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Monday, May 11, 2009

Sky Castles Book 2: Russet and Gold by Sue Perkins

Sky Castles, Book 2: Russet and Gold by Sue Perkins
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Genre: Fantasy
Length: Full
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

The feet of the creature didn’t touch the floor as it floated gracefully towards her. Lise shrank back against the bare stone wall. The spirit came abreast of her and stopped. Large limpid eyes turned in her direction. She held her breath, terrified her stepfather’s tales were true and her soul would be taken from her, leaving her an empty husk.

“Hello.” The spirit's green eyes smiled at her, although its lips didn’t move.

“Hello,” Lise gasped in response.

The spirit nodded and continued down the stairs. Lise sagged with relief and hurriedly continued her climb before the full impact of what she’d seen registered in her mind. The being’s lips remained still when the eyes smiled, and they had not moved when it spoke. The words had come directly into her brain!

Russet and Gold is book two of the Sky Castles series. This is perhaps a tad misleading, as it's far more original than most ‘series’ type books are – with little dependence on the earlier tale (although it does revisit some characters very nicely.)

Lise, a young woman, sets off for a new life in London…and along the way, really does discover a whole new life – maybe even a whole new self. Lise, the main character, has a wonderfully human, easily-embarrassed side. She’s also been told all sorts of terrifying fairy tales about various beings, so is at times quite terrified of others. She is also the classic ‘country mouse headed to the city’ but Perkins pulls this off extremely well. Perhaps the most impressive thing about these two books is how wonderfully different the two leading lady roles are.

The relationship of Lise and Sard holds promise, but as readers, we wonder. The story offers much that is unexpected… and, at times you will find yourself angry with how it all progresses. Lise’s pregnancy and the odd predicament she lands in is original and, also, almost enslaving. Her struggles – and the efforts of those who love her, are engaging. If Russet & Gold is at times less gripping than the first, it is every bit as enchanting. The story does rely on the earlier book to some degree to establish place. The wonderful and rich descriptions are somewhat abbreviated. However, the characters are as well developed, events as surprising, and motivation and actions clearly presented.

Fantasy fans will enjoy Perkin’s ‘Sky Castle’ books, without doubt. 4 books