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Discord's Apple Hardcover – July 6, 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (July 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765325543
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765325549
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,064,178 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Taking a break from the Kitty Norville urban fantasy series, Vaughn melds a near-future world torn by war with the legend of the fall of Troy in this brilliantly structured, beautifully written stand-alone. Evie Walker is a comic book writer who leaves behind a strife-filled Los Angeles to care for her dying father in the smalltown of Hopes Fort, Colo. Evie soon inherits the responsibility of guarding a magical storeroom and its contents as the country becomes hyperdefensive about possible terrorist threats. Intermingled with Evie's story is the tale of Sinon the Liar, who persuaded the Trojans to bring Odysseus's horse inside their walls and wound up cursed with immortality. Vaughn brings together mythology, fairy tales, and very human lives, immersing readers in the stories these complex characters tell themselves to make sense of their war-torn worlds. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Comic book writer Evie Walker bases her stories roughly on the political upheaval occurring around the world. With her father dying, she returns to Hope's Fort, Colorado, where she grew up. She has never really thought much about the storage room in the basement of the Walker family home. Now she does. Taking a page from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Vaughn creates a tale in which the storeroom is a gateway to another realm that contains such fantastical items as Excalibur, Cinderella's glass slippers, and the Apple of Discord that touched off the Trojan war. Set against a backdrop of coming apocalypse, the story jumps from glimpses of the ancient Greek past to Evie's world that is being torn apart by politics and war, then to the history of the Walker family through the ages. Those strands are woven into a tapestry that may satisfy both the reader who enjoys emotional depth in characterization and those fascinated by world mythology and fairy tales. --Rebecca Gerber

More About the Author

Carrie Vaughn is the author of the New York Times bestselling series of novels about a werewolf named Kitty. She also writes for young adults (her novel STEEL was named to the ALA's 2012 Amelia Bloomer list of the best books for young readers with strong feminist content), the Golden Age superhero series, and other contemporary fantasy stories. She's a contributor to the Wild Cards series of shared world superhero books edited by George R. R. Martin, and her short stories have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. She's a graduate of the Odyssey Fantasy Writing Workshop, and in 2011, she was nominated for a Hugo Award for best short story.

An Air Force brat, she survived her nomadic childhood and managed to put down roots in Boulder, Colorado, where she lives with her fluffy attack dog, a miniature American Eskimo named Lily.

Visit her at www.carrievaughn.com

Customer Reviews

The story is told via interconnected tales and using classic themes and classic mythology in a wonderful new twist.
Star @ The Bibliophilic Book Blog
It was short and I didn't get answers to all the questions I was hoping to have answered, but the ending was satisfying and left me with a smile.
Loves FAB Romance
Carrie Vaughn has turned out some excellent fantasy in the past, but "Discord's Apple" is undoubtedly the best, richest book she's written yet.
E. A Solinas

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By J. Campanella on July 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I have a hard time not writing simple plot summaries as reviews, but I feel like if I spoil even a single secret in this book I will be doing a disservice. It is epic in scope yet deceptively simple.

I can understand why Publisher's Weekly gave this book a Starred review. It is written in simple and clear language that lets the depth and complexity of the story sneak up on you. The nested timelines allow the story to reveal exactly as much background as you need to let the story progress without spoiling suspense. The scope of the story, from the bronze age to the ... see I almost let fly with a spoiler there ... is daring, dazzling, and perfectly crafted to make this an epic worthy of the poets of old.

I loved the characters, especially the ones I was clearly meant to hate. One character is the embodiment of pure chaos, and his wanton acts of love and destruction side by side made him the most delicious villain since the Joker, and I am only sorry he didn't get more "screen time." The Good Guys were really honestly good guys, and there was an optimism to them that made me set aside the cynicism that I usually reserve for such characters.

Overall this is an epic masterpiece. In my opinion, this is the authors most cinematic and picturesque work to date, and I hope that we get to see a dozen more like this.

