Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tour: The Bone Knife by Intisar Khanani

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Welcome to my stop in The Bone Knife Tour stop! I'll be featuring a review and I've also included an excerpt, so you'll get a little taste of the short story. And don't forget to participate in the giveaway!

Title: The Bone Knife
Author: Intisar Khanani
Genre: YA Fantasy, Short Story


Rae knows how to look out for family. Born with a deformed foot, she feigns indifference to the pity and insults that come her way. Wary of all things beautiful, Rae instantly distrusts their latest visitor: an appallingly attractive faerie. Further, his presence imperils the secret her sister guards. But when the local townspeople show up demanding his blood, Rae must find a way to protect both her sister’s secret and their guest. Even if that means risking herself.


My Thoughts

I liked this story, I really did.

The Bone Knife was interesting, intriguing and kept me wondering what would happen next throughout the whole of it. The pace of and way Intisar tells the story helped keep this air of mystery and darkness around the characters, especially around the unexpected fairy visitor, Genno Stonemane.

I also liked Rae. She is strong and independent even when she's being "held back" by a metaphorical prison. And no, I'm not referring to her deformed foot. Although, it's quite clear Rae is as strong as they come despite her physical handicap, she is imprisoned in a cage of her own making. I think this might get her in trouble in the future because even though she's not confident about some things, she is overly confident those things will keep her safe. I won't say more because I might spoil the story, but you'll see what I'm referring to when you read it.

I also like Stonemane, he was very mysterious. He just had that thoughtful-predator like presence that I'll admit I love in my book "men". It's not just because he's a faerie. I've read other fairie books which kind of fall flat on how to bring out those fae traits in their characters. So, I think the author did a good job at depicting one of the sides of the fae. I liked what little I saw of all other the characters. They each had their own quirks, like Bean being easily excitable.

My only real complaint with this story is that it's too short, but that won't be a problem much longer since we'll be reading more about Rae in "The Theft of Sunlight" which I hope comes out early in 2013. P.S.: I'm hoping Stonemane is also part of that story. *wink*

Excerpt #1
It doesn’t occur to me until much later, as I make my rounds assuring all the doors and windows are barred against the night, that the faerie might notice the strangeness of our absence, the careful withdrawal of the women from his presence.

I pull the shutters closed in the dining room and draw the curtains to hide them, grateful that the men have finally retired for the night. But as I turn back to the room I realize I am not alone. The faerie stands in the doorway, watching me. I start with surprise, and at his slight smile, I make an awkward curtsy.

“Can I help you, master—” I stumble to a stop, realizing belatedly that I never learned his name.

“Genno Stonemane,” he supplies, his voice lilting, deep and sweet. I find myself pressing my back against the wall. Whatever is the miserable fellow doing down here? And why does he have to be so lovely? At least Niya is safe in our bedchamber.

“Master Stonemane,” I amend. “May I help you?”

“I have noticed something curious. I thought you might explain it to me.” He steps into the room. In the candlelight I can see that he has had a chance to wash the dust from his face and hair; the result is an exquisite and frightening beauty. His hair shines darkly, falling smoothly over his shoulders, setting off the luminescence of his skin, the midnight shadows of his eyes. I drop my gaze to the low table, grateful for its presence between us.

“I am not very good with explanations,” I say. “Perhaps my father can help you?”

“Not unless he does the sewing in the house,” Stonemane says.

“The sewing?”

“Those are lovely curtains behind you,” he remarks genially, walking towards me. I retreat to the other side of the window, my turned foot making every movement doubly awkward. He smiles as he reaches me, the space between us made up now of only two narrow panels of embroidered cotton. “Did you sew them yourself?”

“No,” I answer gladly.

“Ah, then it was your younger sister who served us dinner.”

“No, I’m afraid not.”

“Of course. Then it was the third sister, the one who has stayed hidden.” I take a quick step back—how could he know? His teeth glint in the candlelight. “She has a fine way with stitches. Just here,” he reaches out a long-fingered hand to tap a flower, “she has caught the scent of a spring day when the daffodils first turn their heads to the sun, and here,” his fingers follow a tracery of blue, “flows the warmth of a late summer breeze.”

We are caught.

About the author:

Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. Born in Wisconsin, she has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She first remembers seeing snow on a wintry street in Zurich, Switzerland, and vaguely recollects having breakfast with the orangutans at the Singapore Zoo when she was five. She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and two young daughters.

Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. Her approach to writing reflects her lifelong love for stories from different cultures. Her next project is a companion trilogy to her debut novel Thorn, with Rae as her new heroine.

Find Intisar

WebsiteGoodReadsFacebookTwitter: @IntisarKhanani

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  1. Hi Lis,

    Thanks so much for your review of The Bone Knife! I'm so glad you found it both enjoyable and intriguing. I've had a lot of fun working with Rae--her mix of confidence, uncertainty and overconfidence keeps me wondering what she's going to get into next. And yes, we'll see more of Stonemane in Book 1 of the trilogy :D


    1. I can't wait to read what will happen next! :D Thank you for stopping by.

  2. This was a great review. I'm so happy to see that people enjoy my writer friend's work. :-)