What I've read lately
argross at bigpond.net.au
Tue Jan 28 08:26:51 EST 2003
> Witches: Granny Weatherwax is a witch. She has two witch friends in her
> coven, Nanny Ogg (mother of a vast clan) and Magrat Garlick (an
> wilted sort who in our world would be a failed New Ager). Women are
> witches. Men are wizards. Granny Weatherwax is the best of the best.
> Start with _Witches Abroad_--excellent Cinderella story.
> Death: Death adopted a human daughter and took a human apprentice, and
> naturally those two got married. He has a servant named Albert and a
> horse named Binky. He is very fond of cats. Over the course of the
> Death is trying to learn how to become human; the reasons for this are
> explained over time. Start with _Reaper Man_, which is one of the more
> powerful novels in the series.
> Rincewind: Rincewind is the most inept wizard ever. He has a walking
> monster called the Luggage which is made of sapient pearwood and therefore
> smarter than Rincewind. Most of the earliest books are Rincewind stories
> and can be missed, though there are a number of minor characters you
> know about (i.e. Twoflower, the tourist from the Agatean Empire who gave
> Rincewind the Luggage, and Cohen the Barbarian, who is well over a hundred
> years old and possibly unkillable). Start with _Interesting Times_, which
> is about the Agatean Empire, similar to ancient China.
> City Guards: This is my favorite. Probably. I change my mind a lot.
> Night Guard had a terrible and well-deserved reputation, and in the first
> book there were only three of them. Carrot, a human boy raised by
> comes to the city; his tremendous honesty, earnestness, and naivete end up
> transforming the Guard and allowing its Captain to regain his
> Carrot is apparently the long-lost heir to the throne of Ankh-Morpork, but
> doesn't want the job. At the beginning of _Men at Arms_, Captain Vimes is
> recovering alcoholic about to marry the damsel he rescued from a dragon in
> the first book, and the Guard is dealing with a new affirmative action
> policy implemented by the Patrician. The Patrician, who more or less
> the city, defies description, but "Machiavellian" is a good adjective.
Thanks for the background. It will be good to have this on hand when I start
reading whatever I do start reading first.
> Glad to hear you liked _Kavalier and Clay_, Ros! And, um, did I happen to
> mention that my opinion of _Jenna Starborn_ exactly matches yours?
Since you are Always Right, I'm so glad you agree with me! ;-)
The two friends I've lent it to so far felt exactly the same way, and we are
all Shinn fans.
> My thought was, "What exactly was the point of writing this? If I wanted
> read _Jane Eyre_ I would have done that."
Worse than there being no point in it, it actually manages to make the story
feel banal, IMO. _Jane Eyre_ is powerful and moving and this re-telling
> Bah. Too bad, because I think
> Sharon Shinn is a pretty good writer overall.
I agree--she nearly always is able to combine a charming romance with
wonderful fantasy. *Something* went wrong here.
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