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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Book review: The Book of Blood and Shadow, by Robin Wasserman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I discovered Robin Wasserman by accident (with the Cold Awakening trilogy) a couple of years ago, when looking for Scott Westerfeld's books. I haven't read anything by her since then, so I'd forgotten what a fantastic writer she is.

Part of my attraction to this book was the setting. I'm fascinated by Prague, and it's near the top of my list for cities I'd visit if I were independently wealthy and could spend my days traveling. Wasserman certainly does the setting justice: the dual storyline, with the parallelism between 16th-century Prague and the present day, added to my enjoyment.

I'm not a big fan of the current trend to stick a romance in every YA book, but in this book it was woven into the story well enough that it was integral to the plot. The characters have surprising depth, again a tribute to Wasserman's skill. I've heard others draw comparisons to certain Dan Brown books, and that's probably apt, except I would add the qualifier that I enjoyed the writing much more--it often has a poetic quality that you don't find in many fast-paced YA books. Highly recommended!

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