July 21, 2006
We're sizzling here, in more ways than one! It's 90 degrees in our house right now, and we Northwesterners wilt once we hit 80. (I know, no sympathy from the rest of the country, where many of you have temps well over 100 degrees today. )
But the REAL sizzle, the wonderful sizzle I want to write about today is The Beast of Noor, my writing friend's new young adult fantasy. This sound from the heart of author Janet Lee Carey is the story of the Shriker, a massive beast of incredible strength, who roams the dark woods of Noor, killing those who encounter him, held in the spell of a long ago curse. Even more, it's the story of Hannah and Miles, brother and sister, seeking to break the curse of their long ago ancestor who started it all.
For me the most wonderful thing about Janet's book is the depth of her own spirit expressed in the lovely language of the book. I read a heart-stopping passage like "A searing pain ran down Miles's right flank as he crept along the passage. He wanted to lie down, to change back into himself, but he couldn't rest, couldn't risk changing back while Hanna was still in danger. He needed all his animal strength to kill the Shriker before the beast attacked again."
Then, a few pages later in the book, "The Falconer held her, and she cried into his wool shirt. The shirt smelled like winterleaf, and under that a woodland scent like Granda's used to have, and that made her cry all the more. He patted her shoulder in quiet rhythm until her sobbing ceased. She sat back and the old man looked into her eyes. 'I've set my mind on finding him, Hanna. You should know this.' "
I admit, I'm unable to put down this lovely long book (497 pages, including the Noor/Oth glossary.) And this is despite the fact that I got to see most of it in its earlier drafts in our writing group.
Our dear Janet is going to be truly famous some day, famous like Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. I have believed that for a long time. That is not her personal goal in writing, but as she opens for all of us the vast enchanted country of her own heart, it cannot help but happen.
I hope you'll look at her amazing website (www.janetleecarey.com) . You'll delight just in her opening page! Better yet, buy a copy of The Beast of Noor, and experience for yourself Janet's Deep, True Magic.