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Venticinque anni e il naso sempre tra le pagine – Chistmas edition!


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#52 Teaset tuesday!

Una saga spettacolare, di cui è stato tradotto unicamente il primo capitolo.
L’estate scorsa mi struggevo d’amore per Aric, la Morte, e qualcosa mi dice che anche quest’anno la situazione non sarà troppo diversa. In attesa di veder comparire il mio terribile cavaliere biondo, vi lascio con il teaser di oggi. Buona giornata, buone letture!

I stared into Tess’s dark blue eyes as her power began to manifest.
Her skin heated beneath my hands, and a dull buzz sounded. A breeze blew in a circle around us. From my thorns? No, the current of air flowed clockwise.
Her power stoked, the heat from her body increasing till it scalded me. But I refused to release my hold. The buzz grew in volume. Louder. Louder. Our hair was dragged straight upward. When her body started levitating, I sank my claws deeper. If I hadn’t been here to anchor her, would she have floated away?
The noise had gotten so loud her ears bled. Wet warmth slicked down my neck as well.
Suddenly Tess threw back her head and screamed. I could perceive the earth—or our existence or reality or something—stilling for one airless instant . . . before grinding into motion. The wrong way.
We were rotating backward! The World Card, Quintessence herself, was making time flow in reverse.
First rotation. Below us came a splash as the Priestess first attacked. The leftover arsenal I’d used against her began to vanish—but within Tess’s circle, I remained the same, wet and bloodied.
Tess met my gaze. Her skin paled, her cheeks thinning.
Second rotation. Previous versions of me and Tess fled from the soldiers through the rock gully.
Beneath my claws, she was shedding weight at an alarming rate. “Please, Empress.” The whites of her eyes were red, vessels blown. From pressure?
Jack’s own eyes were gone. Brutally stolen. So I clawed her harder.
Third rotation. The soldiers had just begun giving chase.
Tess’s breathing grew labored. Her face was haggard, her cheekbones jutting sharply. Patches of her raised mane of hair came out, long sections plucked away into the ether.
Fourth rotation. Four disguised Arcana meandered through the camp, almost at the twins’ tent.
Tess’s sunken red eyes pleaded. She looked like one of my famine victims from a past game. Brittle. Dying.
Her arms deflated in my grip, my bloody claws scraping over bone.
Scrape, scrape . . .
Would I kill this girl to save Jack’s sight? “Not yet, Tess! Not yet!”

Fifth rotation. Still disguised, Gabriel and an earlier version of Tess landed on this bluff, meeting up with Selena and the earlier version of me. The beginning of our mission.
“No more!” I screamed.
As if at the end of a car wreck, the spinning abruptly . . . stopped. Tess’s head lolled, the remains of her hair hanging over her face.
The earth righted itself in fitful movements, seeming to gasp from exertion. With a shudder, the rotation ground forward once more.
Those earlier versions of me and Tess disappeared—leaving us, two girls aware of the near future, but physically changed. I’d been drained of power, with no arsenal to show for it.
And Tess . . . I released her arms, catching her as she collapsed, unconscious. Her now baggy clothing swallowed her emaciated body. Her teeth chattered, and she shivered for warmth. Would she survive?

Can Evie convince her rival loves to work together? Their survival depends on it in this third book of #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole’s Arcana Chronicles, a nonstop action tale of rescue, redemption, and a revenge most wicked.
Heartbreaking decisions
Evie was almost seduced by the life of comfort that Death offered her—until Jack was threatened by two of the most horrific Arcana, the Lovers. She will do anything to save him, even escape Death’s uncanny prison, full of beautiful objects, material comforts…and stolen glances from a former love.
Uncertain victory
Despite leaving a part of her heart behind with Death, Evie sets out into a perilous post-apocalyptic wasteland to meet up with her allies and launch an attack on the Lovers. Such formidable enemies require a battle plan, and the only way to kill them may mean Evie, Jack, and Death allying. Evie doesn’t know what will prove more impossible: surviving slavers, plague, Bagmen and other Arcana—or convincing Jack and Death to work together.
Two heroes returned
There’s a thin line between love and hate, and Evie just doesn’t know where she stands with either Jack or Death. Will this unlikely trio be able to defeat The Lovers without killing one another first…?


