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Kirsten Imani Kasai Sings an 'Ice Song' : One Step to the Left
Date of Review: 
Sep.16.2009
Published Work: 
Reviewer: 
Rick Kleffel
Source: 
The Agony Column, Bookotron.com

Kasai's prose is up to the challenge of a setup reminiscent of the genre-changing classic by Ursula K. Leguin, 'The Left Hand of Darkness.' 'Ice Song'; is a gorgeously immersive novel, with lots of great details that give it a prickly, real-life feel even though the settings and critters are determinedly surreal. And while Sorykah is surrounded by man-monsters, these are not just slavering beasts, but full-fledged characters. It’s a nice touch.

Kasai goes further than most writers — regardless of genre — in creating characters that are sexual beings as well as plot points, and indeed, this is a dual-edged sword, depending on how much you as a reader enjoy richly evoked encounters between a variety of sexes. But sex is not the point here; the characters are, and Kasai uses them to simultaneously explore her rich world and the rich inner world of all humanity. You might finish this novel and in the still grey of the pre-dawn dark, hear a sliver of ice song echoing in one or more of your own minds.