Thursday, December 17, 2009

Alisa Libby

Alisa Libby is the author of The Blood Confession and The King’s Rose.

A week ago I asked her what she was reading. Her reply:
I’m still in the midst of a post-National Novel Writing Month reading blitz, with books piled everywhere. Recently I read Lavinia by Ursula K. Le Guin: a graceful retelling of Virgil’s epic poem “The Aeneid” from the point of view of Lavinia, the final wife of Aeneas. The novel was a beautiful melding of history, fiction, and magical realism—the passages where Lavinia speaks to Virgil in a sacred forest were particularly effective for me. Le Guin is such a masterful writer that she manages to thread all of these elements together into a beautiful story.

Days ago I finished The Broken Citadel by Joyce Ballou Gregorian, which I’m happy to report belongs on my short list of favorite children’s/young adult fantasy novels. Sibby is an ordinary girl who leaps into high adventure within the first few pages of this novel, then quickly joins the quests of the people she meets in an alternate universe which immediately seems like home to her. Traveling by foot and horseback across beaches, crowded marketplaces, deserted cities, abandoned battlefields, and frozen lakes, Sibby discovers true belonging with her new friends and an untapped strength within herself. I was swept away by the high adventure, the lush lands Sibby visits, the vibrant energy of the writing, and the fierce loyalty of the characters. I’m relieved that there are two more books in the series — Castledown and The Great Wheel — and I can’t wait to read them.

I’ve also read A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas with illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman. This is a lovely little book, made all the more wonderful by the beautiful illustrations that complement and enhance the text—I highly recommend this particular version, even to those already familiar with Thomas’s book. My to-read pile is overwhelming: Sunshine by Robin McKinley and Pretty Dead by Francesca Lia Block (I’m excited to read vampire novels by these two great writers) and The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey.
Visit Alisa Libby's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue