Friday, September 03, 2010

Time Weaver by Shana Abe

First, a lovely quote from Shelf Awareness--I agree 100 percent!

The Perfect Bookstore Offers a 'Transformative Experience'

"What is the dream of book lovers everywhere? To visit the perfect book
store, one that stocks only the best of books, where 'best' is defined
by the guarantee of a transformative experience via the magical linking
of words into sentences into paragraphs into chapters into BOOKS. A
place where tables display not the latest products of publishers and
marketers but instead the trustworthy choices of other book lovers. A
place with couches to sit on, a place with long opening hours and a
welcoming staff, a place where customers spend as much time as they want
browsing or reading. A place where only good books are sold and no bad
choices can be made.... The function of a bookstore is to match lover
and loved to ensure the perfect date. The purpose of the bookseller is
to provide what we addicts need, and a good bookseller recommends the
best stuff to satisfy our love for books."

--Nina Sankovitch, in her Huffington Post review
of A Novel Bookstore

I started reading Shana Abe's "Drakon" books when I caught all the buzz about "The Smoke Thief" several years ago. I'd heard it was beautifully written fantasy/romance set in the 18th century, and had an original take on dragon mythology.

I was not disappointed. Not only was the cover gorgeous, the prose was elegant, beautiful and engrossing. The plot was swift and sure, and the characters fascinating, so riveting, in fact, that I recall staying up all night, unable to stop reading because I felt so close to the characters and their plight.
I was so delighted by The Smoke Thief, that I devoured The Dream Thief, Queen of Dragons and the Treasure Keeper, in rapid succession. I even delved into one of her non-dragon books, The Last Mermaid.

So when I was pinged by that Ms Abe's latest book, "The Time Weaver" was out, I was nearly beside myself with anticipation, yearning to immerse myself in Ms Abe's glittering, lush world of dragon/human hybrids once more.

Though The Time Weaver is a darker book than the previous four novels, it still shines with Abe's luminous prose and graceful characters, gliding from chapter to chapter in scales or smoke or skin. Her prose is so evocative you can smell them, taste the air they breathe and feel the grass they trod on nearly every page.

Each member of the Drakon, be they male or female tends to have a special talent, and in this novel, Honor Carlisle hasn't got the talent to turn to smoke or dragon form, yet she can bring herself in and out of time, from the distant past to the future, and can find herself looking at her soul mate, prince Alexandru of Zaharen Yce in the Carpathians, at different times in his life and in hers. There are problems and risks in time travel, however, and Honor doesn't realize them until it is nearly too late.
Fortunately, we have Amalia (Lia) and Zane the thief from a previous novel to intervene and fix the problems that arise.

I'd recommend this novel to anyone who has read "The Time Travelers Wife" hoping that it was more fantasy than it ended up being, and to those who have a fascination with dragons, Patricia McKillip-esque fantasy worlds and superb, original storytelling rife with unforgettable characters.

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