I read Illyria by Elizabeth Hand (review) earlier this year and instantly fell in love with her marvelous way with words. I managed to snag a copy of her short story collection, Saffron and Brimstone, via Paperbackswap and picked it up yesterday. I was completely captivated by the first story, Cleopatra Brimstone, from the very first paragraph, which I am going to share here now:
Her earliest memory was of wings. Luminous red and blue, yellow and green and orange; a black so rich it appeared liquid, edible. They moved above her and the sunlight made them glow as though they were themselves made of light, fragments of another, brighter world falling to earth about her crib. Her tiny hands stretched upwrds to grasp them but could not; they were too elusive, too radiant, too much of the air.
Could they ever have been real?
Oh my goodness, she just has a way with words that just capture me.