Madhuri Blaylock

Anne Marvin Blog Posts

The Muddle of Love

The Muddle of Love

I’m reading the final book in the Sanctum trilogy, The Prophecy. The series has gotten better with each installment, always a nice surprise. And I haven’t finished it yet, so we’ll have to see how Madhuri Blaylock sews it all up into a tidy bow for us, but I’m certainly enjoying the ride along the way to completion. Halfway through the book, however, the aspect that has struck me the most is the number of couples portrayed in the plot, and just how different each of their love stories is. Also quite unexpectedly, this fantasy series is not following the usual (and beloved, don’t get me wrong) patterns of paranormal romance or even urban fantasy. There are many more than one set of lovers, and certainly not all of them are going to get a traditional HEA, or perhaps even any HEA at all. But, as I love surprises, this… READ MORE

The Kindness of Strangers

The Kindness of Strangers

In A Streetcar Named Desire, Blanche DuBois declares that she’s always depended on the kindness of strangers.  This is a line my mother enjoyed repeating, and, therefore, it’s a line I’ve pondered over time.  I’m not really sure what Blanche meant, or maybe I am.  But I think I understand what my mother meant. And for the record, I don’t agree.  Shocked, you are, I’m sure.  But it’s an interesting concept, actually, and one I’ve been thinking about a lot recently. And I’m going to digress in the next few paragraphs (more shock, I know), but I promise I’m going to get back to this concept toward the end. As I continue to look back over the past year, I’ve been thinking about the books I’ve read.  I’ve read some amazing books by well-established authors who I love, love, love, and about whom I’ve written extensively.  And I’ve also read… READ MORE

Signs of Change

Signs of Change

Today I’m going to jump right in. No digressions or distractions. Today’s post is about transformation, and about what happens when something rocks our world and pulls the rug out from under us. What does the aftermath of these earth-shaking events look like? How does the landscape appear when the dust settles? The short answer is, everything changes. Sometimes slowly and sometimes quickly. Sometimes the changes are temporary and sometimes they last forever.  And sometimes they are obvious, but not always. I’m thinking about all of this as a result of reading the second book in the Sanctum trilogy, The Boy, by Madhuri Blaylock. This offering is even better than its predecessor, The Girl, which I wrote about here. As a fantasy novelist, Ms. Blaylock is able to create the perfect construct to highlight this theme of transformation and its complex consequences. And here comes the spoiler alert–in the book,… READ MORE

The Other as Hell Spawn

The Other as Hell Spawn

I’ve just finished The Girl, by Madhuri Blaylock, an intriguing series opener with attractive characters and an original world. I’m definitely looking forward to how the author develops her concepts and characters. I love that this book dives deep into one of the more unfortunate aspects of the human animal, which is to deny humanity to our enemies and competitors. It is a well-documented fact that we humans like to demonize those we hate, to objectify them in order to make ourselves feel better about behaving badly towards them. So, in Ms. Blaylock’s book, even her title points to a major theme of the story; the main protagonist is, in fact, just a girl, not the crazed and animalistic demon she is portrayed as being by the powers that be who seek to destroy her. For the vast majority of the population, it would be unthinkable to kill another human… READ MORE

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