More reviews…and a journey

UK Orbit edition

Some reviews are surfacing in the UK for Heart of the Mirage. This from Barbara Davies, giving it a five out of five star rating in this month’s Starburst Magazine:
“those looking for a ‘sense-of-wonder’ fix need look no further. Larke doesn’t conform to the cookie-cutter school of fantasy and has a talent for world building and a fondness for unstable landscapes . . . It’s also great fun”.
Back in 1999, she gave me a full complement of stars for Havenstar too. I think she remembers.

Natalie Baker for the online site “The Bookbag” says:
“I had serious difficulty in putting the book down. It’s not just the general storyline of Ligea’s changing attitudes, which is very strongly written and allows for more shades of grey than many fantasy novels do, but also a richly imagined and thoroughly believable world…”

Oz Voyager edition
Later on she says:
…the second book will be released in the UK in December, and the third next May. Although it’s not so long to wait, I’m not sure I can hang on that long – I might well break down and bribe some friends on the other side of the world (Glenda Larke is Australian, although she is very well-travelled and now lives in Malaysia) to send the books to me. And if that isn’t a recommendation to read these books, I don’t know what is. Highly enjoyable, this book’s got love, betrayal, skulduggery, espionage, adventure, magic, heartbreak and plenty more besides.”

Graeme Flory, alas, didn’t like some of my choice of words for two “otherworld” animals, nor one of the characters saying “holy shit!” and it seems to have spoiled much of his enjoyment of the book. (Sorry, Graeme!) Still, he does say this and a couple of other complimentary things:
“It is nice sometimes to break out of the typical medieval Fantasy City and go somewhere different. Larke accomplishes this by setting her tale in the equivalent of Ancient Rome and the deserts of Africa and decorates the proceedings with some stunning imagery in the process.”

And to change the subject…

I am off to Los Angeles tonight. Via Singapore, where I spend the night at the airport in order to catch an early flight to Narita and hence to the USA. I don’t even want to know how long it will be before I get there…

It will be my first trip to the west coast of the US. I have actually lost track of the number of times I have been to the east in the past 17 or so years – but I think have driven through every state between Maine and South Carolina, had a trip to Florida, and of course I have a daughter in Virginia. She started her post grad work in Manhattan and then moved to Boston…so I visited whenever I could. But somehow there was never a reason to go to the west or, in fact, the middle. Now, however, my second daughter is living and working in Los Angeles, so I have an excuse to get to California.

Anyway, expect my next post to be from outside Malaysia…and things might be a bit erratic for a day or two. I wonder how my two torn up hips are going to stand up to this?
Ouch. I’m Noramlyed before I even begin.


More reviews…and a journey — 6 Comments

  1. I like that looking for “sense of wonder fix” part. I’m addicted to the stuff, so these reviews sold me.

    Great reviews! Congratulations!

    Have a good trip and take care.

    ps thanks for the link to the marine group, new to me. will be meeting them soon!

  2. 1) Safe journey glenda. Do hope being stuck in a plane seat for so long won’t add more wear and tear to the hip muscles. 😮 Grab as many extra pillows as you can. Hopefully it’s an airline that supplies gin?

    2) Typo – url for Graeme Flory’s review site ends in .com, not .co

    3) Puzzled why Mr. Flory found it hard to achieve rapport with Ligea, I clicked with her straight away. Maybe that makes me pretty vile too (or just not afraid of intelligent and capable women, heheh).

  3. Thanks guys…

    I guess, Hrugaar, that no author can write a main character that is going to appeal to everyone.
    Fortunately the feedback I’ve been getting seems to indicate that most people – even the ones who don’t like her – do appreciate her journey. How she began was hardly entirely her fault, after all…

    The other main character of Books 2 and 3 is more likable, and those who stay with the trilogy are amply rewarded, I think.

    Oh, and the new rules about taking liquids on airplanes means no buying Bombay Sapphire at the duty free, darn it. And I wasn’t flying an Asian airline so the free alcohol was not in evidence, either. The hips could have done with a bit of lubrication too.

  4. Hi Glenda,
    Thanks for mentioning my review. Despite the bits I mentioned, I am looking forward to reading more and seeing where the plot ends up. Unfortunately, I guess there will always be a clash between an authors vision and a reader’s individual perspective. Garis’ expletive threw me, based on the language that I had already seen being used, and I had a little trouble getting back into the swing of things after that…
    I think the issue with Ligea sprang from the fact that she was constantly in situations where she was the root cause of negative feeling and there wasn’t much for me to like about her. I will be interested to see how her character develops in the next book however.

    Hi Mr Hrugaar,
    I’d be interested to hear how you reached your conclusion about my feelings re the character of Ligea. Seems like a snap reaction based on the fact that I’m a male reviewer…

  5. Hi Graeme,
    Thanks for dropping by, and for the review. I appreciate feedback and always try to learn from it. And if you were thrown so badly by the vocab you mentioned, then at least where you are concerned, I failed as a writer in one aspect of the book, and I should take that on board.

    One other reviewer mentioned in passing that naming is not my forte, so it is definitely something I am going to work harder on with the next series. (Not much I can do with the rest of the Mirage Makers, as it is already published in Australia, and has entered the production line in UK…)

    I am less certain about Ligea’s character. I think that is probably more of a personal thing – some readers like her, appreciating where she is coming from, others don’t think her past justifies what she has become. Fortunately for them, there is another more likable main character as a major player in the rest of the trilogy.

    I shall be very interested to see what you think, Graeme – and I do hope you will let me know, whether you review the next 2 books or not.

    Hrugaar, I am fixing that link…

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