Dark Lord with SPOILERS (was:Re: A new member/Can you recommend a DWJ book?)

Philip.Belben at pgen.com Philip.Belben at pgen.com
Wed Jul 12 09:23:37 EDT 2000

Hallie, quoting me:

>>I have never considered Dark Lord an adult book!  Obviously an editor
>>did, since it was published with th VG label, but I put it firmly in the early
>>teenage bracket (YA at best).
> When I wrote this, I was actually only referring to the shelving of the
> books in book shops - so that Neil wouldn't waste time looking for DL or DS
> in the children's section.  But the comment made me think about it.

Oh, I see.  I was thinking you were giving information to help him choose the
right book, but of course I should have known that anything by DWJ is the right
book :-)

>>Which raises the question, what's the difference?
>>DL is told mainly from the boy's POV.  Broken homes are covered, as in a lot
>>DWJ, but the sexual aspect takes a back seat (compare even Fire and Hemlock).
>>And there is nothing really sordid (like Marceny's activities in Sudden Wild
>>Magic) - even the gladiatorial contest is pretty tidy, and (trying to avoid a
>>spoiler) the sexual assault scene almost glossed-over.
> I'm not convinced.  But then I think the sexual aspect of F&H is not that
> important, _unless_ you're reading it looking for this.  (Now there's a
> statement liable to bring down tons of disagreement on my head!)  What I
> mean is merely that I feel I could read F&H happily to Cara (my ten year
> old) and not have her pick up on any of the possible sexual dodginess in
> Tom and Polly's relationship.  Those reading the book as adults may debate
> the appropriateness (as we have done several times on the list!), but only
> reading the book as adults.  [Becca is reading this over my shoulder, and
> just commented that she actually didn't know there was anything sexual in
> F&H.  She authorised this report of her comment.]

I wasn't thinking of anything sexual in Tom and Polly's relationship!  In fact
I'm not sure there is (although Nina seems to think so - not that she would
understand, of course!).  I was thinking more about David Bragge.  I also think
that there are sexual overtones in Seb and Polly's relationship, but there is no
hard evidence in the book.

> In DL, the (attempted, IMO) rape is not at all graphic, but the idea of an
> assault as a result of hatred is very clear, and I know that Cara would be
> very upset by it, as indeed I was.  I read DL to Becca, and she loved it,

Oh yes.  I wouldn't think of DL as a book for most 10-year olds.  I just happen
to think that she has tidied things up for a younger audience.  In some ways, I
would probably pick DL as a good example of a Young Adult book, as distinct from
either Children's or Adult.  (F&H is another.)

> but I had to tell her that the Mara/Derk situation would turn out ok
> beforehand (and that's something I very rarely do).  It was really starting
> to bother her.

Ouch!  I see what you mean, but it also illustrates my point.  Compare the
treatment of the marriage break-up in Ogre Downstairs, Dark Lord, Fire and
Hemlock, and Sudden Wild Magic (in approximately increasing order of


________________________ Disclaimer Notice ____________________________
This E-mail message is private and confidential and should only be read
by those to whom it is addressed.

If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any
dissemination, distribution, copying, reproduction, modification or
publication of this communication is strictly prohibited.  Please delete
the message from your computer and destroy any copies.

This message is not intended to be relied upon by any person without
subsequent written confirmation of its contents.  This company therefore
disclaims all responsibility and accepts no liability of any kind which
may arise from any person acting, or refraining from acting, upon the
contents of the message without having had subsequent written

If you have received this communication in error, or if any problems
occur in transmission please notify us immediately by telephone on
+44 (0)24 76 424000

To unsubscribe, email dwj-request at suberic.net with the body "unsubscribe".
Visit the archives at http://suberic.net/dwj/list/

More information about the Dwj mailing list