Riddle-master trilogy was Re: Tolkien (was Re: Who invented the modern fantasy genre?)

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Wed Aug 25 11:55:06 EDT 2004

On Wed, 25 Aug 2004 22:55:09 +1000, Abe Gross wrote:

>> I freaked out my reading group by being able to pronounce Ghisteslwchlohm
>> without a hitch.  Patricia McKillip, bless her, is terrible for
>> unpronounceable names.
>> Melissa Proffitt
>Did you your reading group recently read McKillip, Melissa? If so, what was
>the reaction?

Well, I did almost get into a fistfight with the one other member whose
tastes are almost directly opposite mine and who did not enjoy it at
all...the funny thing is that we seem to like all the same books, but we
haven't agreed on ANY of the books the group has read over the last year and
a half.  She's wrong, of course.

We read the Riddle-master trilogy over two months--in fact I'm having to
miss the meeting tomorrow for a school function, which is sad because I have
Opinions.  It turned out that there were three women in the group who'd
never read it at all, only one of whom is young enough to have a real
excuse.  :)  I don't think any of them liked it much, but Tara, the younger
one, did seem to enjoy the parts she wasn't confused by.  We had to explain
the ending of _Riddle-master_ to her.  Wish I'd had someone do the same for
me.  I think I read it five times before I understood why Morgon was so
upset about who he met at Erlenstar Mountain.  (In my defense I was quite
bored by that last leg of the journey and wanted him to finally get
somewhere, so I wasn't exactly reading for comprehension.)

It's been interesting to discuss the series with people who all seem to like
it for different reasons.  Julie relates it to her first real introduction
to fantasy; a favorite teacher loaned the book club omnibus to her from his
own personal library, which made an impression on her.  Kathleen has
theories about the symbology that I've now forgotten, but I'm sure she'll
tell me sometime.  I love the language and the way the land-rule works, and
in re-reading it this time (with my lovely first-edition hardcover copies,
yay!) I finally understood why Morgon's acquisition of land-law in _Harpist
in the Wind_ was a necessary response to the power of the shape-changers.
And that other girl was harping about grammatical inaccuracies.  Geez.

Melissa Proffitt

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