Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Book Rec: Exile (Betsy Dornbusch)

One of the interesting parts of authorhood is that you occasionally get asked if you're willing to read an advance copy of another author's novel and (assuming you like it) provide a promotional blurb.  This can  be a little nervewracking if you happen to know and like the author as a person.  What if you don't like their book?  I can't speak for other authors, but I don't want to recommend a book unless I genuinely enjoyed it.  Of course, since there's usually a deadline of some kind for providing the blurb, you always have the fallback of saying, "I'm so sorry, I got swamped and couldn't read the book in time."  (This works because in many cases it's the perfect truth.  If someone had asked me for a blurb during my frantic final push to finish Tainted City, I'd have begged off for exactly that reason - I had no time to sleep and eat, let alone read other people's books.)  Still.  If you like the author, you're really hoping you don't have to pull that card.

So now you know what frame of mind I was in when I got asked to read Betsy Dornbusch's Exile.  I'd met Betsy a while back through Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers (we're both members), and knew her to be a funny, friendly, generally awesome person - but I hadn't yet read any of her work.  Thankfully, it didn't take many pages of Exile before my trepidation melted away.  I'd meant to only start the book - read a few chapters and go to bed (it was late one night after I'd finished my own wordcount for the day).  But Exile is quite the fast-paced ride, and I got far too involved in the story to put the book down.  I zoomed through the entire thing in one sitting.  Stayed up a bit too late to finish, in fact, but I didn't regret a minute of it, even when my preschooler leaped out of bed at his usual horrendously early hour the next day.  (Seriously, you know a book is good when you as a parent sacrifice sleep to read it!)  Here's the blurb I gave for the book afterward:

“Necromantic magic, deadly political intrigue, and a reluctant hero torn between his duty to a foreign queen and his desire for revenge…Betsy Dornbusch’s Exile kept me reading into the wee hours of the night, breathless to find out how Draken’s story would end.”

So, yeah: I liked it (hooray!!!).  I don't want to spoil the plot, because it's got some nice twists and turns, but if you're looking for a fast-paced fantasy with some neat magic and intriguing characters (my favorite was the necromancer Osias - I'm hoping he shows up again in book 2!), you're in luck: Exile officially releases today.  (Congratulations, Betsy!).  You can buy a copy (print, audio, or DRM-free ebook).  As for me, I'm going to Betsy's launch party at the Tattered Cover bookstore tonight, so I can buy my very own signed copy and be just as enthusiastically supportive as she and the book deserve.



4 comments:

  1. Happy Release Day to Betsy!

    Okay, now I am more intrigued by the book...

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    1. Good. ;) It's a nice quick read, Paul. And if you don't believe my blurb, I think Carol Berg blurbed it too. (Of course, me and Carol liking the book doesn't ensure you will, but it raises the chances, perhaps!)

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  2. Some author's blurbs I don't trust, but if I saw your name on a recommendation, I'd know it was as sincere as saying, "Belay on."

    Congrats to Betsy on her novel, and cool cover, too.

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    1. Yeah, I liked the cover a lot. I discovered when I went to Betsy's signing that the physical book has my blurb sitting smack on the top left of the front cover...which was totally a "Whoa, *cool!*" moment for me, yet I was also a tad regretful that my (rather long!) quote covers up a bunch of the awesome art. Guess I need to learn to write shorter blurbs. :)

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