Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Recent Reading: Knife Children

Somewhat misleading title and cover, imo. Nobody stabs anybody on-screen or anything like that, and there’s only one child … except in the sense that everyone is somebody’s child, I suppose.

Good story, though! Barr, all grown up! That was nice to see. Classic LMB style, a smooth, fun story with lots of serious threads underlying an often humorous narrative.

One of the nicest things about this story is the picture we finally get to see of a pleasant, supportive Lakewalker family. Sure, it’s not completely smooth sailing for Barr when he’s forced to admit the existence of his daughter, now fourteen and with Lakewalker powers coming in strongly. But compared to Dag’s toxic family, Barr’s is fantastic. Compared to Fawn’s initial reception in Lakewalker society, Lily’s is easy and pleasant — of course the situation is a little different since Lily is truly a Lakewalker, but still. The reader can see how much things have changed in the past twelve years.

I thought I would be disappointed that Dag and Fawn don’t appear in this story, but the complete focus on Barr was actually just fine and probably bringing in Dag and / or Fawn would have messed that up by pulling the reader’s attention in the wrong direction. Barr’s a likable, responsible (!) young man now, and the epilogue makes it plain he’s lived down his youthful follies, not that there was much doubt he was going to.

I liked this novella a lot. Hopefully we’ll see a few more in this world as time goes on.

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3 Comments Recent Reading: Knife Children

  1. Pete Mack

    It hadn’t occurred to me that the mirror image story went so far as the families, but yes: Fawn’s and Dag’s families are very much so here. Barr’s family is welcoming, while Lily feels unwelcome in her original, and doesn’t understand why.

  2. Hanneke

    I liked this story too.
    I really like the way that novellas in an established universe give us the chance at “slice of life” looks following the ongoing developments in this world and with the people we’ve grown attached to, keeping it alive and growing in a generally positive direction; without the need for the big difficulties and scary monsters or heavy drama needed to keep a lot of people hooked for an entire book. The smaller span makes a smaller hook enough to hang the story on, and I don’t want to plunge those people I liked into another great danger, just so we can see how they’re getting on.
    A winning formula, for me.

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