RE Subject: Pierce - Lady Knight

Ven vendersleighc at
Mon Dec 23 16:10:48 EST 2002

Robyn wrote


I just finished reading the newest installment of

this series, and I 
wondered if anyone else had any comments. I have 
a couple of thoughts. 1) 
Her writing at the sentence level has improved 
enormously. 2) There were 
some massive plot inconsistencies. The thing that

annoyed me most about the 
book was the contradictory set of assumptions: 
people live in a world where 
there is all this magic in use all the time, and 
they are suspicious and 
skeptical about it. It is kind of like people in 
our world saying 
"Electricity? That's wierd and scary. I don't 
believe it exists." But then 
they go on to use it.

I haven't actually read the Pierce books but
you've put your finger on something which crops
up in all too many fantasies. They just don't
seem to think it through..... There's plenty that
 can be done, if you want to portray a suspicion
of magic and its users among the general
populace, like making the wizards a tax gathering
elite. I suppose it could make sense if, like the
science of today, a lot of people use its
products  without grasping the theories and, in
fact, believe some rather odd things themselves.
However what we have is a continuum -- scientists
-- popular scientists -- people who have studied
science and understood it -- people who
understand enough to take the rest on trust and
so on. In fantasies like the example Robyn gives
things are very polarised, extrapolating from my
science analogy you would have wizards, wizard
groupies, wizard spotters....... there would be
people who could explain magic to their fellow
lay people and people who wouldn't stop
explaining and everyone wished would shut up. And
there would be lively arguments in pubs between
these people and believers in the wizards are all
lying to us conspiracy theories........   


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