I’m starting to burn out on marathon reading, so I’m behind my page count for Ryan Graudin’s The Walled City (2014), so I’m only about 50 pages in. Here’s hoping I’ll be able to finish it by the end of the weekend, though! Chebk is plowing through her women of sci-fi anthology, too, so we’re still in this to win it.
Today’s post includes two challenges. First up, Gone With the Word’s Literary Quote Challenge: Share an image of a quote in your current Bout of Books read wherever you’re updating your Bout of Books status updates.
Here’s mine for The Walled City:
Taken from the very first line of the novel: “There are three rules of survival in the Walled City: Run fast. Trust no one. Always carry your knife.” It’s the reason I decided to purchase the book and it’s a great tagline. It reminded me a bit of both Battle Royale and Zombieland (Jesse Eisenberg’s many rules for survival), although it has since proven to be more like the former than the latter.
The second challenge is Daydreamer’s Thoughts’ Rewrite the Story Challenge: Taking a book from your TBR pile for Bout of Books, use the title to write your own story (250-500 words) or new synopsis which is in no relation to the actual book itself.
Since last time I used Love in the Time of Global Warming, this time I will use Malinda Lo’s Huntress:
The actual story:
A fantasy story about two Asian girls on a quest to save their kingdom from famine and destruction. Together with a band of guards, and even the Prince himself, they travel to the Fairy Kingdom to request the Fairy Queen’s aid.
The dwelling was no taller than a sapling. It would have been easy to pass by, any other night of the Hunt. There were homes and hearths enough throughout the forest, built for fay and animal alike, but the Huntress was still reeling sweetly from her encounter with the mortal child who had given her the paper mask she still wore pushed back on her brow, held together with twine. The face was of a hare — long, sloping ears and curving whiskers — colored sloppily, the color of a tender fawn. It had been a gift, a token of the child’s last afternoon before she entered the Woods.
Wolf nudged the Huntress’s hand. She ruffled the fur over his head in reprimand: Another moment.
The family within the twisting of dried roots lived luxuriously. Firefly danced lazily in glass-cage lanterns and sweet nectar wine glistened on tables laid with root vegetables and succulent seeds. The Huntress watched the rabbits nuzzle close in the night’s chill. Beside her, Wolf moved restlessly from foot to foot. “We should go,” she said softly. Still, she did not move.
The paper mask on her head rippled in the wind. The Huntress resisted touching it one last time. (She would not dare admit how she wished to show the child this dwelling, this family, this moonlit night. It would be worth the sticky sweet moment, one last happiness for the child to cling to before dawn.)
There was an advantage to a nocturnal Hunt. The sentimentality burned out, a flash of heat, in her coarse veins. The cool fall of moonlight between the the branches did not expose her hesitance. “Let’s go,” she said again and this time Wolf moved, heeding the iron in her voice. She was a Huntress and there was prey afoot. Wolf howled ahead, and then it was all footfalls and quick, hot breaths. They ran.
The mortal child would not live to see the next day. The paper mask fell away, a fallen charm, still and clumsy on the forest floor.
I hope that suffices for the challenge! Let me know what you think, guys. As always, if you have any diversity recs, we’d love to read about them in the comments. Chebk will be here tomorrow with the final Bout of Books challenge. It’s been good times. See you all on Monday!