Robyn Starkey robyns at
Sun Jan 7 18:18:33 EST 2001

>>as far as
>>ambient, I was thinking the magic would be like a mist or dew or in the
>>quality of light...
>You should read Rogin McKinley's "Spindle's End". Here's the opening 
>"The magic in that country was so thick and tenacious that it settled over 
>the land like chalk-dust and over floors and shelves like slightly sticky 
>plaster-dust. (Housecleaners in that country earned unusually good wages.) 
>If you lived int hat country, you had to de-scale your kettle of its 
>encrustation of magic at least once a week, because if you didn't, you 
>might find yourself pouring hissing snakes or pond slime into your teapot 
>instead of water."

This was a book I definitely enjoyed more on the second read  - there was a 
lot more to it than just the plot of the fairy tale but wanting to see how 
and what she'd done with the traditional story kind of distracted me from 
the book's excellent qualities the first time around.

The nature of magic in this book is very interestingly confused - it is 
everywhere like dust and most people dismiss it as merely annoying, but 
when it is used with power it is very scarey indeed.

McKinley has I think delusions of being literary in her writing at sentence 
level particularly and I know some people who are annoyed by what they see 
as overly complex grammar but I found her expression worked well in the 
story, especially the dreamy parts.


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