Wilkins' Tooth (was Re: Introductions)

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Tue Jun 24 05:45:58 EDT 2003


Aimee:

>I want to show DWJ to my ten year old sister. Suggestions?

I suppose that everyone here could be said to have ended up a DWJ
enthusiast, so you might do worse than have a look in the 36 or so answers
to the question "First read?" in the introductions people have given of
themselves, and see whether there is a pattern.  Whichever was read first
by each seems to have led them to read more, after all, except in the cases
where they read one and then started again five or six years later, or
can't remember which was first out of three or four.

I'd suggest one that doesn't have too many references to things she may not
yet have encountered: F&H could certainly be "boring" if you know nothing
about Tam Lin and the whole business of the tithe to hell after seven
years, and 8DoL is more fun if you have Wagner and the Norse Gods as
background-knowledge (in fact I don't think it would be easy at all if the
very name Loki was unknown), and the Homeward Bounders is improved by
having some idea who Prometheus is -- for instance.  And Howl has all the
John Donnery...

There is nothing in DWJ that would really follow from Eddings: epic quest
and missing heir, with a map of the whole world at the front and armies of
zillions and no commisariat, isn't exactly DWJ style except with her tongue
so firmly in her cheek that it is sticking through..

I'm assuming this is the Eddings who wrote the Heroic/High Fantasy
serieses.  His entry in the Fantasy Encyclopedia is almost a list of High
Fantasy Tropes in smallcapital letters: Ugly Duckling, Hidden Monarch,
Fantasyland, Companions, Talents, Talisman, Sword, Dark Lord.... This is
not to knock Eddings, BTW, because what I've read of it I found hilarious,
but he too was gently mick-taking of that whole genre.  (At least, if he
wasn't I am very worried about my own warped sense of humour!).  And
several of the entries in DWJ's TG are relevant to him, I think.  :-)

How about making the Tough Guide available?  It might be an invaluable
thing for her to have under her belt to give her a bit of perspective in
her reading later on....

Minnow


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