Court & Crown

alexandra.bolintineanu at alexandra.bolintineanu at
Fri Feb 4 00:46:09 EST 2000

Spoilers for the Crown and Court duet follow.

Well, at last, I managed to lay hands on the Crown & Court Duels and read
them (it took one uninterrupted evening's reading session for each, as
soon as I got them from the library, which was, tantalizingly enough,
a week apart), and there were so many good things in them!  I liked, to
begin with, the way the imaginary world of Remalna has elements from a
great many historical periods--mediaeval castles, a court in many ways of
the eighteenth century, twentieth-century attitudes about gender (more or
less)...and then the Hill People, who were a touch of the mythic and very
ancient. I think all these elements could easily have seemed ill-assorted,
but they fit quite prettily together and they make the imaginary world
quite refreshingly and originally believable.   I also (greatly) liked the
Marquis of Shevraeth.  (I think that Marquis is perhaps the coolest title
of nobility, with the possible exception of Margrave.)  He is such a
physically vivid character--I'd have to reread the two books to see how
the author does this, especially as she tends to describe him in small
bits, through small gestures, rather than in one big overview.  And
finally, I liked the ongoing ironic situation:  the readers know
substantially more about things than the heroine does, even though all we
get are her perceptions. And yes, I did like the fact that she makes
mistakes and learns from them (and how refreshing that the aristocrats
aren't "really" as eeevil as she thinks!). And I liked a whole bunch of
other things (including that amusing line, "I trust him as far as I can
spit against the wind", which has an authentically proverbial ring to it),
but if I enumerate them all, I shall miss dinner.

(who really and truly should be getting to work)

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