May 30, 2007
“3 Ps” Tamora Pierce, Phillip Pullman and Christopher Paolini are interviewed on various themes in their books in these 9 podcasts! They are free downloads from Random House. Looks really interesting- Pierce is one of my faves, Pullman is growing on me as I progress through His Dark Materials, but I have not yet read Paolini’s Eragon and Eldest. A friend of mine recently saw the movie (on DVD) and said it was great, so I think I may try to read the book before I see the movie. The sequel, Eldest is going to be a movie as well, though I’m not sure when it will be out. I believe this is a trilogy.
The Golden Compass is going to be a movie too, here’s a trailer for it on YouTube. It’s coming out December 7th. Hmm, this trailer only seems to show pictures- no dialogue. I’m trying to find a better one…But anyway, it looks pretty darn good.
The latest in Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel series– Kushiel’s Justice is coming out in June. I’ve heard these are really great, and they are on my list! (A friend told me, run don’t walk to the nearest bookstore). Oh, and just a note since I review a lot of young adult fantasy- these books are _definitely_ adult thematically…
On a sadder note- renowned fantasy novelist Lloyd Alexander passed away on May 17th. May he find his way safely to the Other Side. I _still_ haven’t gotten to his stuff…
May 29, 2007
I think I may be doing some re-organization. I realized that by listing the authors on the side as categories, I’m going to end up with a really long list that’ll take up a huge length of the page. Instead I’m thinking of listing names of series so books can be put into those- since most of the fiction I read has at least 1 sequel. Then all the books, whether they’re in series or not can be on the Title Index page (changed to Author index) listed by author. The series categories will also include related books like anthologies, and “companion” books that may be by a different author. Or series that have more than one author.
At this point, though it doesn’t matter much as I don’t have that many book reviews up yet.
Also: I came up with a couple new categories that need a little explanation- Retold Tales is any traditional or well-known story being retold or reinterpreted. Or it might be a “prequel” given the backstory to a character like Wicked. Originally it was going to be fairy tales but then I realized there are some well-known stories being re-told that aren’t fairy tales per se.
Arthurian legend (Or maybe “Arthuriana?”) is a category that will include both fiction- novels inspired by the Arthur tales and nonfiction- the original tales themselves, scholarly commentary on it etc.
Wisdom of the Outlaw: the Boyhood Deeds of Finn in Gaelic Narrative Tradition by Joseph Falak Nagy
This is a fascinating analysis of stories about the childhood of the great Irish (and Scottish) hero Fionn MacCumhail. Nagy relates the themes in the Boyhood Deeds to other Fenian tales, revealing their structure and symbolism. Finn is a complex figure- an outsider who lives on the edge of society, in the wilderness, as well as a poet and seer- positions that were highly regarded, even fairly central to ancient and medieval Irish culture. Nagy examines the role the fennidi- bands of outsider warriors play by serving as gatekeepers to the otherworld- they protect civilized society from human and supernatural invaders, as well as gaining knowledge from the Otherworld. Finn’s family and foster-parents have an interesting influence on the path he takes- Finn’s father was a fennid as well, and his mother was the daughter of a druid- these opposing identities coalesce to create Finn. His foster-parents raised him in the wilderness, and taught him how to fight and hunt.
I found Wisdom of the Outlaw to be quite readable & accessible to the layperson for a scholarly work. I learned a lot about Fenian cycle of Irish mythology and how it relates to the culture, mythos and ideology as a whole.