The Changeover and Thief

Laurel lalamme at
Wed Mar 27 17:38:05 EST 2002

Katherine Ferguson wrote:
> I've finally got round to rereading The Changeover (Mahy), prompted by
> you lot - I felt a bit of a fool borrowing it from the library given I
> own it, but most of my books are inaccessible at present :-(

I have also just read The Changeover and was quite impressed,
although I felt as if I might have enjoyed it even more had I
discovered it at an earlier age.  

> Anyway, I wondered what you lot thought Laura would do. I can quite see
> Sorry healing sick forests and so forth, just as I believe in Rupert and
> Maree doing magid stuff in Deep Secret. But I stuck trying to invent a
> future for Laura to use her strength - has anyone else thought about
> this? Is it just me being dense, or the character being too young to
> know herself so it isn't written (that would be fair enough - mid teens
> I didn't have a clue that I'd being doing the stuff I do now)? It wasn't
> very sensible of me to start reading it, because it is one of those
> books I invariably finish in one sitting (lying!) and I was decidedly
> tired in the morning ;-)

Well, as Laura seems to know what people are "straight off,"
perhaps a teacher or other occupation helping people on their
correct path in life?  Or an author, as her internal forest is
filled with fairy tale material?  I quite liked Sorry - he seemed
to strike a nice balance between sympathetic and unsympathetic
characterization, even though his Tragic Past seemed a mite

Could anyone point me to previous list discussions of The
Changeover in the archive?

> Also prompted by the list I bought The Thief and Queen of Attolia (a
> week apart, from different bookshops - I didn't expect them to be hard
> to track down, nor that they'd be shelved in different age groups under
> different letters of the alphabet!). I'd read your spoilers so nothing
> was terribly surprising - I'm sure I'd have guessed the identity anyway,
> but suspect I wouldn't have been reading carefully enough to spot the
> theft from the magus just from the hair reference. I only skim-read QoA
> because I didn't have the time, and I'm squeamish - will reread over
> Easter!

I'd like to add my thanks to Hallie for recommending TT and QoA;
they were engaging reads, and the list discussions have been
equally interesting.  My very late two cents on the deception
issue: I didn't feel at all cheated, even though I didn't know
beforehand that Gen had stolen the stone, again.  Right from the
beginning of TT, it seemed obvious to me that Gen was hiding
important information, not only from his companions, but from the
reader, too (all the hints about Eddis and Gen's abilities.)  I
don't recall who compared Gen to a Trickster character-type, but
I feel that's quite accurate.  So I was simply expecting a few
revelations and surprises here and there, and, to be honest,
didn't find them all that earth-shattering.  If you'll forgive an
odd comparison, I've recently seen the movie _Gosford Park_ and
felt somewhat the same about the Big Plot Twists at the end (I'll
avoid spoilers); there were so many clues sprinkled throughout
the rest of the film that the revelations were not especially

Does anyone know if Turner is planning more books in this
series?  I'd quite like to revisit Gen & Co.

Has anyone read _City of Bones_ by Martha Wells or _Sun-Cross_ by
Barbara Hambly recently?  I just finished both, enjoying Wells
much more than Hambly, and would like to hear other opinions, and
possibly recommendations or warnings about other titles by the
same authors.

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