Annnd . . . what do I think so far? Okay, the opening image is a little ewww with the water horses eating the riders, but when you get past that it's an exciting book. I'm always a fan of Maggie's and this book is no exception.
Her stories are well written from the story line to the way she crafts scenes and even sentences! Beautiful.
"Even under the brightest sun, the frigid autumn sea is all the colors of the night: dark blue and black and brown. I watch the ever-changing patterns in the sand as it's pummeled by countless hooves."
"The next morning finds the island ghostly quiet. Though the frenzy of last night seemed to suggest the training would begin in earnest today, the stables are still, the roads silent...I cast a glance toward the sky; a dimpled quilt of cloud hides the sun, and below it, smaller clouds race by, in a hurry to get on their way."
"It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die."
"The breeze blows across my closed eyelids, scented with brine and rain and winter. I can hear the ocean rocking against the island, a constant lullaby."
This book started a little slowly for me (well after the first scene) but I was committed by then and found it picked up about a quarter of the way in. So don't give up--and the end bytheway is a thrill ride!
Feeding the SensesLook back at the sentences I pulled from the book and read them over again, but this time look for and listen for how she engages the senses of the reader with her word choice.
Sight: bright sun, colors, ever-changing patterns, stables are still, clouds race by
Sound: ghostly quiet, roads are quiet, hear the ocean rocking against the island
Touch: frigid autumn, breeze blows across my closed eyelids
Smell: scented with brine and rain and winter
Emotion: pummeled, someone will die
I want to be able to do that someday--purposefully engage the reader with sentences they want to read again, just to be filled.