temporaryworlds (temporaryworlds) wrote in bookish,

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Little Sister by Kara Dalkey

Amaiko knelt at the edge of the veranda. Her long, loose raven hair flowed like a thick brushstroke down her back. Her oyster-colored robe blended into the morning mist, as if she were part of it, or a spirit partially departed.

A young man stood in the garden at the edge of the veranda, holding her hand. He was handsome, and his bright green-and-yellow jacket stood out from the mist as though defying its attempts to mute and destroy him. As he gazed at my sister, I could tell he loved her very much. As they softly said their parting words, I wish I could hear then. Yet I was glad, in a way, that those whispers remained secret.

… the memory is even more poignant now that I know their fates.

(Dalkey, Kara. Little Sister)

Mitsuko spends her days writing poetry, and keeping herself hidden from most of the world outside of her own family. But when her sister Amaiko’s husband, Yugiri, is murdered, and her sister’s spirit attempts to follows him into death, Mitsuko must flee her sheltered life and find Yugiri’s lost soul. With a crow-demon for a companion, Mitsuko begins a dangerous journey where she must deal with gods and monsters, and save her family before it’s too late.

Little Sister is a book that I first looked at when I was thirteen at a bookstore near my middle school. It’s not until now, at twenty-three, that I’ve taken the time to read it. I don’t know what took me so long. The writing (as seen above) is absolutely beautiful, the language simplistic, yet often heavy with meaning at the same time. The character of Mitsuko, starts out the story very lady-like and almost meek. To watch her growth to a fearless woman is very satisfying. Her journey flows more like a legend of a fairy tale, than a modern day novel, making for a very different reading experience to what I’ve been picking up lately. The setting of Heian Japan is an interesting choice for a fantasy novel. Dalkey has done her homework very well, and sprinkles the story lines with bits and pieces of old Japanese culture. I found myself drawn in right away, and was very sad when it ended.

Rating: Five out of Five Stars
Similar Books:  The Inuyasha manga Series by Rumiko Takahashi. The Tale of Murasaki by Liza Dalby. The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon.
Other books I've read by this author: The Short Story  "The Lady of the Ice Garden" in Firebirds. The Short Story "The Hive" from Firebirds Rising.

Next I'm reading Death Masks by Jim Butcher.

xposted to bookish  and temporaryworlds 
Tags: xxx author last name: a-h

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