StarCrossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce
StarCrossed starts with a bang. Digger, a young thief, has just escaped capture and turns up alone and breathless at the place she was supposed to meet her sweetheart and fellow thief, Tegen. But as she goes over the night’s events in her mind, she realizes Tegen didn’t get away and is probably dead. Afraid of getting caught herself, Digger takes her first opportunity to get out of the city. That opportunity comes in the form of four teenage aristocrats in a pleasure boat. She gives them a fake name, Celyn Contrare, and a semi-fake life story.
The next few chapters are a bit slow, especially after the tense beginning. Elizabeth C. Bunce uses these chapters to introduce several characters – some of whom go on to play a major role in the book, and some of whom do not (though they may turn up in a sequel) – and to unfold the political and religious s... Read More
Elizabeth C. BunceElizabeth C. Bunce decided to become a writer at age 15, and since then has never seriously considered any other career path. She studied literature and anthropology in college, where she developed a deep respect for traditional storytelling — myths, folktales, and legends. These sources continue to influence her work. A native Midwesterner, Elizabeth lives just outside Kansas City with her husband and her dogs. Here’s Elizabeth C. Bunce’s website.
Digger’s Story — (2010-2011) Young adult. Publisher: In a glamorous castle full of Llyvraneth’s elite, Celyn Contrare serves as a lady-in-waiting to shy young Merista Nemair. Her days are spent dressing in velvet, attending Lady Merista, navigating court gossip, and charming noblemen over lavish feasts. And at night, she picks locks, steals jewels, forges documents, and collects secrets. Because Celyn isn’t really a lady-in-waiting; she’s not even really Celyn Contrare. She’s Digger, a sneak-thief on the run from the king’s Inquisition, desperate to escape its cruel instruments and hatred of magic. If she’s discovered, it will mean her certain death. But life as a lady-in-waiting isn’t safe either. The devious Lord Daul knows her secret, and he’s blackmailing her to serve as his personal spy in the castle. What she discovers — about Daul, about the Nemair, even about her own Lady Merista — could signal civil war in Llyvraneth. And for a thief trained never to get involved, taking sides could be the most dangerous job yet.
StarCrossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Liar's Moon by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Digger, a.k.a. Celyn Contrare, is back in the city of Gerse. Following a strange series of events, she learns that her friend Durrel Decath stands accused of murdering his wife, a woman from one of Gerse’s wealthiest merchant families. Digger sets out to clear Durrel’s name, even though, as she puts it, “I had no experience investigating crimes; committing them, yes, but never reconstructing them, piece by piece, backward in time.” What follows is an exciting whodunit… with magic.
In addition to the mystery, Liar’s Moon gives us a fuller look at the world Elizabeth C. Bunce created in StarCrossed. We see the effects of the escalating civil war from inside Gerse: heightened religious tension and persecution, food shortages, and various factions taking advantage of other people’s suffering for their own gain.... Read More
A Curse Dark As Gold — (2008) Young adult. Publisher: The gold thread promises Charlotte Miller a chance to save her family’s beloved woolen mill. It promises a future for her sister, jobs for her townsfolk, security against her grasping uncle — maybe even true love. To get the thread, Charlotte must strike a bargain with its maker, the mysterious Jack Spinner. But the gleam of gold conjures a shadowy past — secrets ensnaring generations of Millers. And Charlotte’s mill, her family, her love — what do those matter to a stranger who can spin straw into gold? This is an award-winning and wholly original retelling of “Rumplestiltskin.” As if it were a roving of wool! Rosie and I stood there and watched him, moment by moment, as the spindle bobbed and twirled. Something pulled out from the brown straw and through his knobby fingers, and where it shoudl have gone onto the spindle, the finest strands of gleaming gold threads appeared. Round and round the spindle went, and the gleaming of gold turned with it. I don’t know how long we watched it, turning and turning, flashing gold with every revolution. I could not take my eyes away.