The Summer Tree

May 14, 2010

Welcome to the cusp of summer, Little Blue. I haven’t been reading as much as I’d like because I’ve been tending to end of school activities, softball practices, and gardening–and of course, editing some exciting projects. But when I don’t drop off to sleep exhausted, I’ve been re-reading the Fionovar Tapestry. I first read this series when I was a teen and just stumbled on an interesting-looking cover on the library shelf. It was such a random and wonderful find. It tells the story of 5 friends transported to Finovar, the first of the worlds. Once there, they encounter mages, king, servants of the goddess, and must each find their own way to fight the evil force awakened from his imprisonment under the great mountain. Re-reading it is like walking backwards in time and revisiting an old friend.

I’ve also begun thinking about my upcoming beach trip. I always bring a decent selection of books with me and I need to start getting that collection together. I saw one by Louise Erlich that looked promising (Shadow Tag) that I may try out. I also recently saw a book on the The Daily Show that looked interesting. I think it is called Revolutionaries. It is non-fiction though…and Little Blue, we both know that non-fiction is a difficult leisure read for me because I end up editing so much non-fiction. But we’ll see. I’ll have to find it in the library and see how it feels in my hand.

Seriously, I don’t want to stop reading this. It builds on the knowledge gained by reading legions of other “child-like” magic books-harry potter (though its “child-like-ness” certainly grows questionable further in the series) and Narnia (perhaps the same could be said of this one), but takes a darker, more adult tone to the concepts of those books and certainly is an original story in its own right. I’m on page 135 and already stressed about there being an end 200 pages from now-it’s just getting so good.

March 8, 2010
Still reading this one. Took the evening and sat on the couch to read. Going through some bad stuff personally, and it was great to lose myself in this story for a while. It finally started getting at the question of: What do you do when you graduate magic school and there is no villan? Can you build a fulfilling and happy life out of magic? I was really interested in that question, but just as I was dropping off to sleep last night, the plot took a twist and now I’m wondering if the author has abandoned that question because the answer is just TOO dark. The plot twist is interesting, but I hope the author can maintain the adult, dark edge given the new twist. We shall see…

March 10, 2010

Yes, the author can still maintain that dark edge. The adventure these characters is on at this point seems to pull the dark and sinister versions of original fairy tales into the plot. It reminds me of the political background of Wicked by Gregory Maguire. Drunk magical bears, a sad birch dryad smoking a cigarette in a bar, and evil elves dressed in black leather. Bad news and seemingly tragic-like finding the worlds we loved as children are truly dark and grim and scary and weird, but gripping…totally gripping in thier familiarity and hauntedness. What’s fascinating at this point is how the different characters react to this new grim world. Some finding their bravery, some making that world their own, and some falling apart at the seams. Can’t wait to read more.