Not technically a book (one short stort, one novella) but included here because it should be. I understand the author's working on a third Cloud story: keenly anticipated. Gilman could be writing about the most mundane life, and I wouldn't care as long as she kept on with the words: dense, allusive language that requires careful reading (and a good dictionary), with a distinctly Northern / Germanic tang. The setting's Cloud, a darkly vivid place reminiscent of what Terri Windling (I think) refers to as Balladland: grim and bloody and full of the nasty logic of folksongs and faery-tales. Gilman's mythology is an original one, and none of her deities are pleasant, or noble, or nice. It's grim up North. This sort of writing makes me dither between chopping off my fingers and never writing another word, or writing incessantly, day and night (like a folktale punishment) until the words come out this well.
reposted here from LJ in order to keep all my reviews in one place