OT Other Books

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Fri Feb 15 10:38:05 EST 2002

On Fri, 15 Feb 2002 13:21:43 +0000 (GMT), Elizabeth Parks wrote:

>Sherwood Smith: has anybody read stuff by him?  I read the Wren books a
>while ago and came accross them online recently.  I remember that I liked
>them, though I think the ending wasn't quite what I wanted it to be.

Lizzie, where have you been?  :)  Sherwood Smith (a she, by the way) wrote
_Crown Duel_ and _Court Duel_ which a lot of us here have raved about.  I
personally have addicted three people to these books.  Much superior to the
Wren series, in my opinion, though I liked those just fine.  _Court Duel_ is
dedicated in part to a friend of mine, Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury, who got to
read it in draft.

>Quest for a Queen: I read _Quest for a Maid_ by Frances Mary Hendry when I
>was in elementary school about six times--I could never find any of the
>sequels/prequels/companion books that I needed to make sense of it.  I
>came accross one in Hay-on-Wye called The Jackdaw.  I haven't read it yet
>but I'm hopeful!  These books are set in Elizabethan London--and I've just
>looked at it and realized that the two books aren't part of the same
>trilogy--this one has to do with Mary Queen of Scots, and Quest for a Maid
>I think had to do with politics somewhere Scandinavian.  It was a striking
>book--the relationship between the narrator and the older sister reminded
>me in some ways of a relationship in DWJ, now that I think about it.

I don't know what happened with her--whether she just stopped writing or
something more terrible.  But I've never found sequels to _Quest for a
Queen_.  Are you saying _The Jackdaw_ is in the same series as _Quest for a
Queen_?  Cool.  _Quest for a Maid_ is a standalone novel and I love it.
Have you read it recently?  It didn't seem to me to need any additional
explanation, but it's also written on a fairly complex level for young kids.
I know I read it in college.
>The Tale of Murasaki, by Liza Dalby. 

Interesting.  I loved _The Tale of Genji_, though the abridged version is
CONFUSING.  It took me forever to figure out enough to go on with.

>The Wind Singer by William Nicholson.  This is another one that caught my
>eye in a bookstore but I wanted to get some outside opinions before I read
>it.  Anyone?

Well, it's one of my favorites.  In some ways, it's more because I admire
what the writer is doing than that it got to me, say, like a DWJ book.  But
I think it's very solid YA fantasy in its own right.  It is uncompromisingly
bleak in its observations on human nature.  The sequel is even better
(_Slaves of the Mastery_) and makes it more obvious that the entire series
is/will be about different forms of slavery and, by contrast, different ways
we become free.  I was fascinated by _Slaves of the Mastery_ because I
honestly couldn't see how _The Wind Singer_ was part of a trilogy; it ends
so neatly.  I don't think this is very comfortable fiction, but I think it
verges on great fiction.

Melissa Proffitt
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