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The Curse of Chalion

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  • Joan Marie Verba
    I noticed this won the 2002 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for adult literature. Can anyone tell me why? This is the Rivendell topic for Saturday and I m trying to
    Message 1 of 16 , Mar 19, 2003
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      I noticed this won the 2002 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for adult
      literature. Can anyone tell me why? This is the Rivendell topic for
      Saturday and I'm trying to get through it. But it is dull, dull, dull.
      I'm up to page 116 at this time.

      Does it get better?

      What makes it worth reading?

      Anyone?

      Joan
      ******************************************
      Joan Marie Verba
      verba001@...
      http://www.sff.net/people/Joan.Marie.Verba
    • Joshua Kronengold
      ... Er...it s really good. ... Interesting characters. Fascinating themes (nature of the relationship gods and man, among other things). Good genre fantasy.
      Message 2 of 16 , Mar 19, 2003
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        Joan Marie Verba writes:
        >I noticed this won the 2002 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for adult
        >literature. Can anyone tell me why?

        Er...it's really good.

        >What makes it worth reading?

        Interesting characters.
        Fascinating themes (nature of the relationship gods and man, among
        other things).
        Good genre fantasy.
        Good payoffs, with some nice surprises.

        So I'd guess the answer is "it gets better" except that I don't
        remember it ever being dull; the larger fantastical plot kinda sneaks
        up on you, and I susppose it hits a turning point when the "saint"
        stuff starts showing up, but the settling in is a nice introduction to
        the characters, and does serve a purpose.



        --
        Joshua Kronengold (mneme@...) "I've been teaching |\ _,,,--,,_ ,)
        --^--him...to live, to breathe, to walk, to sample the /,`.-'`' -, ;-;;'
        /\\joy on each road, and the sorrow at each turning. |,4- ) )-,_ ) /\
        /-\\\I'm sorry if I kept him out too late"--Vlad Taltos '---''(_/--' (_/-'
      • Croft, Janet B
        It s quite good. Bujold has a way with characterization that I really like. Her hero in this book is a little out of the ordinary and may take some getting
        Message 3 of 16 , Mar 20, 2003
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          It's quite good. Bujold has a way with characterization that I really like.
          Her hero in this book is a little out of the ordinary and may take some
          getting used to. I have to say that even though I thought this was a very
          good book, I like her Miles Vorkosigan books better. Maybe I just like
          Miles better as a character.

          Janet

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Joan Marie Verba [mailto:verba001@...]
          Sent: Wednesday, March 19, 2003 9:23 PM
          To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [mythsoc] The Curse of Chalion


          I noticed this won the 2002 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for adult
          literature. Can anyone tell me why? This is the Rivendell topic for
          Saturday and I'm trying to get through it. But it is dull, dull, dull.
          I'm up to page 116 at this time.

          Does it get better?

          What makes it worth reading?

          Anyone?

          Joan
          ******************************************
          Joan Marie Verba
          verba001@...
          http://www.sff.net/people/Joan.Marie.Verba
          <http://www.sff.net/people/Joan.Marie.Verba>


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        • Joshua Kronengold
          ... True. ... Mind, while I like Miles a fair bit, he does irritate some. I did like the way that Cordelia kinda showed up in a mask, though her analogue
          Message 4 of 16 , Mar 20, 2003
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            Croft, Janet B writes:
            >It's quite good. Bujold has a way with characterization that I really like.
            >Her hero in this book is a little out of the ordinary and may take some
            >getting used to.

            True.

            >I have to say that even though I thought this was a very good book, I
            >like her Miles Vorkosigan books better. Maybe I just like Miles
            >better as a character.

            Mind, while I like Miles a fair bit, he does irritate some.

            I did like the way that Cordelia kinda showed up in a mask, though her
            analogue doesn't get amazing amounts of screen time.

            --
            Joshua Kronengold (mneme@...) "I've been teaching |\ _,,,--,,_ ,)
            --^--him...to live, to breathe, to walk, to sample the /,`.-'`' -, ;-;;'
            /\\joy on each road, and the sorrow at each turning. |,4- ) )-,_ ) /\
            /-\\\I'm sorry if I kept him out too late"--Vlad Taltos '---''(_/--' (_/-'
          • Lisa Padol
            The book built slowly up to one of the major events for me, then went at breakneck speed through events unexpected, but logical. And the constant clicking of
            Message 5 of 16 , Mar 20, 2003
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              The book built slowly up to one of the major events for me, then went
              at breakneck speed through events unexpected, but logical. And the
              constant clicking of things into place with unexpected, but
              foreshadowed payoff is a lot of what made the book work for me.

              There were also nice little touches I liked. But all of that's on a
              plot level. Mythopoeically speaking, the book qualifies in only one
              way. But it's kind of a big way.

              -Lisa


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            • Pauline J. Alama
              I d have jumped into this discussion sooner, but I haven t been getting mythsoc messages -- Lisa Padol s response just broke through this morning, but it was
              Message 6 of 16 , Mar 21, 2003
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                I'd have jumped into this discussion sooner, but I haven't been
                getting mythsoc messages -- Lisa Padol's response just broke through
                this morning, but it was the first message from the group that I've
                had in days.

                I'm not sure I can make headway with anyone who finds the book dull
                after 119 pages, because clearly our tastes differ radically. I found
                the book riveting after the first few pages, simply on the level of
                character, although it wasn't until about halfway through that I saw
                the mythic side of the story. That's when the gods come into play.

