Perfect Way to Describe Clothing

I am reading Archangel’s Storm by Nalini Singh. It takes place in India. What part of India, I am not sure. But somewhere in India, somewhere close to the desert.

I am overjoyed. Nalini Singh has Indian characters, but I don’t think she’s ever set almost all of one story in India before.

I particularly enjoyed this line describing the traditional salwar gurta:

Though styles varied, the pants sometimes loose and sometimes tight; the tunics high-necked scooped, flaring out in a full skirt or cut neatly to the body; and most often worn with long, gauzy scarf, it was attire he’d seen many a time in this land, as common on laborers and servants as it was on courtiers. The difference was in the fabrics, the cut, and the depth of embellishment. It wasn’t unusual to see one of the court butterflies in a piece hand beaded with tiny pearls or where the embroidery had been created using fine threads of pure silver and gold.

This describes the salwar kurta pretty perfectly. This description is clearly meant for non-Indians. See, I read this and thought: perfect way to describe ethnic clothing. It references fashion, while also mentioning similarities across fashion and differences in price. And it does all that in three sentences.  Personally, I think that’s fantastic.

One reason it works because the POV character is not Indian; the scarf description, well, yeah, that’s how you would describe it for non-Indians. But that’s okay. It’s short and clear and fairly accurate. Plus, considering the location of the book and the female main character, it was necessary.

It’s stuff to keep in mind when I am writing – or rewriting, as the case may be – my own descriptions of clothes. I mean, in the fantasy worlds I make up, odds are good the clothes don’t actually exist anywhere. I will be making it up out of whole cloth, unlike here, but still. Something to keep in mind.

Writing Again

 

I am writing again. It feels good.

I finally seem to have exhausted the reading urge. Not completely; I am going to get the new Nalini Singh book soon. It came out today. (Sadly, it doesn’t star Bluebell. He’s a fiercely beautiful angel, if anyone cares.) But I don’t want to read to the exclusion of everything else.

So yesterday I opened the work in progress, read some dialogue and realized immediately that it could be better. Shorter. Sharper. I realized I didn’t actually need all the words I was using. It was a freeing discovery. Makes me feel like my weeks of non-writing weren’t a complete waste of time. Maybe I needed to absorb how other writers – writers I like! – do stuff.

Plus, my TBR list is a lot shorter.

 

Teaser Tuesday: Angels’ Flight

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read

• Open to a random page

• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

A pause as he studied her, cool intelligence rising past the hot burn of temper. “You intended to take me along all the time,” he said at last. “Now you try to play me. Shame on you, Ashwini.”

- Angels’ Flight by Nalini Singh

Book Review: Archangel’s Blade by Nalini Singh

Goodreads Summery: The severed head marked by a distinctive tattoo on its cheek should have been a Guild case, but dark instincts honed over hundreds of years of life compel the vampire Dmitri to take control. There is something twisted about this death, something that whispers of centuries long past…but Dmitri’s need to discover the truth is nothing to the vicious strength of his response to the hunter assigned to decipher the tattoo.

Savaged in a brutal attack that almost killed her, Honor is nowhere near ready to come face to face with the seductive vampire who is an archangel’s right hand, and who wears his cruelty as boldly as his lethal sensuality…the same vampire who has been her secret obsession since the day she was old enough to understand the inexplicable, violent emotions he aroused in her.

As desire turns into a dangerous compulsion that might destroy them both, it becomes clear the past will not stay buried. Something is hunting…and it will not stop until it brings a blood-soaked nightmare to life once more…

Archangel’s Blade is Dimitri and Honor’s book. I am kind of disappointed it’s not another episode in Elena and Raphael’s life (the couple in the last three books). But not too disappointed. Come on, this is Dimitri, Elena’s nemesis. Plus, just look at that cover.

I have to say, in past books, I didn’t really like Dimitri. Part of that is probably because Elena is the main character in the other books and she doesn’t like him. He doesn’t like her, either. He hurts her; he constantly winds her up. (Winding someone up is a phrase I found in books by British authors. I quite like it.) Anyway, he’s a jerk in past books. In this book, he’s a sympathy hero. The way she does that, transforming him from a jerk to a likeable hero, well, I am just amazed.

There are hints in the other books about Dimitri’s painful past. Nothing explicit, it’s all just kind of in the background and I still dismissed him as an ass. This book explains it all. It explains in a way that is not sentimental or overdone, but just right. I am amazed. He has to kill his own child – and I didn’t even know he had a child, let alone two. Painful. All his past memories, they range from sweet to bittersweet to painful. He’s never forgiven himself. (Yes, that is a lot like other troubled, painful-past heroes, but Dimitri is better written than a lot of them, including the bulk of Dark Hunters, even though that sounds sacrilegious.)

Honor is the heroine; she is a hunter, but her skills are primarily academic. As a child, she bounces from foster home to foster home and later she’s kidnapped by vampires for months. She’s a mess when they get her back. With Dimitri, she begins to regain confidence. It’s fast, but not hard to believe. Of course, it’s just as easy to believe that if Dimitri hadn’t come into her life, she wouldn’t have regained her confidence.

Minus points – the summary talks about murder, headless bodies and distinctive tattoos. All that is there, but it seems almost a secondary plot in the book. Capturing the vampires who tortured Honor is more important and the two have nothing to do with each other. Except as a means to bring Honor and Dimitri together.

The romance between the two is really great. In the end she agrees to become a vampire – that isn’t such a surprise, is it? It’s hardly a HEA ending if you know your SO won’t survive your death a second time (yes, a second time!!!!! The first time was centuries in the past. He barely survived his own grief).

Grade: A-

Teaser Tuesday: Archangel’s Blade

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teasers:

The only thing that met them inside was silence . . . and a broken angel. The boy – and yes, he was a boy still, his deathly pale face holding the fading softness of childhood – had been dumped on his front in the dusty lobby, his pale brown wings streaking with blood and dirt as they limp and crumpled on either side of him.

- Archangel’s Blade by Nalini Singh