Thursday, 17 January 2013

Ferragost by Melina Marchetta & Molasses by Kirsty Eagar

by Melina Marchetta

Summary: Lady Celie of the Lumateran Flatlands is visiting the Belegonian spring castle on the isle of Ferragost. Cut off from the rest of Belegonia by poor weather, she is confined to the island with four others, including the mysterious castellan of the castle. When the body of one of the guests is discovered on the rocks outside the east tower, Celie is not only considered a suspect, but finds herself embroiled in events that are entwined with her own kingdom's cursed history, as well as the future of the entire land of Skuldenore.
by Kirsty Eagar

Summary: Couldn't find one and I can't really think of what to write for one.
So this one isn't an actual book, it's two short stories published in an issue of Review of Australian fiction, which can be bought here (or you could read a sample and see if you like it first, they're $2.99). They have a bunch of them with loads of different authors - I haven't checked out what other authors have stories published yet.

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you'll know that Melina Marchetta is one of my favourite authors and that I absolutely adored her Lumatere Chronicles series - that's basically the reason I read this one.

Short stories aren't normally my kind of thing, they're usually sort of unsatisfying, but I really wanted to read Ferragost because it's a short story set in the Lumatere Chronicles world, featuring one of the side characters that I liked from the novels.

I don't have a whole lot to say about either of the short stories, so I'll just give a mini-review of each:
Ferragost: It started out kind of slow and I was a bit disappointed, but then it got good and by the end, I loved it. It left me desperately wanting more - I didn't want it to end there just as a short story, I wanted to read a whole novel about those characters (I doubt that will happen though), it was awesome seeing another side to a story I already love.

I'd rate it 4.5 out of 5 and I'm really glad I read it...although, now I've run out of Melina Marchetta stuff to read. I'm not sure how/if this would work for someone who hasn't read The Lumatere Chronicles series, but I still recommend checking it out (and if it's confusing, then read the novels -- actually, just read them anyway, they're awesome).

Molasses: A bit underwhelming after reading Ferragost, but then, Melina is one of my favourite authors so it's not really a fair comparison. I've seen loads of rave reviews of Kirsty's books, but when I tried to read Raw Blue, it just wasn't hooking me - I loved her writing, but something about it wasn't clicking so I put it down and plan to finish it some other time. This story? It was basically the same thing; I love her writing, but something about the story just...wasn't working for me. But, unlike Raw Blue, it was only a short story and I was able to finish it easily enough.

I'm glad I read this one too, it just didn't leave a lasting impression. I'd rate it 3 stars out of 5.
And I guess that's all I have to say. This is the only volume from Review of Australian Fiction that I've read, but I liked it and I might check out more at some point, they're good if you want something quick to read (or in my case, if you're craving more stories from an author you love).


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