I was first introduced to Mary Patterson Thornburg’s work by my excellent friend, Jenny Twist, so I already knew I was onto a winner. I wasn’t wrong. The author totally captivated me with her writing in Uncle Bud’s Health Mine and the Girl Who’s Going to Fix the World and I couldn’t wait to read more from this exceptionally talented writer.
When I received A Glimmer of Guile, I got stuck in immediately and lost myself in a new fictional world. What an adventure. Here is my review:
Having thoroughly enjoyed the short story ‘Uncle Bud's Health Mine and the Girl Who's Going to Fix the World’ by this author, I was delighted to receive ‘A Glimmer of Guile’ as a gift.
To start with, I found the title intriguing, as I’m sure was intended, and although I don’t read a great deal in the fantasy genre, this story held me entranced throughout. This was partly due to Thornburg’s excellent writing, which has a beautiful lyricism to it compared to most modern writers, but without superfluity. It makes me think of painting on silk as opposed to board or canvas – full of delicate and smoothly flowing lines.
It’s impossible not to love the colourful characters with their exotic names who parade the pages of the story. Vivia, young heroine is sent out on a daunting quest which few would be brave enough to face. The friends (and enemies) she meets on her journey are so interesting, they could each command their own story, but they all help move Vivia’s dangerous quest – and the story - forward to its satisfying and tightly-woven conclusion. At its heart is a quiet, but sincere, love story complicated by the life decisions Vivia has to make involving her mentor, Raym.
By the time I’d finished reading, I’d become so immersed in the fictional world and the characters, that I felt quite bereft to leave them. There was a hint of sadness about the determined Vivia that made her endearing – a worthy heroine. I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying this story; it will appeal to readers of all ages, and I highly recommend it.
So no prizes for guessing how many cute cats I gave it!
About Mary Patterson Thornburg
Mary Patterson Thornburg has been a reader of science fiction and fantasy for decades, and her writing hero is Ursula K. Le Guin, who towers over those genres in her great gift of invention, her beautiful and lucid style, and her moral wisdom and courage. In addition to A Glimmer of Guile, Thornburg has published a second novel (The Kura), short fiction, poems, and literary criticism. Her short story Niam's Tale won the 2011 SCBWI Magazine Merit Honor Certificate, and two of her stories received honorable mention in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror (2006, 2008).
She lives in Montana with her husband, Thomas Thornburg.