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Mike & Rachel Grinti

Mike & Rachel GrintiMike and Rachel Grinti are a husband-and-wife writing team. They met at a writing workshop in 2002, though they didn’t start writing together until a few years later. Rachel is a children’s librarian. Mike fell in love with reading after he checked out The Hobbit from his school library and has been hooked on fantasy and science fiction ever since. When he’s not writing or reading, he’s probably playing video games and has a day job making them.

Jala’s Mask: Interesting world-building in this YA fantasy

Jala’s Mask by Mike & Rachel Grinti

I enjoy reading fantasy that stems from a different folkloric basis than the one I grew up in. Middle European, British, Native American and Asian fantasy tropes have been done a lot, so Jala’s Mask, by Mike & Rachel Grinti was a refreshing change.

Jala has grown up in a society similar in some ways to our Polynesian one. Her people can magically shape ships from the material that forms the reefs around their islands. They gather wealth by raiding the mainland. The Five Islands and One are ruled by a king and queen, but except for the One island, where sorcerers are exiled, each island is controlled by a particular family. Jala is part of the Bardo clan. The new king, Azi of the Kayet, is looking for a wife, and Jala’s father is sure she will be chosen. This seems unlikely, because Azi’s Kayet uncle doesn’t trust the Bardo, but Jala’... Read More