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July 10, 2005



OK, you're right, I only read 67 pages. I'll finish the damn thing tonight and get back to you. It's possible I just can't stand fantasy, period, although I doubt it, since I really like broiled snails.


Mmm, snails.

Ian Welsh

Curse of Chalion is a brilliant book and perhaps LMB's best. It's set in a feudal world, and every feudal civilization that ever existed was patriarchal and misogynistic. The protagonist isn't interested in the princess at all, as a love interest, but rather her maid in waiting and that's fairly obvious, fairly early in.

But the overarching theme of the book is neither patriarchy, nor romance, but the relation of humans to their gods and their religion.

Paladin of Souls, on the other hand, is quite clumsy in my opinion, and not very good at all. The Bastard appears much too often and directly tells the protagonist what to do. Curse of Chalion is about faith - the Daughter almost never speaks directly to the protagonist. Paladin of Souls falls down on that.

Which goes to show that even the best author doesn't always hit.

If you want FemFic from LMB read "Ethan of Athos" or "Shards of Honor".


I know I said I'd finish it, but I had to bail when Benadryl started excreting blood and it turned out he had a demon and a buttmunch rolled up in his tummy. No can do.

Princess, lady-in-waiting, whatever you want to call'em, the guy pitches quite the tent over both of'em during the swimming scene when their filmy tunics get, you know, wet and clingy.

Meanwhile, I just finished Philip K Dick's Radio Free Albemuth. Now that's a book about religion! Hoo-hah!


Oh, well, too bad. I simply don't think the fantasy genre is for you, then. I thought that the demon-tumour was an interesting concept, a kind of male anti-pregnancy, and it has a neat twist at the end. It's a matter of taste.

Actually, I myself drifted away from fantasy into SF a while ago for similar reasons (gets repetitive), but sometimes I go back particularly if an SF writer I really liked decides to turn to SF. I hope you don't give up on LMB, since her SF is so amazingly good. But I am still far more of a Cherryh fan.

One of the problems with fantasy is that the problems with the medieval/feudal life is often soft-pedalled. You may like George R. R. Martin's work, which is still a patriarchal feudal society, but the victims of the system aren't soft-pedalled. Very gruesome and depressing though. Actually, you probably wouldn't be able to get over the setting either :)

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