The Charnel Princeby Greg Keyes: The second in the tetralogy was just as entertaining as the first; Keyes has created both an engaging world and a fascinating plot. The very short chapters alternating between the characters sometimes made the narrative a little choppy (more than once I'd skip ahead to read several chapters pertaining to the same storyline), but they certainly serve their purpose of making the reader think "just one more!" I do have two issues: 1) The series fits into the sub-genre of "dark fantasy," which means there is a fair amount of violence and destruction and a high body count, something I don't enjoy, especially when the majority of the tortured and dead are ordinary background characters just trying to live their (fictional) lives. 2) The
Boxersby Gene Luen Yang: This is one half of Yang's masterpiece about the Boxer Rebellion, and is told from the viewpoint of a Chinese peasant who leads a rebellion against foreign influence and abuse. Yang's clean and youthful illustrations contrast with the complex story, and his spare storytelling elicits both sympathy for Little Bao's experiences and ideals and abhorrence of the actions he ultimately takes. As soon as I finish the Keyes series I will pick up Saints, which tells the other side of the story through a Christian convert.