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MiniReview: “Deathless”, Catherynne M. Valente.

Libro consigliatomi dalla mia anima gemella, inutile dire che l’ho amato moltissimo – e non c’erano dubbi a riguardo, perché quando una persona è la tua anima gemella, lo è persino nei libri che legge e ti impone di leggere. Chiusa questa piccola, ma doverosa, premesse, vi auguro un buonissimo inizio di settimana!

Titolo: Deathless (Deathless #1)
Titolo originale: Deathless (Deathless #1)
Autore: Catherynne M. Valente
Editore: Corsair
Pagine: 352
Anno: 2011

A glorious retelling of the Russian folktale Marya Morevna and Koschei the Deathless, set in a mysterious version of St. Petersburg during the first half of the 20th century. Child of the revolution, maiden of myth, bride of darkness.
A handsome young man arrives in St Petersburg at the house of Marya Morevna. He is Koschei, the Tsar of Life, and he is Marya’s fate.
Koschei leads Marya to his kingdom, where she becomes a warrior in his tireless battle against his own brother, the Tsar of Death.
Years pass. Battle-hardened, scarred by love, and longing for respite, Marya returns to St Petersburg – only to discover a place as pitiful as the land she has just fled: a starveling city, haunted by death.
Deathless is a fierce story of life and death, love and power, old memories, deep myth and dark magic, set against the history of Russia in the twentieth century. It is, quite simply, unforgettable.

COSA MI È PIACIUTO

  • L’ambientazione. La Russia della Rivoluzione è un una parentesi spazio-temporale che ha su di me un fascino incomparabile, mi prende e non mi lascia più andare, e la Valente è stata capace di ricostruirne uno spaccato che è così vivido, così reale, così assolutamente particolare da lasciare senza fiato. Pagina dopo pagina, l’impressione di non essere più nella mia cameretta a Forlì ma in un paese dai contrasti violenti, opulento anche nella miseria, affilato d’inverno e generoso d’estate si è fatta via via più forte, fino a sradicarmi totalmente dal mio presente per catapultarmi in un mondo dove realtà e folklore sono così sapientemente calibrati da rendere impossibile distinguere il punto esatto dove uno inizia e l’altro finisce.
  • I personaggi. Costruiti magistralmente, sviluppati in maniera coerente e mai banale, unici, inconfondibili, con voci talmente particolari da saltare letteralmente fuori dallo schermo del kobo e prendere vita davanti ai miei occhi, trascinandomi in un mondo vivido quanto loro. Marya, Koshei, Ivan, tutta la schiera di creature prese in prestito dal folklore russo… non c’è davvero modo per descrivere a parole la straordinaria personalizzazione che l’autrice ha saputo cucire su ogni nome, facendo vivere l’inchiostro, dandogli la forma di qualcosa di unico e irripetibile.
  • La storia. Eccezionale. Non c’è niente da fare, la Valente ha fatto bene i compiti e si vede: il contesto storico è impeccabile, la trama vi s’incastra con una naturalezza strabiliante e la narrazione scandisce un ritmo maestoso, mai troppo veloce o troppo lento, snodandosi attraverso gli anni senza fatica, accompagnando il lettore attraverso le ombre e le luci di una terra dai contrasti vibranti e il passato imponente. Fiaba e realtà si mischiano, amalgamando un racconto che coinvolge e cattura, che rende impossibile immaginare che sia solo frutto di una fantasia straordinariamente feconda e sapientemente utilizzata.
  • Lo stile. Perché si, per quanto il mio inglese non sia tale da permettermi di apprezzare le più piccole sfumature di una lingua che non è la mia, devo riconoscere che il modo in cui questo libro è scritto ha qualcosa di magico. Le parole hanno una consistenza che buca le pagine – o lo schermo del kobo, nel mio caso – e un sapore che è difficile ignorare, figuriamoci dimenticare.

