Several things attracted me to Isabel Yap’s short story. The first, if I’m honest, was Victo Ngai’s illustration because:
There is something about fairytales. Folk tales? Not the happy-ending Disney-friendly stories. I’m talking about the ones that feel like they start with an italicized “Once upon a time” and a calligraphic drop cap O.
The Witch of Duva has its own kind of once upon a time.
“There was a time when the woods near Duva ate girls.”
It’s been a while since I read a book that satisfied me, that made me hungry for a sequel and reminded me why I love reading.
Recently, I’ve encountered novels where some elements were good, but others lagged. N. K. Jemisin’s A Hundred Thousand Kingdoms had vibrant and engaging characters, but the plot was dull and the ending nonsensical (you are dead but now you are not?). Brandon Sanderson’s The Final Empire moved at a good pace, but the dialogue was painful and the reveal of the protagonist’s ingenious plan shattered my ability to suspend disbelief (I’m not sure deliberately dying to potentially start a riot is the masterstroke it’s made out to be). And don’t even get me started on Soulless.
City of Stairs is – finally – a novel that ticked all the boxes.
On Facebook, everyone has these lists. And they’re all “Paradise Lost”, “Catch 22”, “The New York Trilogy”. Impressive, grown-up fiction. But you know what? I don’t care. I’m pretty sure everyone’s lying anyway, but if they aren’t, their taste in literature is terribly boring. If ya’ll think The Illiad is the epitome of a good time, well, you enjoy that.
Anyway, here is my very immature and very truthful list of my 10 most favouritest books.
(Well, more the most influential ones. But I wanted to say “most favouritest”)
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