Reading the Backlist

lionhunterElizabeth Wein. You know, the author of Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire, two amazing WWII-era historicals featuring strong teenage girls as heroines?

Well, she also wrote a series of books connected to the Arthurian legend (haven’t read those yet) and two more loosely connected books about a half-Ethiopian, half-British boy with an amputated arm.

In her series The Mark of Solomon, which includes The Lion Hunter and The Empty Kingdom, I especially enjoyed the unusual setting: Aksum, Ethiopia in the sixth century A.D. Ms. Wein has the same voice and the same courage in unique plot lines that made Code Name Verity so great. And even though it’s fantasy, The Mark of Solomon maintains a strong connection to actual history.

If you’re interested in these two books, I only have two cautions. First, The Lion Hunter refers incessantly to the previous book, The Sunbird, which features the same main character. I didn’t have any trouble following The Lion Hunter as a result, but if you’re a read-everything-in-its-proper-order type of person, I think it would bother you. Second, the series has less action and more political intrigue than Code Name Verity, almost reminding me of a Tudor era book. Depending on your tastes, you might find these two books a little slower.

Other than that, enjoy your trip through Wein’s backlist. I plan to continue mine…

ekingdom

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