“Deathless is a fairytale”, scrive Giovanna su Goodreads, “and is as dark and sweet and lovely as only a fairytale can be”. Ed è proprio così, senza mezzi termini e senza mezze misure: la scrittura non è che l’ennesimo riflesso di un libro ben scritto, ben pensato e ben costruito, che vi ruberà il cuore senza mostrar segni di rimorso, consegnandovi ad un mondo che che vibra di ombre e luce, facendosi ora metafora e ora fotografia, respirando magia e cruda realtà, costringendo il lettore a piegarsi alle ragioni della leggenda popolare che si anima e s’impone in una realtà impregnata di gelido, crudele cinismo.
Leggetelo, amatelo, custoditelo con cura: non vi deluderà.

Let the truth be told: There is no virtue anywhere. Life is sly and unscrupulous, a blackguard, wolfish, severe. In service to itself, it will commit any offense. So, too, is Death possessed of infinite strategies and a gaunt nature- but also mercy, also grace and tenderness. In his own country, Death can be kind.


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Recensione: “Shiver”, Maggie Stiefvater.

Sarebbe stato così facile attraversare con le labbra i centimetri che separavano le nostre bocche.

Titolo: Shiver (I lupi di Mercy Falls #1)
Titolo originale: Shiver (The wolves of Mercy Falls #1)
Autore: Maggie Stiefvater
Editore: Rizzoli
Pagine: 406
Anno: 2009

Grace e Sam non si sono mai parlati, ma da sempre si prendono cura l’una dell’altro. Non si conoscono, eppure lei rischierebbe la vita per lui, e lui per lei.
Perché Grace, fin da piccola, sorveglia i lupi che vivono nel bosco dietro casa sua, e in particolare uno dotato di magnetici occhi gialli, che negli anni è diventato il suo lupo. E perché Sam da quando era un bambino vive una doppia vita: lupo d’inverno, umano d’estate. Il caldo gli regala pochi preziosissimi mesi da essere umano prima che il freddo lo trasformi di nuovo.
Grace e Sam ancora non si conoscono, ma tutto è destinato a cambiare: un ragazzo è stato ucciso, proprio dai lupi, e nella piccola città in cui vive Grace monta il panico, e si scatena la caccia al branco. Grace corre nel bosco per salvare il suo lupo e trova un ragazzo solo, ferito, smarrito, con due magnetici occhi gialli. Non ha dubbi su chi sia, né su ciò che deve fare.
Perché Grace e Sam da sempre si prendono cura l’una dell’altro, e adesso hanno una sola, breve stagione per stare insieme prima che il gelo torni e si porti via Sam un’altra volta. Forse per sempre.

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#51 Teaser Tuesday!

Un po’ tardi, forse, ma che dire? Le atmosfere di questo libro mi hanno fatto perdere totalmente la cognizione del tempo e, beh, il teaser di oggi parla da sé: una scena meravigliosa.

