Extra: Marillier + Garber

We also briefly talked about Juliet Marillier, a Kiwi author of historical, Celtic fantasy novels, whose adult fantasy debut novel, “Daughter of the Forest”, is a mixture of a classic fairy tale (The Six Swans), the Irish Children of Lir legend and real life, Medieval Ireland. Sorcha, the youngest sister of six brothers, has to save her brothers from the enchantment of an evil witch by knitting six shirts from nettle plants whilst remaining mute. Falling in love with her ‘captor’ makes her task even more problematic.

The Sevenwaters Series consists of seven novels in total, covering four generations of Sevenwater children. It is set in the 9th century where Irish Celts are fighting against the Britons while trying to maintain close relation to nature, otherworldly creatures and the ‘old ways’. The mixture of historical references, folklore, fantasy with a distinct Celtic touch and romance / family drama elements make these novels worthwhile if you are into this traditional kind of fantasy. However, do not read too many of them at once or it will get a bit boring. Read up on her books (there are more series and also upcoming novels): http://www.julietmarillier.com/

Stephanie Garber is not only the young author of the bestselling Caraval Series, consisting of three books in total, but she also teaches creative writing. Check out some resources here if you are writing yourself: http://stephaniegarberauthor.com/writer-resources/ The first book, “Caraval”, tells the story of two sisters fleeing from their violent father seeking to marry them off as fast as possible, to attend a mysterious Caraval show on an island. Caraval is an event where the audience takes part, where reality and fantasy mash and magic transforms everybody. This Caraval, Scarlett has to learn that not everything is what it seems to be and that a darker secret may lurk just around the corner.

As nobody was at the meeting who had read the books, this is my personal statement: I loved how the boundaries between reality and fantasy in this secondary world vanished in the game of book one, yet I could not really get into the next two instalments as the protagonist’s (romantic) journey just was not interesting enough for me in comparison to the first book. If you are into a clean read with YA protagonists, a lot of romance and a decent plot full of mysteries and secrets to be unravelled, this might be for you.

If your opinion differs, write a short piece why you love “Caraval” and I’d love to (anonymously) publish it here. 🙂 I know this is a huge favourite of some of you!

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