...but no sequels. I hope this gets to live as a standalone. It's perfect as it is.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Andro Berkovic on July 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I have been following Carrie Vaughn's work since she started publishing the Kitty series and I can delightfully declare: Definitely not a Kitty book! To make this clear: I found the Kitty series well written and entertaining, but I do have something of a knee-jerk reaction to all the recent Vampire/Werewolf genre overload and associated crazes. This is, admittedly, a remark angled at some of previous comments which seek the lines of association to the author's already established book series where there are none to be found - or no reason to go looking for them.

I consider Discord's Apple to be Vaughn's most mature and most engaging piece of work to date - it is wonderfully multilayered and enagaging, and it did a magnificent job of pulling me straight into the depths of the tale. It may have something to do with the manner in which it builds upon the established "real world" mythos creatively but not presumptiously; she certainly does exhibit both in-depth familiarity with and respect for the mythologies she builds on. Or it may be the masterful breath of life in all of the characters that carry the story along so fluidly and naturally - though it's most likely the case of both. I found this book to be a real treat and, having read it once already, I find myself already re-reading it for the sheer fun of it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Judah on May 6, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This novel is an ambitious project that attempts to weave a greater narrative out of four distinct storylines. Some merge in the later book.

Big warning out there for heterosexual male readers -- Vaugn has male-on-male rape/domination as part of the novel plotline. It's not graphic sex, but has multiple scenes which cut off right before that point. The novel was not labeled to reflect this type of fiction. Those ancient Greeks deities enjoyed that sort of thing, but I, as a reader, don't. This is a prevalent flashback-story arc. One star.

Second story arc follows a comic book heroine (specifically Evie Walker's comic book artist's version of GI Jane) and it's boring. It's told, not shown. Vaugn was going for reflecting metaphors back at the main character here, and I got that. Still, felt like she was slamming me with 'oh look at how this reflects Evie's mood and the mood of her nation' every time I read part of the GI-Jane arc. Wish the editor would have taken it out -- one star.

Third story arc follows Evie Walker herself, and her conflict regarding the storeroom. Her father is dying, and she is inheriting the position of a mystical artifact keeper. The Goddess Hera wants the golden apple from the Trojan War, and is prepared to attack/negotiate/scheme it out. This arc was written very well, and if it was the only part of the novel, I'd give four stars plus. I especially enjoyed how Vaugn compared the legends of ancient Gods with legends of modern power brokers and terrorism. 'For The Greatest' indeed.

Fourth arc follows the historical progress of the Storeroom, how it came to be from the perspectives of character 'ancestors'. I did not find it engrossing, but if you enjoy reading short myths you might like it. Three stars.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Baumann VINE VOICE on August 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Plot Summary: Evie Walker is a comic book writer living in a Los Angeles we wouldn't recognize. Countries are at war, cities are ruled by militias, and Evie makes her living penning a military adventure comic series, until she gets a call from her father. She drives back home to Hope's Fort, Colorado and learns that he has a terminal disease. Furthermore, strangers keep knocking on her father's door with specific requests for items in his basement. The storeroom has always been off limits to Evie until now, and she learns that her family serves as custodians of magical objects. One man in particular, named Alex, seems to be stalking Evie and her father, but the real threat is a long-disposed queen who wants to sow chaos across the world.

If the heroine was a teenager instead of an adult, I probably would have liked this better. Discord's Apple would have made a perfect young adult novel, and that would help me out with this review, because this book didn't go far enough for this adult reader. Oh well, there's no point in griping about it, right? It's an ambitious story that tries to connect all of the magic, myths and legends since the beginning of time with a present that is on the verge of war. It's a cool concept, but it started to fall apart for me by the end, and worse, it became utterly predictable. That's a sin that's not easy for me to forgive.

I thought the structure of the story was well done, with the action shifting between three parties: Evie in the present, Alex in the past, and Evie's ancestors. It takes a good writer to pull that off, and Carrie Vaughn made it look easy. Unfortunately I don't feel like I got to know Evie, or see her evolve. She was surprisingly passive throughout the story, and I expect more from the lead in a fantasy novel. There was virtually no romance, and the bit that was included felt token and tacked on.

It's an interesting stand-alone, but nothing is going to stand-out in my memory.
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