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Bibliophilic Monologues

The Bone Doll's Twin

The Bone Doll's Twin - Lynn Flewelling Okay, so I love fantasy when it is well done. There's something so immensely satisfying about reading a well constructed world. All that "world-is-going-to-end-and-then-a-hero-comes-along" (see what I did thurr?) stuff is totally my thing, ya know? So when the lovely Dominique (I was stalking your book haul youtube clips) said this was one of her favourite books, I pounced on it like a cat on string of yarn only not as graceful. Anyway, so, this book, I had great expectations and I am pleased to announce to all and sundry that my expectations were FULFILLED.Lynn Flewelling uses the framing technique to tell this story and does some very interesting things with time that can, at moments, confuse the hell out of in by which I mean that you are unaware if you are in a flashback within a flashback or just in the first flashback...you get my point. Anyway, so the whole story, because of the initial framing, gets a grandiose, epic feel to it and I totally expected to see Mordor burning when the old Wizard whose name I have forgotten, woe is me, is looking out the window talking about history. Anyway, for a second there I paused and wondered what I had gotten myself into but then the narrative got over its hiccup and we righted ourselves and got back to the starting line.I love it when the world building is well done. No, seriously, I totally (what's a stronger word than love?) adore? (that sounds weird) - okay, let me just say I love it a LOT when things are logical and the fabric of the world created makes sense and is solid instead of constructed flimsily and borne on the backs of other much better fantasy novels. The Bone Doll's Twin, by dint of the childhood years spanning the entire first book, allows not just for character development but also detailed world building. Now when I say detailed, I don't mean that everything is described because it's not, I mean that Flewelling builds a world that is very easy to visualize and she populates this world with characters who can be actual people and are not two dimensional renderings of characters plucked from the stock trade. I also appreciate how she doesn't take the easy way out and paint people either as black or white. It's all about the gray areas for Ms. Flewelling. The novel is told in third person omniscient so it's possible, at times, to get glimpses of everyone's thoughts and this is not an easy style at all, not matter what anyone else says. I like how the narrative has this skein of melancholy, of poignancy running through it that is only reiterated by the visage of the dead twin who despite his few lines is one of the strongest characters in the novel. The mythology is well thought out and the divisions of magic also smart. I particularly liked the distinctions made between the two types.There's some sexy times in the novel and they are a bit weird but I liked the fact that this time around, the one with the power is the female and there are some very interesting gender reversals that might make a fascinating essay. I liked where the book ended. There are so many possibilities and so many directions that it can go on in the next two books. Anyway, I really liked this one and I recommend it to you if you like high fantasy. It is very readable and lacks the usual verbosity that are usually a trademark of high fantasy.