Rosemary and Rue

By Seanan McGuire

Cover Image: Rosemary and RueRosemary and Rue…isn’t terrible. It is one of those books that is perfectly serviceable, but also demonstrates how difficult writing really is. I joke about my fantasy ‘trash’ books, but the truth is that my favorite authors manage to create empathetic characters in a relatable world, even when that world is so crawling with vampires, werewolves and fairies that it bears very little resemblance to the real world. They make it seem so effortless and natural that I can laugh off the books as ‘trash,’ until a book like Rosemary and Rue reminds me how much skill really goes into writing fantasy by showing me the pitfalls that other authors have avoided.

In case I haven’t damned it enough with the faintest of praise, Seanan McGuire writes like I would, constantly having to remind the reader (and possibly herself) of the perimeters of the supernatural elements of her world, that amateur error of telling (over and over) instead of showing. Unfortunately, even the telling often contradicted itself, to the point where I seldom fully understood what was going on in the plot. Some examples after the spoiler cut:

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