Jun. 26th, 2004

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This book, written by Alma Alexander, was one of the best novels I have ever had the pleasure of reading. It was gripping, compelling, beautiful, an elaborate tapestry of words wonderfully woven together to create a world that was at once real and mystical. The eight central characters -- Tai, Xaforn, Nhia, Qiaan, Liudan, Yuet, Tammary, and Khailin -- each had their own distinct personalities, and yet each drew from the others so easily. All had their faults, their good points, their weaknesses and their strengths. By the end of the book, you had experienced so many different emotions -- anger, hatred, sadness, grief, happiness. There were characters you wish had never existed. There were those you grew to love so much they seemed real. Utterly and completely real. The very idea of jin-shei is something I wish all women actually had in their lives. I myself would love to have a cadre of jin-shei sisters, and yet I realize I probably already do.

I cannot recommend this book enough. The characters develop into real people among the 492 pages of this volume. I shed tears over this book, towards the end. I was shocked, elated, angered, infuriated by the actions on the pages. This is a book that the second I finished it, I wanted to pick it up and start reading it again. I probably would have, if I didn't have three other books sitting on my nightstand, waiting to be read. It's a book I bought in a moment of impulsive shopping, and it's one I will probably read again and again. I don't regret buying it in the least, and I would highly, highly recommend it to all of you to read. Beth-chan has already taken my advice. :) I can't wait to discuss the book once she finishes reading it.

Now, for some spoilers. )

It would take me ages to analyze this entire book, so I shall leave it at what I have. I do hope some of you will take my advice, and get your hands on a copy. It really is a treasure of a book.


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