"In the prison under the castle Allaze, in the dark, moldy cells where the greatest criminals in Mellinor spent the remainder of their lives counting rocks to stave off madness, Eli Monpress was trying to wake up a door.
It was a heavy oak door with an iron frame, created centuries ago by an overzealous carpenter to have, perhaps, more corners than it should. The edges were carefully fitted to lie flush against the stained, stone walls, and the heavy boards were nailed together so tightly that not even the flickering torch light could wedge between them. In all, the effect was so overdone, the construction so inhumanly strong, that the whole black affair had transcended simple confinement and become a monument to the absolute hopelessness of the prisoner's situation. Eli decided to focus on the wood; the iron would have taken forever.
--From The Legend of Eli Monpress (the Omnibus edition) by Rachel Aaron
I've been devouring every word Rachel's written on writing (from her blog, Pretentious Title, and her new book, 2k to 10k) for the past few weeks in prep for NaNoWriMo -- and other various writing projects.
Rachel takes a light-hearted, yet very practical approach to writing and it shows in her fantasy fiction. If you like thieves, magic, snark/wit, intrigue, thrills, and swordfights, PLEASE read her books! They're "adult" fiction (as in they feature adult characters) but something I love about them is that she doesn't rely on gore, sex or cursing to make them so.
You know you're in for a thrill reading this first page, right? It hooks you, especially that first and last line.
Reasons I love it:
1. Mellinor. Such a great name.
2. "Greatest criminals...spent the remainder of their lives counting rocks to stave off madness..." O.o Who are they? What did they steal?
3. WAKE UP A DOOR??? I must read further!
4. The door description is awesome -- "...the effect was so overdone...that the whole black affair transcended simple confinment and became a monument to the absolute hopelessness of the prisoner's situation." HOW is Eli going to get out of THIS?
5. A dusty, splintery voice. I can hear it. And why is Eli waking it and talking to it???
It's such a fun series -- I've read almost 3/5 and I'm going be asking for the last two for Christmas. :D
(The new covers are awesome)
I won the Omnibus in a contest Rachel held and I've been meaning to review it on here (I wanted to put up some pictures) so maybe in the next few weeks (pre-NaNo) I'll finally do it.
Happy Weekend, everybody!
Now go read something.