Three tales of supernatural love, each pivoting on a kiss that is no mere kiss, but an action with profound consequences for the kissers' souls:
In Victorian times, goblin men had only to offer young girls sumptuous fruits to tempt them to sell their souls. But what does it take to tempt today's savvy girls?
Spicy Little Curses
A demon and the ambassador to Hell tussle over the soul of a beautiful English girl in India. Matters become complicated when she falls in love and decides to test her curse.
Six days before Esme's fourteenth birthday, her left eye turns from brown to blue. She little suspects what the change heralds, but her small safe life begins to unravel at once. What does the beautiful, fanged man want with her, and how is her fate connected to a mysterious race of demons?
Somehow this year has ushered in the words of Laini Taylor like a whirlwind for me, dropping first Daughter Of Smoke And Bone and slowly her other works into my lap. I had no idea, opening that first beautiful cover, that she would claim a part of my heart and become my favorite writer, taking a place long shared by a multitude of talented authors over as her own. I love her imagination, I love her worlds, her mythology, her unparalleled ability to get inside of her characters’ heads and make them real, make them relatable, and put into words things I never even knew there were words for. But most especially, I love her writing, and the way she turns words into true art.
Lips Touch: Three Times wasn’t, for me, a quick read. Rather, it was a book I had to take my time with so I could soak in the perfect phrases and amazing descriptions. It consists of three short stories – or maybe two and a novella, since the third takes up about half of the book; Goblin Fruit, Spicy Little Curses Such As These, and Hatchling. Each is very different from the others, but each is steeped in ancient mythology and lore. And even the shortest of these, Goblin Fruit, not even breaking fifty pages after you count in the illustrations, is more realized and satisfying than so many full-length novels I’ve read recently.
Goblin Fruit was probably my least favorite of the three, though that’s not to say that I didn’t love it. I think its short length was the main issue I had with it; I didn’t want to leave Kizzy and her friends and her desires so soon. Spicy Little Curses Such As These and Hatchling vie closely as my favorites, though the edge probably goes a bit to the former. I loved the non-Christian religious tones of Hell and demons, curses and bartered souls. Though Hatchling stole my breath away with its intricate story, its demon-and-fey-like Druj mythos, and its ambiguous characters; like I said, that’s a very close call. All I can say with certainty is that I loved all three stories, and would be quick to recommend them to anyone who likes a really well-written story that is both fairy-tale and horror, with a well-rooted center of ancient mythology.
It is my sincere and fervent hope that I’ll be able to read many, many more stories written by Laini Taylor in the coming years, and that she never strays from the fantasy genre; her writing is too magical to write about the mundane world we already live in.
Lips Touch: Three Times - 4.5 out of 5 stars