yotg discussion (Still SPOILERS and more SPOILERS)

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at indigo.ie
Wed Dec 13 05:06:53 EST 2000

>I'd again like to thank whoever it was that put me on track to realize why I
>don't love these books like I feel I should.  It was probably Kyla.  I don't

"These books" being YotG and DL?  Or something else?

Here go the spacers again.


>Anyway, again, great book, but I wanted a different perspective.
>This time it was immediately obvious:  in the section where Corkoran is
>reading their first essays, and we get a summary of each one, the
>tantalizing hints about how magic works or could be made to work just
>grabbed me.  I seriously wanted to read those essays.  Failing that, I
>wanted to read a book in which the world's magic system was the most
>important thing.  It's embarrassing to have this feeling about a great
>author.  It's like quietly saying "hey, it was good, but why didn't you
>write a completely different book?"

That's interesting.  I loved that part _so_ much, but found the ideas 
given about the way magic could work quite satisfying.  It was enough 
(for me) to see the completely different approaches Elda et al took, 
once they'd broken free of the restrictive thinking of the University.

But there were decidedly things I didn't love about the book.  At the 
risk of seeming the grinchiest of meanies, I'll reply to peoples 
lists of things they love with a few things I didn't.

First off, I hated the pop psychology breaking of the jinxes.  I 
hated that it was so obvious and superficial, and I hated the way 
seeing the problem led to instant resolution.  That seemed incredibly 
un-DWJ-ish to me.

Secondly, I found the pairing-off towards the end a bit much, 
especially Isodel and Titus.  But then I've a long-standing dislike 
of the very idea of Love at First Sight, anyway, which may have 
warped my reaction to all this.

Finally, (and this isn't a dislike, just a faint uneasiness), I found 
the nature of the griffins a little disturbing.  The switches between 
human nature and animal nature - for example, or especially, I 
suppose, the description of Lydda meeting Acker, and the fighting 
flight turning into a mating flight and then they get _married_. 
Just didn't all seem to mesh any more somehow.  Beside the fact that 
one would think that Derk and Mara's griffins would have to be 
different from the wild griffins due to their human component, and 
yet they don't seem to be.

Of course, a less-than-favourite DWJ is still head and shoulders 
better than most other books.  And I loved the characters too, and 
all the traps with the smell of orange, and found Titus getting 
revenge on the dreadful senators just as satisfying a comeuppance 
scene as Scales and "MOVE SCUM!"  (And the healer having to treat the 
pigeon!  Tee hee.)


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