Monday, June 20, 2016

The Long Black Curl by Alex Bledsoe

I've been to Cloud County, home of the Tufa, twice before. Alex Bledsoe took me there, in the first two books of this series. I would have gone back sooner, but 2015 was a crummy year for me, health wise, and my reading slowed, and I was unable to get to this book when it came out. But now, thanks to the magic of the author, and the good sense of my public library, I was able to fly on a song to the land of the Tufa. Once again, I found good writing, fabulous characters, and an enthralling storyline. Yes, that's magic.

Time moves differently in Cloud County. There are faces which have been around for decades, if not centuries, and not necessarily because genes have been passed along to descendants. But in all the years the Tufa have lived there, only two have been banished, "sung out" of the community, unable to return, and unable to find the music and the magic which are lifeblood to Tufa. But now, one has returned, and is out for vengeance.

This is a story of community and family, love and loss, retribution and redemption. Some might even make comparisons to Romeo and Juliet, though for me, that was a lesser part of the plot-line than the journey of the individual characters. It is a tale that deepens the reader's ability to glimpse into a culture carefully crafted by Bledsoe to incorporate music, art, legend, and lore of our own world. Music winds its way through Bledsoe's writing, and plays a background melody for me as I read, reawakening old memories of Child ballads, and rhythms of forgotten tunes I once hummed close to heart, my fingers busy on my dulcimer. Reading these books of the Tufa, for me, becomes a multidimensional experience, those songs of my own past guiding the words of the story. But even without the accompaniment, the story captivates.

Tags: 2016-read, a-favorite-author, didn-t-want-to-put-it-down, fantasy, great-title, made-me-look-something-up, magic, paranormal, part-start-of-a-series, rabun-county-and-thereabouts, read, thank-you-charleston-county-library, tor, will-look-for-more-by-this-author

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