Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Midnight and Moonshine, by Lisa L Hannett and Angela Slatter


Midnight and Moonshine is a beautiful book. There is beautiful writing on every single page of this book. Don't believe me?

The woman is so pale she hurts the eyes, shining with the same sheen as ancient ice. Her hair is long and silver-white, and her face ... For the briefest of instants, her face is thin and fine, translucent as the porcelain bowls Bjarni often obtains in the East. Blue highlights accentuate her high cheekbones and in place of eyebrows are long white feathers. Her irises swirl, now snow, now mercury. Then she settles. Her features firm, fill out, become almost human, but not quite, set apart by the perfection of her beauty. - p 23


Blue Dove extends her free hand, inch by inch, as though Magnus is a wolf keen to bite. Instead, he kisses her palm. The gesture seems to open a valve inside her, releasing all the fight. She sinks to the floor and unleashes a flurry of words. - p 67


The boy gulps, but straightens up. He is no tattertale. Lovers' trysts, illegitimate births, premature deaths -- he hears these and other mysteries whispered and grunted and moaned at night as he scours the chimney flues running from the cellars all the way up to the palace's top floors. Come morning, they are written in blood on the bed sheets Falki carries to the laundry. And though he reads them well, he never says a word. - p 124


Their infant skin remained white, she'd say, because of all the months they'd been swaddled in cobwebs. Spider poison flowed in their veins, not blood. Beetles rolled dung in their heads -- there wasn't half a brain between them. It was the only explanation, when beautiful girls behaved so vilely. - p 143


Delphine trace the strong line of the boy's jaw, trawl her fingers down his neck and place her palm flat on his chest, damping a print on his cotton shirt. Shivering him with her touch. She draw so close, the shrink-head talisman she always wear looped on a long cornhusk rope around her waist, the one she whisper to when she think no-one's looking, jab into his hip. The boy smell the oil in her white dreads. The cool peppermint musk on her unique dress, a collection of handkerchiefs knotted and plaited around her old-young form, thin fabric covering the round bits of her, the full womanly bits, the firm. - p 193


When the spell leaves her Bella feels exhilarated and empty, as if a part of her soul has darkened in payment for this wicked wish, for this vengeance. - p 250


But it's not all just beautiful writing. It's story too. Oh yes. If you love beautiful writing and powerful storytelling, you should buy Midnight and Moonshine.

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