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Child of the Grove - Tanya Huff I'm pretty sure I had heard good things about this author, so I picked up this book. And ok, she's a quite successful writer; from everything about her online, she seems like a really extra-cool person.
But this book was the sort of book that I have to guess that all those people one encounters who are totally dismissive of fantasy-as-literature have read at one point or another.
It's aiming for light reading with a humorous touch – and there are some funny bits – but it frequently reads more like an outline for a novel than an actual novel. To the extent that the characters HAVE characterizations, they act and talk like 20th-century teenagers. The setting, with wizards, royalty, dragons, etc, is completely generic. It reminded me a bit of David Eddings – and I really don't like Eddings.
To be fair, after looking online, I have discovered that this was Huff's first novel. Another review online says that, in it, Huff "has not quite found her 'voice' yet." So I am going to assume that her writing improved greatly after this book.