Jean, 39, lover of sci-fi, horror and fantasy, reader of comic books, conqueror of genre fiction.
Alethea Kontis has quickly become one of my favorite authors. Amongst a glut of fairy tale retellings, her books immediately stood out for me for both the author's keen knowledge of fairy tales, and the witty way she incorporates even the most obscure into her novels. They have often have a light touch with humor that makes me think of some modern fairy tales, like Alice in Wonderland (while still, ya know, making sense!) with a great sense of innovation and adventure.
In my now lost review of the second Woodcutter Sisters book, Hero (lost 'cause who knows why? It disappeared mysteriously from GR; I suppose the gods of GR required a sacrifice and my review was on the altar! Phhht!) I explained that the reason that book received four stars as opposed to Enchanted and Dearest's five was because it felt a bit empty. I loved Saturday's tale, but, after a truly epic start, she gets stuck in a cave, and while that story was wonderful, in felt confining.
Well, you could look at Trixter like an expansion of Hero. In the acknowledgements, Kontis explains that it grew out of the Trix-related subplot that she was advised to cut from Hero. Here, it's presented as a novella length adventure of its own. Without a publisher breathing down her neck*, the story feels freer, too, to go down the bizarre corridors that Kontis wants to take it. The result was utterly delightful to read. I'mover the moon that Kontis is continuing and expanding the series, from the Woodcutter Sisters to the Books of Arilland! Can't wait to read more!
*I have a very biased view on Harcourt since their forced acquisition of Houghton Mifflin, as they screwed over my sister, author Ann Clare LeZotte, with their openly stated policy to put emphasis heavily on profitable YA. So I'm happy to see Kontis free of them.