Sunday, January 07, 2007
Comic and some thoughts
I finished several books as of late. In the Eye of Heaven by David Keck is of standard fair for epic fantasy sorts, a young squire named Durand getting involved in a plot of treason and fighting for the Lord Lamoric, a man who is far more interesting than those around them. So there's a lot of knights galloping on horses, several jousting tournaments, and the occasional monster. The magic of the land is kept in the background, which I did not like. The writing was good except I kept stumbling upon several similes that were 100% jarring; hopefully by his next novel Keck will have improved because I did find some aspects of In the Eye of Heaven interesting and I wouldn't mind reading more from him.
Don't Bite the Sun and Drinking Sapphire Wine by Tanith Lee are two books set in the utopian world of Four BEE. Yes, Four Bee. It's a strange world where everything is splendid, the youthful Jang can suicide daily to change bodies and body types, and the idea of God is obsolete. But one person decides she no longer wants to be Jang, seperates herself from her circle, attempts to make a child, and then becomes exiled to the desert. Lee's writing, here at its earliest, is simply compelling. She has such a handle on her characters and the story never strays too far from its absurdity. Characters come and go as different sexes, and through it all everyone remains clear. I definitely recommend the series for those that like their science fiction pulpy, fast-paced, and lush with alien ideas.
The Word for World is Forest by Ursula K. Le Guin is set on the planet Athshe where a once-paradise is being conquered by humans. The forests are being cut down, the land cleared all over, but the Athsheans have had enough. Long thought to be docile, they attack the humans. The book sort of made me think of a deranged version of the Ewoks on Endor, where the little fuzzy creatures went rabid with rage, killing all in their path. I've always been a fan of Le Guin's work, and this is another piece of her genius: a battle between man and nature, where those working for the trees are able to fight through lucid dreaming. If you have the time, it's a short book and well worth the read.