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The Grass King's Concubine (Daw Books Collectors) Mass Market Paperback – August 7, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: Daw Books Collectors
  • Mass Market Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: DAW; paperback / softback edition (August 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756407559
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756407551
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 4.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #938,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"[The Grass King's Concubine] entirely delighted me. And, by turns, impressed me.... In many ways, this is a meditative novel, playfully serious, lucidly written."
(Ideomancer Reviews )

"Sperring's imagery is rich and striking."
(Publishers Weekly )

"[The Grass King's Concubine's] Indian-like atmosphere and exquisitely detailed land create an unusual and enthralling world that traps the reader."
(LitPick Book Reviews )

About the Author

Kari Sperring has been writing as long as she can remember and completed her first novel at the age of eight (twelve pages long and about ponies). She started writing fantasy in her teens, inspired by J. R. R. Tolkien, Alexandre Dumas and Thomas Mallory. She holds a B.A and a PhD in medieval history from Cambridge University, and as Kari Maund has written and published five books and many articles on Celtic and Viking history and co-authored a book on the history and real people behind her favourite novel, The Three Musketeers. She’s been a barmaid, a tax officer, a P.A. and a university lecturer, and has found that her fascinations, professional or hobby-level, feed and expand into her fiction. Living With Ghosts evolved from her love of France and its history, ghosts, mysteries, Celtic culture, strange magic and sword fights. Her novel-in-progress has even found a creative role for bookkeeping. She’s British and lives in Cambridge, England.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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The main reason for that was because it was easy to follow the characters logic.
Mikaela
Sperring gives the reader things to think about and clues that the reader must put together as the heroine finds them.
Katharine Kerr
If you haven't read Kari Sperring's debut novel, Living With Ghosts, drop what you're doing and read it now.
Deborah J. Ross

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Katharine Kerr on August 24, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is an exceptionally well-written fantasy that offers something different from the usual themes and characters. Sperring's heroine, Aude, comes from the upper class of a society based on a sharp division between the rich and the poor. When her awakening social conscience drives her to discover the source of her family's wealth, she finds herself trapped in a strange and magic land, the WorldBelow. While her husband desperately searches for her, Aude must find the answers she seeks or stay trapped forever.

One thing I particularly liked about the book is its non-human characters. (None of them are the usual elves and dwarves.) They are as alien as any you'll find in well written SF, and some, like the ferret women, are both comic and threatening. This is not easy to pull off.

One thing the book is not is a "fast, fun read" as too many books are these days, mind candy that's instantly forgetable. Sperring gives the reader things to think about and clues that the reader must put together as the heroine finds them. And because of this, the book is absorbing and memorable.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mary Robinette Kowal on August 13, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Grass King's Concubine caught me on the first page with the language. Kari Sperring has managed to create this... epic fantasy is not right. It's a mythic fantasy, in that it feels like I was reading a story much, much older than it was, but it's all original. It's a novel that is very much about the power of language to shape things and in a book like that you need prose that is strong. Here you get strong, lyrical, and, at times, playful. I very much enjoyed it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mikaela on November 19, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The first time I heard about this book was when Kari Sperring read from it at Eurocon in 2011. I have waited for it to be released ever since. Did it live up to my expectations? Yes.

The setting felt believable. In fact, at times it felt like I was reading a historical fantasy. Because while the Brass City is imagined,it reflects the uncertainities of life in the mid 1800's in European Cities. But it wasn't just that. It was the clear contrasts between the wealthy in the Silver City and the poor in the Brass City, and how that affected the relationship between the cities.

But if the Worldabove was believable, then Worldbelow was chilling. That was enhanced by seeing how the World Below looked in it's hey day.

The plot wasn't fast paced, but it was well paced. The story switched between past and present, between World Below and World Above. It should have been confusing, but it wasn't. The main reason for that was because it was easy to follow the characters logic. Well, maybe except for the Cadre.

The characters felt unique. I admired Aude for her mix of curiosity and pragmatism. Which showed in a lot of ways through the story. And then there were the twins... I think this is the first time that I have read a ferret's POV. I felt for Jehan as he chased after Aude.

The only problem I had with this book was the budding romance between Aude and Jehan. I felt that it was buried behind Aude's search for her family's history, and it wouldn't have hurt if it was a little bit stronger.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A.M Donovan on March 26, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The main character of this story is someone searching for her roots. As such, this character is easy to relate with. Set in a culture that seems to be at a cross-road between migratory and settled, and where water rights mean everything. An intelligent young lady trapped in a very proper society where intelligence for women is not exactly a virtue.
Her intelligence and curiosity have led her to question such things as why the poor are rebelling and why does her family have so much when others have so little. A marriage is arraigned to someone that obviously is only interested in her inheritance. She, of course (like every good adventuress) must run away from this luxurious prison in search of her family's history and the visions that have been haunting her since childhood, visions of a palace with graceful dancers and the smell of oranges on the breeze. Unbeknownst to her, the sender of the visions has been trying to capture her since childhood, in order to right a terrible wrong. As below, so above, the water is going away and all will die if this can't be solved.
Bearing the classical elements of the Hero's journey and the legend of Persephone, there is a journey to the underworld and the overcoming of seemingly overwhelming odds. Wrongs are made right and it turns out that even demi-gods can have the same driving forces as regular human people. Told along two differing time lines, this can be a little hard to follow, but is well worth the effort. I really did like the ferret twins. Kari has also written several non-fiction books under the name Kari Maund. So, even though she only has two works of fiction out, she has been honing her craft for a while. © Night Owl Reviews - [...]
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By Anne Raymond on April 9, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After reading her first book, I could not wait to start 'The Grass King', but I can't recommend it. The only interesting characters were they ferret women - and they have the mentality of ferrets. I cannot understand why the human lovers got together or stayed together. I've read Grimm's fairy tales where the characters seemed more real and less formulaic. I just could not care what happened to these people. It was a relief to get to the end.
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