In the deepest, most hidden room of the Chernosvyat, whose ossified cupolas shone here and there with silver bubbles and steel cruciforms, Koschei the Deathless sat on his throne of onyx and bone. His eyes drooped, redly exhausted, from weeping or working or both. Before him, on a great table formed from the pelvic dish of some impossibly huge fish, lay scattered maps and plans and letters, papers and couriers’ boxes, photographs and sketches, books wedged open, upside down, splitting their spines. Marya Morevna entered, her hunting costume half-open in the heat of the place. The dark walls of the Chernosvyat often seemed to breathe, and their breath came either brutally hot or mercilessly cold. Marya never knew which to expect. Silently, she walked around the long table and let a single golden feather drop. It drifted lazily down to rest on a requisition form. It no longer flamed, but glowed with a soft amber light.
“I would have preferred it living, volchitsa,” said Koschei, without looking up.
Marya shrugged. “It only died just now, as much of exhaustion from the hunt as the bullet.”
Koschei rose from his papers and drew her to him, bending to kiss her collarbone.
“I am proud of you, of course, beloved, baleful. But you must realize that you have only added a firebird to Viy’s cavalry. A black, flameless thing, its bony wings bearing ghost-pilots with their arms full of ordnance.”
Marya Morevna shut her eyes, savoring his lips on her skin as she savored the slab of black bread, buttered and spread with roe, once, long ago.
“It was hiding a clutch of eggs,” she breathed as he gripped her hair and tilted her head to show her throat, pale and bare. “In a short while we shall have enough firebirds to pull a siege tower, and still have one or two left over to light the hearth when we return.” His weight against her chilled and wakened her skin. She smiled against his dark glove. “Besides, it was tradition, once, for a suitor to fetch a firebird’s feather to show their good and marriageable qualities.”
“I know your qualities.”
Marya said nothing. She did not feel an urgency to marry, exactly—nothing like her sisters, who had longed for it like the prize at the end of a long and difficult game. But she did feel that as long as Koschei kissed her and kissed her and did not marry her, she remained a child in Buyan—a cosseted tsarevna, but not a Tsaritsa, not a native. A human toy. She did not care whether he gave her a ring—he had given her dozens, of every dark and glinting gem—but she did not wish to be a princess forever. Koschei picked up the knife he had been using to open couriers’ seals and looked up at her speculatively. Reaching up, he slowly sliced off the buttons of her hunting dress.
“If you keep cutting at me I shall have no clothes left,” said Marya Morevna. The gems in her hair clattered against one another as he cupped her skull in one large hand. With the other, he cut away the skirt of her dress in a stroke, like peeling the skin off a red, red apple. His hands burned coldly on her. She felt, as she could always feel, the bones of him beneath the skin of his fingers, his hips. Then he hardened, his skin becoming warm and real and full. A skeleton, always, embraced her first, and then remembered to be a man. She understood—had he not told her?To be Deathless is to treat with death in every moment. To stave death is not involuntary, like breathing, but a constant tension, like balancing a glass on the head. And each day the Tsar of Life fought in his own body to keep death down like a chastened dog. Koschei dug his nails into the small of Marya’s naked back; blood welled in tiny drops. Marya cried out a little, her breath thin and quick, and he lifted his thumb to his lips, suckling at the little smear of her blood. His cheeks, always gaunt, hung with shadows, and he watched her with a starveling’s eyes. But that did not frighten her anymore. Her lover often looked starved, hounded. She could kiss those things from him, and often did, until his face waxed seraphic, soft, smooth—as anyone can do for her mate when the day is long and hard, and solace far off. She thought nothing of it now, of kissing him alive. Everything in this place was livid and lurid and living, and when he loved her and hurt her all at once she lived, too, higher and harder than she had thought she could. Yes, she thought, magic is like that, when it comes. Like the fountains of blood, the houses of skin and hair, Koschei had long since become home. So Marya smiled as he bit her shoulders, feeling infant bruises bloom invisibly under her skin. Tomorrow I shall wear them like medals, she thought as he lifted her up onto the wreckage of field maps and mechanical diagrams.
“Koschei,” she whispered against his neck, where his dark hair curled. “Where do you keep your death?”
Koschei the Deathless lifted the calves of Marya Morevna around his waist and sank into her with the weight of years. He moaned against her breast. It stopped her breath, how like a child the Tsar of Life became when he needed her. The power she had over him, that he gave her. Who is to rule, that is all.
“Tell me,” she whispered. She wanted that, too. She wanted so much these days, everything she touched.
“Hush, you Delilah!” He thrust against her, the bones of his hips stabbing at her soft belly.
“I keep nothing from you. I befriend your friends; I eat as you eat; I teach you the dialectic! If you will not take me to wife, at least take me into confidence.”
Koschei squeezed his eyes shut. He winced with the force of his secret, his climax, his need. As he gripped her tighter and tighter, Marya thought his face grew rounder, younger, as though breathing in her own youth.
“I keep it in a glass chest,” he gasped finally, pushing her roughly back over the stacks of predicted troop movements, his fists caught up in the infinite mass of her hair. “Guarded by four dogs: a wolf like you, a starved racing hound, a haughty lap pup, and a fat sheepdog. All their names begin with the same letter, and only I know the letter.” He shut his eyes against her cheek as she arched toward him like a drawn bow. “And only someone who knows their names can reach the chest where I keep my death.”
Koschei cried out as though he were dying. He leaned against his love, his chest shaking. She held him, like a baby, like her own. And it did not escape her that speaking of his death excited Koschei somewhere deep inside, as if the proximity of it, even the word itself, sizzled electric in his brain.
“Will we win, Koschei?” she whispered. The room went suddenly frigid, frost gathering at the tall windows. “Will we win this war?”
“War is not for winning, Masha,” sighed Koschei, reading the tracks of supply lines, of pincer strategies, over her shoulder. “It is for surviving.”

