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8890Re: [mythsoc] The Curse of Chalion

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  • David S Bratman
    Apr 13, 2003
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      Joan, that's pretty much how I felt about "The Fionavar Tapestry" by Guy
      Gavriel Kay.

      I started to read volume 1 of that, and bogged down in sheer tedium after
      about a hundred pages. The descriptions of the books I got from most of
      their fans didn't leave any hope that it would get better, but one such
      person did tell me that she thought perhaps the first hundred pages were a
      little slow, but it got better after that.

      I'd heard such comments about other books I hadn't liked, but had never
      paid much attention. This time I decided to test it out. After all, LOTR
      changes character sharply after the opening chapters, and I could easily
      conceive of a reader liking one style but not the other.

      So I returned to "Fionavar," took a running leap through the first hundred
      pages (i.e. re-read them hastily, just to refresh my memory) and pressed on.

      Yes, it did get better. But it was still terrible, just not as terrible.

      So I quit again, and haven't read anything by Kay since.

      I've heard that his writing has improved since then. But by how much?

      - David Bratman


      At 07:42 PM 4/12/2003 -0500, Joan wrote:
      >I've finished The Curse of Chalion (at last) and as promised, I'm
      >reporting back.
      >
      >First off, my first impression of the novel holds. The first half of it
      >IS pretty dull. I would have enjoyed it more if all that had been
      >compressed into a handful of chapters. Someone speculated that I might
      >have found it dull because of the politics in it; actually I find
      >politics stimulating. But not in the first half of this novel.
      >
      >Very little of importance or consequence happens until Dondo dies, when
      >the story picks up considerably. After that, it is interesting. Not
      >outstanding, in my opinion, but interesting. This is not the sort of
      >novel I'd nominate for an award, and I certainly wouldn't vote for it
      >for an award, either. I've read much better stories. But the second
      >half, at least, held my attention.
      >
      >Nonetheless, I still intend to try the sequel, which sounded much more
      >interesting than The Curse of Chalion when Bujold read from it at the
      >Rivendell meeting.
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