[DWJ] Best Books of 2010 - various thoughts
jodel at aol.com
jodel at aol.com
Sun Mar 6 15:25:56 EST 2011
Yes, McKinley's 'Pegasus' was a big surprise--and not at all in a good
Particularly since McKinley just doesn't *do* "series" stories. She'll
tell the same story 2 or even three times over. She'll sometimes
revisit the same world, but it's never the at same period or regarding
the same characters.
But, despite the lack of *any* mention of a second half of the story
forthcoming, I flatly cannot see the story ending where the book did.
The bad guy wins and it all ends in tears? I rather think not. I'm
working my way through the last three chapters, so I don't know whether
the "magical artifact of great significance" has been deployed or not,
yet, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it won't be, and it that is
the case, then a second volume is all but guaranteed.
However, with the assumption of there being a 2nd volume, I will have
to say that I think the part of the story that we've got is very much
in McKinley's zone of expertise. I didn't feel as overwhelmed and
buried in detail as I did with 'Sunshine'. or 'Dragonhaven' , or even
'Spindle's End'. It wasn't as spare or tight a story as 'Chalice', but
it had the feel of being a much "bigger" story than 'Chalice'. And the
pacing is slower and more deliberate than usual.
And once again I got the feel, as I do with Jones, of readdressing,
recalibrating, and reworking earlier themes. There is very obviously a
lot in common between 'Pegasus' and 'Dragonhaven', but there are other
works of McKinley which have also worked some of the same ground.
And, another point which leads me to expect a second volume of this
tale, is the fact that McKinleys overriding central theme--of *all* her
stories--is that of finding one's proper *work*, and learning to do it
well, and the protagonist of 'Pegasus' hasn't found her proper work
yet. She's developed skills, and is thinking to turn one skill set into
her work, but it is fairly clear from the narriative that what she
thinks she is going to spend her life doing isn't even close to the
So I am hopeful, upon the whole. But I would have apreciated a warning.
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