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January 30, 2013

Book Review - The Bird of the River by Kage Baker

Kage Baker was one of my favourite authors, and she will forever be missed by both science fiction and fantasy fans worldwide. Her death in 2010 was a blow to her fans. The reader in me is glad that she finished her "Company" series before she died, since I don't think anybody could bring justice to it like she could have. (Hey, maybe that's a good idea for next week's book post!)

Her last full novel before she died was The Bird of the River, and it's set in the fantasy world that she had created, along with The House of the Stag and The Anvil of the World. It's a beautiful novel, very low-key and yet so well-written that I could not put the book down. Her characterization abilities were fantastic, and even if the plot of one of her books was sub-par, you could glory in her rich characters.

This book had all of that.

My Curled Up With a Good Book review can be found here.

From the review:
"This is the story of a river boat named the Bird of the River and a young brother and sister who have to make their way on it after their drug-addicted mother dies in a horrible accident. They also have to figure out their place in the wider world, and thankfully their pseudo-family on the boat will help them with that. Young Eliss is the main character, a teenager who excels at being able to spot river snags that must be destroyed or maneuvered around. As the oldest, she has to take care of her half-brother, a boy with mixed heritage - he's half "Greenie," a race that is horribly looked down upon by the humans of this world. Add to the mix a new passenger who is travelling incognito to search for a lost member of his rich family and a ship's captain who gets wildly drunk every time they reach port, and the reader gets a sense that all is not right with Eliss's world."
Eliss is a beautiful character, a child who has had to grow up very quickly due to her mother's foibles and untimely death.

Reading one of Baker's books, you can lose yourself in the world she has created, only coming up for air after a couple of hours.

Baker went out on a high note with The Bird of the River, as it's up there among her best.

Check out next week's post for more Kage Baker goodness. There's a reason she's one of my top two favourite authors, and that I'm incredibly sad that I will never be able to read anything new by her again.


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