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Teen Blog

Reading, Wellington, and whatever else – teenblog@wcl.govt.nz

Tag: About an Author

About An Author: Malinda Lo

Malinda Lo is the author of two fantasy novels, Ash and Huntress. She was born in China and moved to the United States as a child, and writes fantasy fiction with a twist.

Ash, published in 2009, is her first novel, borrowing from the Cinderella fairytale, where Ash or Aisling (standing in for Cinderella), under the iron fist of her stepmother, is able to attend a ball through magical means and the help of Sidhean, fairy but certainly not godmother. But that’s less of the point: she’s not interested in the prince (he is in her), but rather the king’s huntress, Kaisa, who she meets and goes hunting with, escaping her home and the repressive step-s. Plus Sidhean (pronounced something like sheen I think), has questionable motives, and may have laid claim to Ash. Kirkus Reviews said, “Beautiful language magically wrought; beautiful storytelling magically told.” Ash was a nominee for the Andre Norton Award.

Huntress, recently published, is a centuries-earlier prequel to Ash, this time drawing from the i-Ching. Kaede and Taisin must go on a treacherous journey to the Fairy Queen’s city, Taninli, when the order of the natural world is disturbed and “strange and hostile creatures” begin to appear.

When you’ve read Huntress, there’s also ‘The Fox’, a short story set a couple of years later (therefore there are spoilers) here.

More from Malinda Lo on the www:

More posts About An Author are here (just the one at the moment).

If you like Malinda Lo you could also try reading books by Melissa Marr, Aprilynne Pike, Sharon Shinn, Garth Nix (Abhorsen, Sabriel, Lirael), Cyn Balog (thanks to Literature Resource Centre for the recommendations). If you like the Chinese element to the fantasy in Huntress you could also read Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon.

About an Author: Sarah Dessen

We recently-ish did a post about a Top 100 YA fiction list, in which Sarah Dessen featured strongly. So what about Sarah Dessen then? Who is she and why is she so popular? Here’s a very brief summary.

Sarah Dessen is the writer of (currently) nine novels for young adults, all of them stand-alone (which is unusual, since it seems everyone thinks you have to write series to be popular). We have them all! She studied creative writing in college (lucky her) and her first book, That Summer, was completed while she was waitressing (good job for writers: write during the day, wait at night).

Sarah Dessen fans (wittily called dessenites) love her for her realism, her focus on interpersonal relationships (the catch-all subject for fiction), and, yes, her books are a little bit romantic. Of Just Listen, possibly her most critically well received novel, one reviewer wrote, “Annabel and Owen’s finely limned connection alone gives this novel staying power”.

If you’re wanting to make a serious study of Sarah Dessen’s works then the place to go is the Literature Resource Centre. This is one of the online databases you can get at through MyGateway.info. The Literature Resource Centre is a fantastic resource: there are reviews (separated into reviews and more highbrow literary criticism), biographical articles and interviews, plus much more. Great for your NCEA reading log.

Sarah Dessen on t’internet:
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