Monday, January 26, 2015

Forgotten Gems: 'The White Tribunal' by Paula Volsky

I never know where to begin when it comes to recommending Paula Volsky, I usually select based on who I'm recommending to, which obviously doesn't work so well here. I first enountered Volsky in the ya section, and enjoyed but didn't love her Sorcerers Legacy trilogy, and went on to read and enjoy the rest of her juvenalia. But then it was like she had vanished. In 1992 she retuned, with a breathtaking and wonderful novel of revolution called 'Illusion'.
Illusion was fantastic! It was a gorgeously realized world, and fully drawn characters. The magic's stengths and weaknesses inform the shape of the story, and is used in the most limited of fashions. It's extroidinary.
The follow-up, 'The Wolf of Winter' set in the same world, but in a different country, with a very different traditional magic, is a glory as well. And has one of my favorite endings ever.
The third book, 'The Gates of Twilight' is actually my least favorite of her adult novels. There is something, I've never managed to put my finger on what, that just doesn't quite draw me in. It's not a bad book, and this isn't a universal opinion, but it's my opinion.
'The White Tribunal' is her fourth adult book, and the one I picked as the most universally appealing. It has a little of everything, deception, betrayal, and just a little bit of romance. But underneath, it deals with some very real issues of the costs of revenge, and its unltimate worth. I highly recommend you check it out!

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