review of Merlin Conspiracy

Roger Burton West roger at firedrake.org
Mon Dec 8 18:08:38 EST 2003


On Mon, Dec 08, 2003 at 09:08:02PM +0000, Minnow wrote:

>She does?  Nick is, he thinks Roddy's his ideal girl at sight before she's
>even spoken, I seem to remember, but surely Roddy isn't?  Sudden thought:
>has someone been giving out some sort of crib-sheet for reviewers that says
>firmly "these two are the love-interest"?  It just doesn't seem to me to be
>there in the text, and it has turned up at least twice in reviews mentioned
>here.  So perhaps it was on the advance review-copies, or in the letter
>that went with them, or something.

I suspect that reviewers are being led astray by the poor quality of
_other_ books. When Nick thinks, roughly, "cor", that would with many
authors be the shorthand for "this is the hero seeing the heroine for 
the first time and they are destined for each other"; and a reviewer 
who's in a hurry might simply assume that this is the case. After all,
most authors' character-attractions are always mutual and always resolved
the same way.

DWJ, of course, can write a growing mutual attraction rather better than
that! As usual, _Hexwood_ and particularly _Fire and Hemlock_ come to
mind.

>(But maybe the "these two are made for each other" review-line is because
>in any Mills&Boonalike, if a female feels that way about a male when they
>meet they are bound to end up in bed?)

As when a Heyer heroine describes someone as "odious"? (Not always, but
very often.) I think this is the key.

Roger
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