Yippeeee! Great news: Silksinger is getting a *starred review* from Kirkus in the July 15 issue.
Here it is:
Dreamdark: Silksinger. Laini Taylor. Illus. by Jim Di Bartolo. (Putnam 9780399246319)
Thumb-sized mage/warrior Magpie Windwitch’s quest to find and wake the creation-weaving Djinn moves one step closer to completion but also suffers a major reverse in this headlong sequel to Dreamdark: Blackbringer (formerly Fairies of Dreamdark: Blackbringer, 2007). On the trail of the Djinn Azazel, Magpie and her allies wing into the fairy city of Nazneen too late to prevent young Whisper, last of the Silksinger clan, and the sleeping Djinn she guards from falling into the clutches of the deliciously frightening general Ethiag and Ethiag’s mysterious Master. Replete with desperate fights and flights, the plot races along to a rousing climax—and then a stunning betrayal that both renders the fairies’ victory a qualified one at best and leaves the ending open for a direct segue into the next episode. Equally adept at folding in both low humor and elevated imagery and language, Taylor expertly weaves multiple story lines into another ripping yarn, once again taking readers into an uncommonly well-articulated world where the magic follows credible rules and the fairies are anything but the sugarplum sort. (Fantasy. 11-13)
Thank you, Kirkus! I love Kirkus; they also gave Blackbringer a starred review :-)
In "domestic news", Jim is currently putting the third coat of varnish on the wood floors, while Leroy and I are comfortably lounging away from the fumes at my parents' house. He'll get a fourth coat on this afternoon and be done. Yay! Then it's on to the many other projects that are underway:
--Painting the living room. It just had to be done; have to take advantage of the room being empty for the first time in 8 years. I got a really pretty light honey-colored paint to replace the red, which I'm feeling rather done with. With the new floors and lighter walls, that room will be transformed. Can't wait to see it!
--Painting the new nursery; I've primed and spackled and caulked, now it needs to be sanded and painted. The new carpet will go in probably Tuesday. Out of fear of off-gassing and VOCs and all that chemical crap in carpets, we found a lovely wool carpet in the remnant room of a local carpet warehouse for a steal.
--Painting our bedroom. Adjacent to the new nursery, with an open arch door between them; the colors will look lovely together: tangerine for the nursery, a light teal blue for the bedroom.
--Painting the bathroom. That's a light grass green, beautiful.
(What's with all the $^&@*%!!! painting??? Well, we've been in the house 8-1/2 years; you just get bored of stuff after a while, plus it gets dingy. And once you start . . . you just kind of want to keep going. It's going to be fabulous when it's all done. But . . . maybe it's a little psycho to be taking it on just now. Race against the calendar! Ah well, nesting impulse!
--Stair risers! I'm excited about this one. Inspired by decorative painting projects undertaken at Maryam's fabulous house/B&B Peacock Pavilions in Morocco (My Marrakesh, a favorite blog of mine), I got the notion to paint the stair risers. This was the initial inspiration:
Isn't it beautiful? See, this group of decorative painters from the States have now made two trips to Morocco to work on Maryam's house, and the results are spectacular. You can see much more at Maryam's blog here and here, and by navigating around. The designer, Melanie, also has a blog, Design Amour (this link to another stairway they did at Peacock Pavilions), and a business that sells decorative painting stuff, including this Morocco-inspired line of stencils. I've picked out three simple patterns and will alternate stairs, in a limited palette that pulls in the colors of the surrounding rooms. I haven't actually ordered the stencils yet, so this project may be a while in the doing, but it's going to be so cool. Here's another example of some cool decorative risers:
For ease of painting, I'm going to ask the contractor to cut pieces of plywood or whatever he thinks best to the right sizes and paint them before installing. Our stairway is kind of tucked away, so it won't make a big design impact on the house, but will be a nice surprise when you round the corner. So fun!
Suffice it to say, the house is a shambles right now, with the few rooms not undergoing projects currently stuffed with furniture and stuff from the rest of the house. And then there are the various fumes, which accounts for me not being there. Anyway, surely more than anyone cares to know. It'll be so nice to be done with everything and post pictures. You know how awesome it is to chill out in a freshly cleaned house? Well, I'm imagining that when we're finally done, it will be like that times a hundred. Whew. And perhaps just in time to bring Professor home to it :-) We'll tell her the house is always that tidy; she won't know the difference! August 1 draws near . . . wonder when Professor will decide it's time to emerge? Early, late, on time? Who knows? Hopefully not early, though! There's too much work to finish first!
Cheers! Oh, and Leroy says hello :-)