked it up, sat down and started to read.
I really didn’t do anything else until I was finished. A young woman who can see Faery is suddenly singled out by the Summer King, with dangerous consequences and high stakes for everyone involved–indeed the entire world, both mortal and fey. It’s the kind of Faery story I most adore–where the fey are dark and dangerously beautiful and the world will be lost if our heroine does not prevail. It calls to mind the delectable Tam Lin by Pamela Dean (one of my favorite novels of all time), in the elegant way every detail is rendered and updated–in sense of place and character and the wonderful writing. The world is painstakingly built, and rooted in the copious folklore surrounding Faery. I don’t like a lot of gore (a problem with some fantasy romances at the moment–they can get very bloody). Marr conveys the darkness of the behavior of her fey (as when a wood sprite is attacked in the alley and pinned to a wall, her shirt stripped off) without going overboard. I get it without feeling sick to my stomach.
Really good. Really, really good.
Also, my buddy Anne Stuart won for her ICE BLUE, which grew out of her passion for all things Japanese, so it is an especially satisfying win for her. (Voice students know how I harp on devoting yourself to your passions.)
And one of my favorite discoveries from the finalists lists was Silent in the Grave, by Deanna Raybourn, an atmospheric historical romance/mystery that–happily in my books–took the Best Novel with Romantic Elements category.
So there are a couple of titles for your reading week. I’d love some more suggestions as well. I’m in the mood for some more fantasy, perhaps. Faery would be lovely. But I’m open to anything you’ve read lately that’s a great escape. (I need escapism right now, thanks. I’ve got a lot of work and a lot of planning and at night, I want to let go and fall into another world.)