Posted on May 6, 2014 - by katy
MacMillan/Tor, January 2014
So this is my first review in six whole months, and in order to break my cycle of not being able to do stuff, I’m going to keep it pithy. I’ve been looking forward to reading this book for ages. I’ve been salivating over the cover, which is perfect. Having now finished BANISHED, I can say that the cover perfectly encapsulates the book – badass gorgeous sexy fae creatures and mysterious beauty are in serious abundance here. Liz’s heroine, Kit Blackhart, has just joined the ranks of my all-time favourites. She’s up there with Alanna from Tamora Pierce’s awesome Lionness series. I love how strong Kit is, and how Liz clearly is a folklore expert but has subverted the classic fairytale stereotype of the female in distress. Kit is the one in control. She is in charge, and she’s a fighter. Kit’s skill in battle is totally realistic, though, because you know that her nan prepared her for the position she would one day take up as a warrior of the Blackhart clan – never for a moment do you think, Yeah, right so an ordinary schoolgirl is suddenly an expert swordswoman. I also appreciated how Liz attended to other realistic details – at one point, Kit knows she is heading into danger and may not return home for some time, so she grabs her credit card first! I love this kind of thing – it’s like how you see Jason Bourne frantically reading a map at the wheel as he drives a getaway car. In so many books and films these kinds of essential details are glossed over. It’s all the more important in an urban fantasy like this one, though – with these grounding everyday points attended to, the fantasy elements are even more believable. I also particularly liked the little chapter headings giving more detail about folklore – it was all relevant to the chapter ahead, but neatly packaged so the information didn’t distract me from the plot. Clever.
All in all, this is a seriously neck-breaking ride and the action stacks up harder and harder with every page. I loved it. If you’re a fan of Zoe Marriott’s The Night Itself trilogy, you’ll definitely love this, too. It’s also a great introduction to the genre. Go for it.