she is definitely Snakes

Sophie’s teeth chattered, but she said proudly: “He’s the best wizard in Ingary or anywhere else. If he’d only had time, he would have defeated that djinn. And he’s sly and selfish and vain as a peacock and cowardly, and you can’t pin him down to anything.”
“Indeed?” asked Abdullah. “Strange that you should speak so proudly such a list of vices, most loving of ladies.”
“What do you mean, vices?” Sophie asked angrily. “I was just describing Howl.”

Castle in the Air, Diana Wynne Jones (via spacesleuth)

mareka octolaris from the glasswright saga (mindy klasky) is a whole hell of a lot, by the way

mareka octolaris literal spidergirl gets drunk off spidervenom and seduces a king so hard it makes them both see lightning bouncing out of her skin and then goes to his wedding and gives him a bunch of very important stolen spiders as a royal wedding gift and when he’s like “and what would you like in return” she’s like “for you to marry ME INSTEAD :D” and HE DOES

A shadow princess he’d called her, and someday, he’d said, a shadow queen.

The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner (via alinaandalion)

…I am evil. I am the filth goddess Tlazoltéotl.
I am the swallower of sins.
The lust goddess without guilt.
The delicious debauchery…

I detest the masculine point of view. I am bored by his heroism, virtue, and honour. I think the best these men can do is not talk about themselves anymore.

Q: you've probably answered this before, but where do you fall on the Austen vs Brontes spectrum?

This is basically “run headfirst into a thunderstorm for a solo dance” vs “stay in with a good book because you don’t want to catch cold” and therefore I am Team Brontë conditioned by my own lack of good sense. I like Austen’s brain but less her style, I like Northanger Abbey and think she’d be good for shit-talking tea. Where I’m not sure I want to hang out with the Brontës but I love Wuthering Heights and its cruelties and theatrics more than most things. Less Jane Eyre—which is not to say that I don’t enjoy Jane Eyre, because I SUPER DO, I’m just well aware you’re not meant to have your endgame be “Blanche Ingram steals Adèle and runs off to France with her new protegée.”

Q: Hi! Just wondering if you've read Leigh Bardugo's The Grisha Trilogy? I've been wanting to check it out because the world-building seems interesting, but I'm a little worried that the protagonists relationships with one or two of her love interests might be Twilight-esque. Btw, you have terrific taste in books, (loved your posts abt Gillian Flynn and Megan Abbott), so I'd love to know what you think. Thanks!

haha oh no I [covers face] I didn’t like it! I didn’t like it at all! I think the prose is boring and the main character is annoying and the worldbuilding is lazier Russian pastiche than your average Anastasia fic, and I would’ve forgiven it — okay, no, I am very unforgiving, I complain about books like it’s my job (fun fact: it is!), but I would have tolerated these things if I had thought for one minute that Alina was going anywhere, that she was going dark, that the relationship with her and the Darkling was going to pan out in any kind of meaningful way. But nah tho. And I think everyone who liked those books, at least everyone I know who did, was more optimistic than me about those books going darker and deeper and more interesting places than they ended up going. Like, manifestly that would have made a better book, still one whose prose I would have complained was sluggish and still one where Alina spends a book complaining about being the Nonspecialest Special and glaring at any girl that looks at “her” guys (fastest way to drive me to whatever @ your character), but one that would have achieved something—and capitalized on the fact that, whatever her other faults, the author writes incredible makeouts! But ‘twas not to be, and I never much expected it was. That’s why I only read the first. I can only speak to the first book qua book, and the endgames for zeitgeist reasons.

End of the day, the best thing about it is the covers and therefore I get slightly grudgey about how little the material inside deserves them. I am very petty about this because pretty covers, particularly in YA, are ever so rare. I glare at The Night Circus for similar reasons to this day.

oh and because I am a GINORMOUS PEDANT the thing that bothered me most is that she decides in her faux-Russ world “vodka” is called KVAS, kvas is A REAL THING, it’s NOT PARTICULARLY ALCOHOLIC WHEAT BEER, YOUR WORLBUILDING IS FOR THE BIRDIES THIS IS SILLY

twitter got no fourth wall

Q: Have you read any Gillian Flynn books? If so, what do you think of them?

She has pacing strugs but I love her; I think Gone Girl is a fucking treat re. self-narrativization and marriage as a war, I think Sharp Objects is empirical messiest stylistically (Gillian Flynn writes her first novel and figures out how to deal with crime without writing in detective procedural structure bc she doesn’t care about procedural structure! Which makes the first several pages tough going but also I like things where the artistic problems…tell you something about the author’s specific relationship with their genre? so those flaws specifically work as kind of a weird bonus for me) but my god it is my favorite discourse about Women and What Society Wants Women To Be and how that poisons them and hahaha it cares about men so little, GG is about marriage and thus engages with dudes and what it means to be a dude living in a poisonous misogynist world as well as a woman in that same world—and they’re both constructions of that same world, they’re both exactly what it made them, by rules we know; which is also what SO is about, but specifically and precisely about being Good Women, Good Mothers, Good Daughters, and what it means to fail at the terms society sets for what defines those titles, and what it takes to succeed. Gillian Flynn writes a good golem. Gillian Flynn writes my favorite golems. And they are made out of recognizable things.

I also think Dark Places is really plotsound—though I don’t Love The Thing in the way I do with the other ones, it has (I think) less pacing ish. And I die to see what she’s going to do with YA.

Q: have you read any of Melina Marchetta's work? I feel like her work (and its focus on women/their friendships etc.) is right up your alley but I was wondering if you agreed or not if you have read her before :)

I read Saving Francesca ages! and ages! ago, but I remember really liking her. She has a great voice—all the Aussie YA I’ve read has been strikingly good and pleasantly weird and warmhearted and girl-focused, it’s oddly reliable. (Qv MY #1 GIRL Jaclyn Moriarty*, Lili Wilkinson…to say nothing of a book I read in middle school whose name I cannot for the life of me remember but it taught me about the existence of Cherry Ripes.)