Um. Now I've got to figure out how to do that without sounding like an idiot.
Er. Let's see. The main problem I had with The Court of the Air is that I didn't really like anyone except a few minor characters--and most of those got killed off--and the main culture was completely unsympathetic. Completely. It wasn't so much that the main characters were nasty or anything, there just wasn't any reason to like them. They didn't grow, particularly, didn't mature/change/become people I would be interested in spending time with. The best description I have is that they 'leveled up'--at least I think that's the right term.
Also, the book's cover promised me whimsy and there wasn't any.
Anyhow, segue: whimsy and maturity and general decency are why I really like Diana Wynne Jones and Garth Nix and Gerald Morris. That is, each writes characters that I care about and worlds that I want to explore, and tells stories that make me want to be a better person. Right now I'm mostly on a Nix kick, as I've been catching up on his latest series, but the other two are also awesome.
The thing that I find lacking in so much of current "adult" fantasy (and it could just be that I'm looking at the wrong stuff, or not hard enough--I kind of gave up at the end of high school and haven't done much looking since then) is the combination of decent characters, interesting world, and an ending that actually makes me happy. I don't mind going through rough spots in the middle, as long as I know the end will be worth it (that's the problem I had with Implied Spaces, which is a shame because the premise & title were promising).
(I'm not doing a very good job of staying on the supposed topic, am I? Oh well. I must admit I'm making it up as I go, and so here we are: bunny-trails and a superfluity of parentheses.)
Okay, I give up. Maybe next week I'll have something intelligent to say about what I've been reading, but it's obviously not happening tonight.
Blargh. *brain dribbles out ears*