Paula Burch pburch at
Tue Nov 30 16:51:00 EST 1999

> 	But first, and I never really get tired of mentioning this author -
> a new book has just come out (can only speak for the U.S.) by Judith Merkle
> Riley - called The Master of All Desires.
> I know I tout this author tirelessly but I think she has
> many elements in common with dwj, not least of which being that they both
> seem to tell their tales with glee.  Think Gwendolen at church and it is
> also the flavor of a Riley book.

Elise, I've enjoyed every Judith Merkle Riley book I've read. There
was a great set of two or three books, I think, about the life of 
a medieval woman, in paperback at the Houston public library a decade 
ago, but I can't find so much as their titles in their online catalog. Am
I remembering it correctly? I got The Oracle Glass more recently from 
amazon. The combination of magic and a severely rational scientific 
world view is a delight. From the reviews at amazon looks as though 
the first book must have been A Vision of Light and its sequel
In Pursuit of the Green Lion. Of course, it's not available. 
Publisher out of stock. Green Lion is available as a cassette but I
collect my books in the form of paperbacks (for space savings) and 
don't want to *listen* to the book. Ah, but my county library system 
has both books and will hold them for me....

Capsule introduction: I read and enjoyed A Sudden Wild Magic a few 
years ago, but lost the author's name and did not rediscover DWJ
until seeing her Dalemark Quartet on a list of books recommended
for folks who liked Harry Potter. That seems ironic to me since I 
think DWJ is worlds better than Rowling. I discovered this list 
(thanks, Anita!) about the same time as I discovered reserving books 
at the local public library via the web, and just gobbled them all up
as quickly as possible. I don't have the urge to binge on chocolates,
myself, but books are different. Hmm. This is supposed to be an 
introduction. I'm a computer biologist and hand dyer, age 39, in 
Houston, Texas.

Reading aloud is worth a discussion. A bad book becomes worse when 
read aloud because you can't skim over the stupid parts quickly, but 
a good book becomes much richer because in reading silently I find I 
read too fast and miss parts if the tension gets too high, because 
I want to see what will happen! Actually Harry Potter volume one seems
better to me than it did before, since I read it aloud to my seven year 
old son last week - but then I read The Magicians of Caprona to him 
this last weekend, as much as three hours at a time because we couldn't 
put it down although it was my own third reading. I've requested Witch 
Week to read to him next. I'd thought he wasn't old enough for this 
level of books - we've been steadily working our way through Beverly 
Cleary - but his teacher had already read his class Harry Potter book 
one, and he loved it, so I was wrong. What a joy to be able to read 
real books together! Kind of hard on trying put him to bed ontime, 
though. I keep wanting to read a little more....

(I'm searching for paperback editions of Howl's Moving Castle, Castle 
in the Air, Cart and Cwidder, Dogsbody, plus Judith Merkle Riley's 
A Vision of Light and In Pursuit of the Green Lion.)

Paula Burch
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