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Originally published at Sarah Rees Brennan. You can comment here or there.

So, IN OTHER LANDS is out today!

The book has received two starred reviews, one from Kirkus and one from Publishers’ Weekly, which is a shedload of starriness! I have already bragged on the Kirkus review on twitter, but please run your eye over this Publisher’s Weekly review!

‘Elliot Schafer is a small-for-his-age 13-year-old who is prone to being bullied—largely due to his personality, which slots somewhere between insufferable know-it-all and sarcastic jackass. When Elliot’s class travels to a “random field in Devon, England” for a supposed scholarship test, he instead winds up in a strange world known as the Borderlands, which are filled with elves, mermaids, and other creatures. So begins Brennan’s hilarious, irreverent, and multilayered coming-of-age fantasy, set over several years. Elliot quickly befriends (and falls for) Serene, a fierce elven warrior, and arranges a reluctant truce with Luke Sunborn, the son of one of the Borderland’s founding families. All three—along with every young person there—are training in war or as councilors, charged with protecting the fragile barrier with the human world. Amid shifting relationships, the threat of war, and substantial growth among the characters, Elliot’s razor-edged wit and general inability to keep his mouth shut make for blissfully entertaining reading. Smart explorations of gender stereotypes, fluid sexuality, and awkward romance only add to the depth and delight of this glittering contemporary fantasy.’

Bullied due to his personality! Inability to keep his mouth shut! I love how the reviews so far have been like: the hero is a terrible pill, but we are willing to buy this pill and take him home.

Also, here is an excerpt of the review in Locus magazine.

‘I have rewritten the first paragraph of this review a half-dozen times, trying to find some way to make clear that Sarah Rees Brennan has created a nearly perfect YA fantasy without gushing. I can’t do it. In Other Lands is brilliantly subversive, assuredly smart, and often laugh-out-loud funny. It combines a magic-world school setting with heaps of snark about everything from teen romance to gender roles, educational systems and serious world diplomacy. The protagonist, Elliot, directs his often peevish analysis and jaded perspective on everyone he meets and everything he sees, but his evolution from bratty 13-year-old to soulful 17-year-old is a thing of beauty to witness. Elliot’s transformation, along with his deepening relationships with friends Serene (Serene-Heart- in-the-Chaos-of-Battle!) and Luke, are the book’s heartbeat. As you can tell from my gushing, the characters are impossible to resist and, combined with the engaging plot, Brennan has worked a miracle with In Other Lands. Mark my words, folks; this author has written what must be considered one of the best books of the year.’

I share this with you because I share it with everyone. I am stitching it on a tapestry to hang on my wall. I note Elliot being called bratty with great delight.

I am humbled and amazed to see a book that was never meant to be a book be received so kindly. I hope not to let down my awesome publishers! I am so thankful to those of you I have heard from, who like the book so far! This is a strange and lovely experience, which I feel books should be.

And for your delectation, dear readers, I have written an essay on Tor (most delightful to have written a piece for Tor!) on wings. On some of my favourite books with winged characters. On wingfic. There’s some discussion of wingfic. Our Winged Brains.



( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 16th, 2017 04:34 am (UTC)
Pre-ordered as soon as the news came out. I'm waiting for it now, and looking forward to reading it again, with the new bits!
Aug. 16th, 2017 05:58 am (UTC)
Will it hit iBooks, perchance?
Aug. 16th, 2017 06:44 am (UTC)
I'm about 40% in and as delighted as I was reading it in installments on LJ. And yay for those great reviews.
Aug. 16th, 2017 07:28 am (UTC)
yay for well deserved fabulous reviews! <3
Aug. 16th, 2017 09:50 am (UTC)
I'm so sad that I finished ALL the stories in this universe! (Yes, even the discussions that you posted on your blog. I am nothing if not thorough lol. I have both the ebook as well as the actual book as well!) I just want to stay In Other Lands forever! I want to know how Elliot and Luke are as a couple, I want to know how Luke gets used to having wings, I want to be present at Serene and Golden's wedding! I want to know how Adara is, where Myra gets posted. I want to know whether Commander Woodsinger looks for Elliot after he's posted out. I want so much. I am a greedy person yes.
I love love love your writing and I savour them like the bits of delectable chocolate truffles they are. Reading your stories always make me feel so conflicted: I want to know what happens, but I don't want the story to end. I always make sure I'm in a quiet place where no one can disturb me when I read your books, so as to be able to completely immerse myself in the whole experience.
Please keep writing these books-that-were-never meant-to-be-a -book books! ♥️
Aug. 16th, 2017 11:18 am (UTC)
This sounds lovely! Congratulations!
Aug. 16th, 2017 12:31 pm (UTC)
Love your characters and your works am awaiting my pre-ordered copy! I just recently found out you wrote a story far an anthology I hadn't head of, is there a comprehensive list of the works you are published in someplace so I can buy and read it all? Thank you for the links to other wing exploration stories.

Edited at 2017-08-16 12:40 pm (UTC)
Aug. 17th, 2017 09:07 pm (UTC)
So happy for you.
Aug. 18th, 2017 10:28 am (UTC)
Hi Sarah! I'm so glad your book's getting all the love it deserves. I wanted to let you know Amazon may still have a weird issue with your pre-orders. I simply bought it again, but other readers who pre-ordered may not even be aware it's out/have forgotten about it...

I pre-ordered the book back in June, got notified later that the book wouldn't be coming out, freaked out about it, then went to see what happened and saw you said you knew there was a problem, and that Amazon said it would get solved soon. Now that the book is out, Amazon didn't mail me about it (maybe they don't; it's my only pre-order to date) and it wasn't in my Amazon library (either as recently added or at the date of buying it). When I went to the book page it told me I bought the book on June, but it still wasn't in my library and it let me buy it again (I've mistakenly double-bought books before and got sent to a page tellinh me I already owned them.)

Anyway, yeah, weird! I hope Amazon can solve this, or it might be worth it to let people know they hould check. I'd hate to see you lose sales you thoroughly deserve, and more than that, for potential readers to miss out on your beautiful book.
Oct. 5th, 2017 02:32 am (UTC)
I have been transported!
I am not even done yet (because I had to go back and read some life changing favorites from the early days ;)) but I am back in full squee, HOLDING A BOOK OF REAL MAGIC, as if it was, 06?

I have read everything you have published, but it is so wonderful to hear these voices again. I will be jealous of my past self for getting to read it for the first time.
Oct. 16th, 2017 10:13 pm (UTC)

So unexpectedly delighted by the Bright-Eyes thing! Happiness for all!
Nov. 29th, 2017 07:29 am (UTC)
Bought In Other Lands yesterday...picked it up to have a peek at 7pm, knowing full well that I had to be up for work at 3:30am and that it was probably a terrible idea...next thing I know, it’s 1:30am and there’s no more book left. Sigh.

Thanks for the laughs Sarah! I really loved every minute and I haven’t felt that way reading for such a long time. Took me back to the days of giggling and flailing my way through about 7 metric tonnes of fanfic a day in my teens. You’re wonderful and your world is wonderful. ❤️☺️☺️
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )


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