Wednesday, July 11, 2012
White Cat, Red Glove, Black Heart by Holly Black
The basis for the story is fairly loose, although it does pull the essential elements out of the original tale. (Girl is imprisoned in the form of a cat and needs rescued by handy local hero.) It's not a commonly retold fairy tale, so it's hard to say "Wow, this is a really fresh new take on this story!" because there simply aren't that many versions. It is refreshing just because there aren't that many versions. In spite of hedging on that matter, I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed these books.
Cassel and Lila are well-rounded, engaging characters. Cassel manages to be a bad-boy without coming across as a total jerk (perhaps because the story is told from his perspective). The secondary characters felt fully formed as well, not just props for the main characters to move around. And I appreciated the lack of love-triangle-as-drama.
The fairy tale eventually falls into the background, and the story of the Curseworkers, the politics and ramifications of a world where a portion of the population can curse other people with a touch, and the family life of Cassel and his mother and brothers span all three books. It's a captivating story and a quick read; I could barely put them down.
And it's nice to have a completed trilogy to read while we wait for some of the many sequels that are popular right now to come out!