Author Guest Post: Eilis O’Neal

Today our special guest is Eilis O'Neal. Eilis is the author of the novel, The False Princess.

With 2011 beginning, everyone has those few special books that they are dying to be released. Authors are no different. Today, Eilis O'Neal has kindly agreed to share her top 5 of 2011.

Princess and heir to the throne of Thorvaldor, Nalia's led a privileged life at court.  But everything changes when it's revealed, just after her sixteenth birthday, that she is a false princess, a stand-in for the real Nalia, who has been hidden away for her protection.  Cast out with little more than the clothes on her back, the girl now called Sinda must leave behind the city of Vivaskari, her best friend, Keirnan, and the only life she's ever known. (…read more)

I recently made the Great Calendar Switch from 2010 to 2011. That's the hour or so I spend preparing the new calendar to go on the wall—putting in the doctor's appointments, marking down the recycle pick-up days, making sure all important birthdays are noted. It's not exactly big thrills, except for one part—the days I get to mark to show when books I'm looking forward are coming out. And in 2011, it's a pretty good list so far. But I'd have to say my top five are:

Huntress by Malinda Lo. Simply put, I loved Lo's debut novel, Ash. Loved it. It reminds me of the best of Robin McKinley, but with a uniqueness all its own. And, oddly, it was a novel that I really needed when it came out. I'd been going through a period of reader disgruntlement, trying several books that had received a lot of attention and just not connecting with them the way other people seemed to. I couldn't tell if it was the books or me, and I was despairing of finding a new book that I wanted to shout about from the rooftops. Ash was that book. So I can't wait to see more of that world in Huntress. (April)

Across the Great Barrier by Patricia C. Wrede. I've been a Wrede fan since I found a copy of Mairelon the Magician in my middle school library and then checked it out about twelve times in one semester.  Across the Great Barrier is the sequel to Thirteenth Child, which takes place in an alternate America during westward expansion. I've never been all that interested in that time period, but Wrede completely hooked me with her spin on it and her plucky, supposedly ill-luck protagonist, Eff. I can't wait to see where it goes. (August)

The Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare. Was really taken with Clare's new series, The Infernal Devices. I really liked the characters in this one, and the Victorian setting. Also loved getting some of the backstory on characters from the previous novels such as Magnus Bane, who's a hoot. (Fall)

Twilight's Dawn by Anne Bishop. Bishop can't seem to stay away from Kaeleer, the major setting of most of her Black Jewels books, and I'm so glad about it. Her short story collections in this world (which this is) tend to flesh out the backstories of characters, or highlight smaller tales that take place between the novels. Though I can't be sure, from what I've heard about it, I'd expect that it will mainly appeal to readers who are already fans of the  related books.  Unlike the first three, it's not YA, but rather older and darker, probably best for older teens and up. (March)

Sleight of Hand by Peter S. Beagle. What can I say? I saw The Last Unicorn when I was four, and my life was never quite the same. And then I got old enough to read it, and to discover Beagle's other books, and I've been a devotee ever since. Sleight of Hand is a short story collection, and those are always great fun with Beagle, because he manages to capture such a different voice in each story. (March)

So, those are my top five pine-worthy books of 2011. Also on the short list are The Inheritance by Robin Hobb, Meeting by Nina Kiriki Hoffman, The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss, Heartless by Gail Carriger, and Tortall and Other Lands by Tamora Pierce.



Want to find out more about Eilis O'Neal and The False Princess? Please visit her at:

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