I came across a short story by Attanasio in an '07 sci-fi/fantasy magazine - and really was taken with the amount of story and rich description he could pack in so few pages (he's a monster with description). In looking up other books, this is the first one I went to - liking the summary of magic, faerie, doors between worlds, and keen to meet the Black Dog. Attanasio's style holds true: these 150 pages hold more thoughtful writing and depth of detail than Twilight can manage in 550. Less is more. "For an instant, she seemed woven of light." The keen way Nedra is stitched together and contrasted with her waifish, initially disconnected granddaughter, Flannery arcs nicely as their relationship and understanding of each other grows through experience and exposure. Poor, hapless Chet's transformation from nerdling into young warrior: "All I wanted was to go to the spring dance with her -- and now we're already at death do us part." The line between our world and the Otherworld - distinct at times and blurrily overlapping at others, "in dreams, where the two worlds bleed together." The allure of the easy way - even if its self-destructive or outright false. Great, sharp details are called out for the dragon's lair: "The acetylene brilliance illuminated clotted arches and stalactite lofts of a gruesome cathedral." The story holds neatly together as a written work and (but for a swelling "ta da" moment in the last chapter) avoids made-for-the-big-screen sloppiness that a lot of current fantasy is fouled by. As "dogs love to fetch a good bone", I will fetch more works by Attanasio.