Lexie's Reviews > Trickster's Girl

Trickster's Girl by Hilari Bell
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's review
Mar 31, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: first-in-series
Read from December 29, 2010 to January 03, 2011

I enjoy Bell's "Farsala" books quite a bit and her "Knight and Rogue" books are on my TBR pile. She's the reason why I find pseudo political fantasies so engrossing in fact. Trickster's Girl however is not a fantasy. Its a futuristic, scifi, almost dystopian tale with magic. And a strong 'save the trees' message.

Kelsa was a troubled, grief-stricken girl who felt lost without her father. She couldn't connect with her mother or younger brother; she felt betrayed by her mother for doing what Kelsa felt was the wrong thing when her father was dying and has felt inconsequential since. She has no outlet for her fears or worries so when Raven appears--well she doesn't jump at the chance to take a cross country trip with an enigmatic stranger talking about 'magic', but it offers her an escape she decides to take.

I liked that Bell didn't have Kelsa immediately agreeing to Raven's request, that Kelsa maintained a healthy wariness in regards to his claims and beliefs. And the small jab that girls seem to fall for the mysterious attractive guy on first sight was amusing. I was less keen on her notion that stealing her father's ashes to bury them elsewhere was a healthy response. I understood why she felt she should, but it still didn't seem like a healthy rationale.

Raven was amusing and cryptic and aggravating in only the way the Trickster God (of any mythology or religion) can be. Even though he was very serious about healing the ley lines and completing the mission, that didn't stop him from being frustrating. He had an air of arrogance that he wouldn't let go--even asking Kelsa for help made it seem like he was doing her a favor by asking. As you can imagine Kelsa, who was more of a control freak then I think she wanted to admit to, didn't take this well. The two of them sniping at each other makes the majority of their relationship.

There was no romance. Which I am glad for. Extremely glad for. If Kelsa had suddenly developed a crush on Raven, or if Raven (after chapters of critisizing her) suddenly professed love, I may have had to punch something. These two never get along, so much as learn to tolerate each other to get the job done. Mutual distrust, frustration with having to deal with each other and the problems of dealing with unknown variables made it hard for them to communicate or travel peacefully.

Here's the thing, while Kelsa and Raven amused me, I wasn't particularly fond of either one. On numerous occasions I found myself questioning just how sane Kelsa was (considering she jumped straight from her anger and grief over her father's death into this life or death struggle to save the world...). Raven, for all the fact that he liked humans moreso than some of his peers, seemed to have very little by way of patience.

There is no doubt in my mind that Bell created complex characters, with a vivid landscape and engaging plot. Unfortunately the book was almost preachy about how humankind has destroyed the earth. The environmentalist vibe was very strong in this book, which made it a bit much to bear at times.

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