Sunday, December 14, 2008

Almost like Mary Stewart

Evidently I had a busy week because I didn't post on here at all. However, I wasn't busy enough to not read.

So I've been in the mood for a Christmas read. I had in mind a very specific type of Christmas read, though: one that is set at Christmas time but isn't a "Christmas" (aka sappy, ho ho ho, let's kiss under the mistletoe) book. Deanna Raybourn's Silent in the Sanctuary is a fabulous example of the kind of book I wanted to read. The whole story revolves around Christmas and visitors, but is still just a great book. So I was thrilled when I somehow remembered that Susanna Kearsley's Named of the Dragon takes place during Christmas--but again, it's not a Christmas book.

(Does anyone have any suggestions for other Christmas-time-books-that-aren't-"Christmas"-books? I'd love to hear any ideas!)

I really, really like Kearsley's writing. It reminds me of Mary Stewart (a high compliment, indeed!), perhaps just more gothic. Both authors create great atmosphere that completely sucks you in to the story.

Named of the Dragon is set in Wales. A literary agent, Lyn, and one of her clients, a children's author, are invited to spend Christmas at a famous writer's home. There's a whole Arthurian plot aspect, as well as a small romance. The characters are all lovely and interesting. With all Kearsley books, there's a bit of supernatural activity, but this one was much tamer than some of her other works, like The Shadowy Horses. The Christmas aspects were subtle but a major part of the story. Still, you definitely could read the book any time of year.

Rating: 9/10


Lindsey said...

I love Mary Stewart! There's just something about her books that draws me right in and doesn't let go... they are definitely keepers. I haven't read her Arthurian series though, have you? I discovered her when I was a teen and addicted to the plot of "Moonspinners" (with Hayley Mills). I was delighted to find the book was ten times better!

I'll definitely check this author out - thanks for the recommendation!

Angiegirl said...

It's so funny, I've been craving exactly the same kind of thing. I checked and my library has this one. May have to go grab it. Thanks for the rec!

rachel said...

Lindsey, I know exactly what you mean about Mary Stewart. Her books are definitely keepers. I haven't read the Arthurian books though, mainly because I like her romantic suspense ones so much that I don't want to be disappointed in her historical books. :)

Angie, that's so funny that you've been craving the same thing! Let me know if you find any other Christmas books that aren't "Christmas" books.

Anonymous said...

I've never read any of her books, but I'm intrigued by the Mary Stewart comparison. Must check out.

I'm blanking on any Christmas-but-not-Christmas recs, will have to think about it.