Reading: Kari Sperring — The Grass King’s Concubine

I finished Kari Sperring’s Living With Ghosts fairly quickly, which was an odd read, and couldn’t help myself order some more books, even though I’m wandering through The Water Margin (yes, still a weird, uneven and occasionally badly proofed translation), one of which is her new book, The Grass King’s Concubine.

She has an odd writing style, I think one that only makes sense or gives weight to the characters through accumulation and repetition, through their actions being described over and over until they become the character. It’s not the same as giving a character a back story, or an inner life which drives the narrative, though there is some of that also. And sometimes it reads as naïve, as if she as the writer is a foreigner narrating a story in a language she doesn’t speak so well.

Anyway, I keep reading it, it’s enjoyable yes, I want to know what happens next, I’ll buy whatever she writes next. I just wish fantasy book covers weren’t so embarrassingly awful; I had to turn it facedown in the shop.

Oh, yes, why I’m reading this. Because Kari Sperring was a guest blogger on Charles Stross’ blog, and I liked what she wrote there, she has a PhD in mediaeval British history, which she’s written about in her other life as an academic, she likes hong Kong cinema also.