Friday, September 21, 2007

My Penguin Sister

At the SCBWI Winter Conference this year, I discovered that I had a Penguin sister. Not a penguin for a sister. That would be totally different. And kind of weird. I doubt she'd appreciate me cooking her fellow birds for dinner, so my chicken stir-fry would be right out. And Thanksgiving would be awkward to say the least. Though she'd be all set for any black-tie weddings... But I digress.

My Penguin sister is Laini Taylor. We share a book birthday. Both my INTO THE WILD and her FAERIES OF DREAMDARK: BLACKBRINGER were published by Penguin Young Readers on the same day, June 21st of this year. Both are fantasy adventures, and both are our d
ebut novels. Here's a picture of Laini's book with mine:

Don't the two book sisters look cute together. Or if Laini and I are Penguin sisters, does that make our books first cousins? In any case, they certainly can't marry each other, or their kids would have three spines. (Get it. Books. Spines. Ha! Thank you, thank you, ladies and gentlemen, I'll be here all week...)

I met Laini and her husband Jim Di Bartolo (who did her very cool cover art) at the SCBWI conference in February. They are both super-awesome. And so is the book. I have been meaning to blog about it for ages.

BLACKBRINGER (first in a series called FAERIES OF DREAMDARK) centers around Magpie Windwitch, a pint-sized, demon-fighting faery. Accompanied by talking crows, she roams the world destroying demons who are accidentally released by ignorant humans. In BLACKBRINGER, she returns to the glittering and declining home of the faeries in order to face her worst foe yet.

BLACKBRINGER is a brilliantly beautiful book. Its strength is in the quality of writing and the world-building. This is the kind of novel that casts a spell while you read it and lets you step somewhere else and immerse yourself in a whole other mythology and universe. Laini creates a world that is rich and deep. It utterly envelopes you. I highly recommend it.



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