Lounging In A Pink Armchair

You'll never guess, so I'll tell you. First of all, let it be known that Jenny isn't much good at all with the whole writing a book review thing. If you want that sort of thing, you'll have to go to Abigail, because Abigail is all analytical and thoughtful (if it doesn't involve The Last of the Mohicans) and she is good at reviewing books sensibly.

I am not.

So let it be known that the following passages are my thoughts about (probably incoherent) and reactions to (undoubtedly hysterical) the new self-published release The Mark of the Star. I will endeavour not to spoil anything for those of you who haven't read it.

Liz Patterson, supreme ruler and sovereign of the blog around the corner Awake, is a young woman about my age (probably exactly my age, but I'm daft about that sort of thing) and is the author of this fantasy novel. I'm afraid I made her acquaintance just at the tail-end of her grueling work with her novel The Mark of the Star, but nevertheless I was pleased to discover a sensible (unlike myself) young author (like myself) sporting a title to her name. She posted occasional snippets from The Mark of the Star on her blog, and I would read them patiently (reading on the computer is a dreadful nuisance to my eyeballs), and think to myself, "Mmhmm! I must get this tome in a more physical state. It deserves further investigation."

And, at length (I came in on the tail-end of all this drama, you remember), the manuscript was delivered to Lulu and Lulu dutifully delivered the physical tome to Liz. The book was real! It was for sale! I could sympathize with the author's ecstasy, having endured the thrills of holding one's own book too. I shuffled penguin-style into line and purchased my own copy. I'm fairly certain it came on a Friday afternoon to my sister's house (we purchased two copies together) for I had to wait until Saturday morning when we all met to do our weekly cleaning of our church before Abigail could give my copy to me.

The copy was beautiful. It was pristine, white, with a radiant star-design behind the bold title words. (Before any of you panic, it is still pristine and white with a radiant star-design behind its title. I haven't spilled tea on it, or anything.) The surest thing to throw me into giddiness is to hand me a beautiful new book. And I was in raptures. I had my own copy of a fellow writer's book, brand new, beautifully designed, with a whole new world full of strange new characters for me to meet. Pfft, forget cleaning. I was going to read.

All right, so I didn't forget cleaning. I did my cleaning like a good girl. Unfortunately, as well as cleaning, I had other things to do, like clear the decks of all the books I was already reading at the time. But in the due course of time, I got them done, and I was free to crack open The Mark of the Star. Take a deep breath. Hush the dumb angelic choir in the background. Open the book.

Well, that's how it all started. The next thing I knew, I was being hurled through I wasn't sure what, with I didn't fully know who, caught up in a blustery whirl of action and emotion. Maybe before reading The Legends of the Guardian-King books I would have been a bit more leery of reading political-based novels, but having realized that even politics can be written well, I was happy to plunge in after Arvis Talion as she attempts to drag something living out of the dead ashes of her country. Arvis stands out among her companions as a gem in its bezel. I found her to be strong, convincing, determined, tender-hearted: a princess worthy to take a throne. In many ways I could relate to her, in some ways I could look up to her. I could relate to her depth of feeling, her steadfast love for her home; I could look up to her courageous nature, her unswerving determination to do what is right. But one must take in the bezel too, of course. Alongside our stalwart heroine is a little cast of excellent players. The antagonist (despite the fact that I offered to have my cat poop in the antagonist's shoes for revenge) was fantastic. This character was believable, motivated, almost - almost - pitiable. Arvis' friends each brought a unique but necessary element to the story. Brooding, confused, loyal, cheerful: in his or her own way, each character brings a colourful dimension to the story that made me feel at home in it. I could chime in with each of them one way or another, I could sympathize with them all, feel their excitement and pain, anxieties and peace. As Liz herself said, I could sympathize with these characters because the answer to their problems is the same as the answer to my own: God.

As for the pink armchair, I'm sorry. You'll just have to read the book to figure out what that is all about. Read it and enjoy!

book summary

What can you do when an entire country hovers on the brink of collapse and your courage is all that can save it? What can you do when your dearest friend makes the wrong choices and your love is not enough to protect him? What can you do when your blessing turns out to be a curse? When Arvis is suddenly faced with these questions, her search for answers leads her on a journey across the world. Hunted by an elusive enemy and brought low by betrayal, Arvis is forced to rise to the challenge and accept that she was set apart by the mark of the star for a reason.

(My friends and I have classified an emotion called a "literary crush," which is very difficult to explain to Outsiders, but no doubt you understand. I would just like to say that Jadev meets the requirements for me.)

4 ripostes:

  1. Ooooooh envy!! I've been wanting to get my hands on Liz's book for weeks! I'd just dulled the want down to a sharp "I should just ask to borrow the money from Mum" but now, thanks to your review{not a bad one at all!}, I must spend the next few days banging my head repeatedly with a blunt object to try and eradicate the insistent pull towards Lulu.com with a debit card....
    Thank you.

  2. Oh, what a beautiful blessing your review is to me, Jenny! I smiled and laughed my way through it! Thank you for sharing your thoughts in such a positive, encouraging way! And someday I'd love to sit in the window seat while you lounge in the pink armchair and discuss life, religion, and stories... =)

    Love in Christ,
    ~ Liz

  3. Yes! I am on the eve of a breakthrough in teleportation. As soon as I complete my experiments (and hopefully don't dematerialize myself into the ether) we will arrange a meeting with yourself, myself, and a Pink Armchair.

    This is not, of course, meant to put pressure on the creative juices, but I must say I am greatly anticipating the next books. I'm used to reading books by authors who are now dead; I'm not used to waiting for books to be written and to be published. I suppose this is good for my character.

    Kind of like cod liver oil.

    I know how much encouragement helps, being in the same sort of shoes you are (I'm a size seven); so I'm willing to give you all the encouragement I can. Keep it up! I will continue to resemble a device for the circulation of air.