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Re: Paladin of Souls

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  • ftl_publications
    ... sort of ... rules -- ... She ... deals with ... is no ... I wasn t looking for a warrior queen/princess either. But when I was told this was a chick
    Message 1 of 5 , Oct 5 5:59 AM
      --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Berni Phillips" <bernip@i...> wrote:
      > I loved it. I found Ista a very believable heroine. It isn't the
      sort of
      > thing one might peg as feminist because Ista isn't out to break any
      rules --
      > she just wants to be left alone and not treated as if she's crazy.
      > wants to be a real person. (I mean, it is feminist in that it
      deals with
      > how women are treated and does so in a positive fashion, but Ista
      is no
      > Xena, if one is thinking of stereotypical feminist characters.)

      I wasn't looking for a warrior queen/princess either. But when I was
      told this was a "chick" book, and after hearing Eleanor Arnason's
      comments, I expected to see something that spoke to the unique
      aspects of a woman's role in society, and didn't find that much on
      the subject.

      I recall Marion Zimmer Bradley speaking of The Shattered Chain. She
      emphasized that she was not only speaking of the Free Amazons, but
      also of Melora's choices to be dedicated to her family, and how that
      was an honorable choice as well.

      So I was looking for something above and beyond the fact that Ista
      was a middle-aged woman doing things which her ladies in waiting
      found unusual for her role in society. There's nothing really
      remarkable about that in 21st century writing (which is a good
      thing). But with all the praise heaped on the book, I expected
      something really outstanding, and extraordinary, and I didn't get it.

      Your mileage may vary, of course.

      Joan Marie Verba
    • dianejoy@earthlink.net
      I liked *Paladin of Souls* better even than *Curse of Chalion* and I liked that first one very much indeed. I thought the plotline was subtle, nuanced, and
      Message 2 of 5 , Oct 5 8:47 AM
        I liked *Paladin of Souls* better even than *Curse of Chalion* and I liked
        that first one very much indeed. I thought the plotline was subtle,
        nuanced, and intriguing; the slow parts were there to vary pacing and to
        show forth some of the cultural differences. Also, it was refreshing to
        have a story take place within the context of a pilgrimage (even if the
        five / four gods are in place). As a monotheist, I wouldn't like any
        polytheistic system, but this one is very well worked out. I also liked
        the various twists and turns; the attractive fellow being "undead" and the
        way that the two brothers were linked. Clever military ploys going on,

        Refreshing to have an older heroine, one w/ a good dollop of common sense,
        and the gift she had was very unusual, seeing souls. (Helped to have it;
        she couldn't have solved the problem otherwise.) I liked the fact that it
        troubled her to have this gift. So often the gifts are wonderful and too
        easily accepted. I'd think that an older heroine would be a good thing in
        feminist thinking.

        I may not persuade you, but at least consider looking at it in a different
        way. ---djb

        Original Message:
        From: ftl_publications Joan.Marie.Verba@...
        Date: Sun, 03 Oct 2004 22:52:06 -0000
        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [mythsoc] Paladin of Souls

        I finally reached the end of this novel. Lois McMaster Bujold is a
        nice person and a wonderful warm human being. I really, really,
        wanted to enjoy this book. It did sound promising when she read the
        first chapter at a Rivendell meeting discussing The Curse of Chalion.
        And it did have some exciting parts. But the parts in between were
        very difficult to read through (i.e boring).

        I also can't stand her gods. They aren't quite as bad as the bunch
        from Mt. Olympus (who are at least entertaining), but this (un)holy
        family makes me glad I'm a monotheist.

        I noted that this title won a Hugo award. I guess that means that a
        whole lot of readers enjoyed it, but I was not one of them. (I'm
        happy for Lois, but bewildered at the same time.)

        I also noted that Lois said this was a "chick" book, and I overheard
        Eleanor Arnason tell someone that it was great for the way it
        portrayed women. I therefore had high expectations. But I found it
        really didn't appeal that much to my feminist sensibilities, either.

        Overall, somewhat of a disappointment. Your reaction may differ (and
        I'd be happy to hear from someone who did enjoy it, explaining why).

        Joan Marie Verba

        The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
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