Friday, May 20, 2011

Toads and Diamonds

Diribani has come to the village well to get water for her family's scant meal of curry and rice. She never expected to meet a goddess there. Yet she is granted a remarkable gift: Flowers and precious jewels drop from her lips whenever she speaks.

It seems only right to Tana that the goddess judged her kind, lovely stepsister worthy of such riches. And when she encounters the goddess, she is not surprised to find herself speaking snakes and toads as a reward.

Blessings and curses are never so clear as they might seem, however. Diribani’s newfound wealth brings her a prince—and an attempt on her life. Tana is chased out of the village because the province's governor fears snakes, yet thousands are dying of a plague spread by rats. As the sisters' fates hang in the balance, each struggles to understand her gift. Will it bring her wisdom, good fortune, love . . . or death?

So, I started this book, got about twenty pages in and put it down. I read several books in between before I got back to it. It's a bit of a slow start, and I hard a hard time getting into the setting (based on Indian culture). Once I was in, though, it flew - and I ended up really loving this book. I've always been a fan of fairy-tale retellings, and this one's a bit obscure and isn't done as often. There are two stories told in this book, one for each sister, and Heather Tomlinson did an awesome job of weaving them together. Truly well done with just the right touch of romance. 

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