A glorious retelling of the Russian folktale Marya Morevna and Koschei the Deathless, set in a mysterious version of St. Petersburg during the first half of the 20th century.
Child of the revolution, maiden of myth, bride of darkness.
A handsome young man arrives in St Petersburg at the house of Marya Morevna. He is Koschei, the Tsar of Life, and he is Marya’s fate.
Koschei leads Marya to his kingdom, where she becomes a warrior in his tireless battle against his own brother, the Tsar of Death.
Years pass. Battle-hardened, scarred by love, and longing for respite, Marya returns to St Petersburg – only to discover a place as pitiful as the land she has just fled: a starveling city, haunted by death.
Deathless is a fierce story of life and death, love and power, old memories, deep myth and dark magic, set against the history of Russia in the twentieth century. It is, quite simply, unforgettable.

 


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Recensione: “Ladri di sogni”, Maggie Stiefvater.

Titolo: Ladri di sogni (The Raven Cycle #2)
Titolo originale: Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2)
Autore: Maggie Stiefvater
Editore: Rizzoli
Pagine: 522
Anno: 2014

Sinossi
La magica linea di prateria è stata risvegliata e la sua energia affiora. I ragazzi corvo, un gruppo di studenti della scintillante Aglionby Academy, sono sulle tracce del mitico re gallese Glendower, che dovrebbe essere nascosto nelle colline intorno alla scuola. Con loro c’è Blue, che vive in una famiglia di veggenti tutta al femminile. A lei è stato predetto più volte che quando bacerà il ragazzo di cui sarà davvero innamorata, questi morirà. Sulle prime sembra che il suo cuore batta per Adam, ma forse è Gansey quello che ama davvero… Intanto Ronan s’inoltra nei suoi sogni, da cui può uscire di tutto. Del resto è uno che ama sfidare il pericolo. Mentre il tormentato Adam, con un passato pesante alle spalle, s’inoltra sempre più in se stesso, cercando una sua strada nella vita. Nel frattempo c’è un individuo sinistro che è anche lui sulle tracce di Glendower. Un uomo pronto a tutto.
Di Raven Boys, Entertainment Weekly ha scritto: “L’avventura paranormale di Maggie Stiefvater si legge d’un fiato e vi farà chiedere a gran voce il secondo libro.” Ecco il secondo libro, con la stessa fervida immaginazione, lo stesso intreccio inquietante e romantico, e le svolte mozzafiato che Maggie Stiefvater sa costruire.

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