                The story is about miracles and their cost. Cazaril, the long-
                suffering hero, prays for divine intervention against injustice, and
                finds himself almost shatterred under the weight of a prayer granted
                beyond his imaginings. He becomes a vessel of a goddess, wrestling
                with her as he stumbles along the unclear path she has set him on. He
                learns both the power and the powerlessness of the gods -- they
                cannot act in the human sphere unless a human being willingly opens a
                path for them into this world by an act of self-abnegation. To see
                his miracle through to the end, he must continually deny himself,
                fulfilling the prophecy that the land of Chalion can only be saved by
                a man who will give his life for it three times over.

                I said this all better in my post last year during the Mythopoeic
                Award judging, which must be somewhere in the archives. But the
                message of the book hit me very personally. It just about socked me
                in the gut. You want a miracle? Here's what you have to do to get it:
                make room for God(s). Get your will out of the way and make a highway
                for God -- right through yourself. Can't stomach that? Fine. Go it
                alone, and don't whine to God, "Where are you when I need you?" I
                guess that message isn't as trenchant for everyone else as it was for
                me -- maybe these are my issues, and not as relevant to others. But
                that was my reaction. The story had resonance for me the way only a
                few stories ever do. I read it three times over in four months,
                willingly, and I just about never do that.

                Pauline J. Alama

                --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Joan Marie Verba <verba001@t...>
                wrote:
                > I noticed this won the 2002 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for adult
                > literature. Can anyone tell me why? This is the Rivendell topic for
                > Saturday and I'm trying to get through it. But it is dull, dull,
                dull.
                > I'm up to page 116 at this time.
                >
                > Does it get better?
                >
                > What makes it worth reading?
                >
                > Anyone?
                >
                > Joan
                > ******************************************
                > Joan Marie Verba
                > verba001@t...
                > http://www.sff.net/people/Joan.Marie.Verba
              • Pauline J. Alama
                Hi, Josh-- I am just (belatedly) discovering Bujold s non-Chalion books. Which character in Chalion did you think was Cordelia [Naismith Vorkosigan] in a
                Message 7 of 16 , Mar 21, 2003
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                  Hi, Josh--
                  I am just (belatedly) discovering Bujold's non-Chalion books. Which
                  character in Chalion did you think was "Cordelia [Naismith
                  Vorkosigan] in a mask"?
                  Pauline

                  --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Joshua Kronengold <mneme@i...> wrote:
                  > Croft, Janet B writes:
                  > >It's quite good. Bujold has a way with characterization that I
                  really like.
                  > >Her hero in this book is a little out of the ordinary and may take
                  some
                  > >getting used to.
                  >
                  > True.
                  >
                  > >I have to say that even though I thought this was a very good
                  book, I
                  > >like her Miles Vorkosigan books better. Maybe I just like Miles
                  > >better as a character.
                  >
                  > Mind, while I like Miles a fair bit, he does irritate some.
                  >
                  > I did like the way that Cordelia kinda showed up in a mask, though
                  her
                  > analogue doesn't get amazing amounts of screen time.
                  >
                  > --
                  > Joshua Kronengold (mneme@i...) "I've been teaching |\
                  _,,,--,,_ ,)
                  > --^--him...to live, to breathe, to walk, to sample the /,`.-
                  '`' -, ;-;;'
                  > /\\joy on each road, and the sorrow at each turning. |,4- ) )-
                  ,_ ) /\
                  > /-\\\I'm sorry if I kept him out too late"--Vlad Taltos '---''(_/--
                  ' (_/-'
                • ftl_publications
                  ... found ... saw ... Well, halfway through the book is beyond the point where I have read. ... and ... granted ... He ... a ... by ... That sounds as if it
                  Message 8 of 16 , Mar 21, 2003
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                    --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Pauline J. Alama" <PJAlama@e...>
                    wrote:

                    > I'm not sure I can make headway with anyone who finds the book dull
                    > after 119 pages, because clearly our tastes differ radically. I
                    found
                    > the book riveting after the first few pages, simply on the level of
                    > character, although it wasn't until about halfway through that I
                    saw
                    > the mythic side of the story. That's when the gods come into play.

                    Well, "halfway through the book" is beyond the point where I have
                    read.
                    >
                    > The story is about miracles and their cost. Cazaril, the long-
                    > suffering hero, prays for divine intervention against injustice,
                    and
                    > finds himself almost shatterred under the weight of a prayer
                    granted
                    > beyond his imaginings. He becomes a vessel of a goddess, wrestling
                    > with her as he stumbles along the unclear path she has set him on.
                    He
                    > learns both the power and the powerlessness of the gods -- they
                    > cannot act in the human sphere unless a human being willingly opens
                    a
                    > path for them into this world by an act of self-abnegation. To see
                    > his miracle through to the end, he must continually deny himself,
                    > fulfilling the prophecy that the land of Chalion can only be saved
                    by
                    > a man who will give his life for it three times over.

                    That sounds as if it might be an interesting story. However, none of
                    that is apparent in the first 1/4 of the novel. I really wish it had
                    been half that interesting so far.

                    Joan
                    ******************************************
                    Joan Marie Verba
                    verba001@t...
                    http://www.sff.net/people/Joan.Marie.Verba
                  • Pauline J. Alama
                    It sounds like, as far as the first half of _Chalion_ is concerned, it s just a matter of individual taste that it would be pointless to dispute. Dull and
                    Message 9 of 16 , Mar 21, 2003
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                      It sounds like, as far as the first half of _Chalion_ is concerned,
                      it's just a matter of individual taste that it would be pointless to
                      dispute. Dull and interesting are subjective, almost visceral
                      reactions, and there's often (proverbially, in fact) no accounting
                      for them. I found another of the finalists, _Declare_, very slow
                      going, but so many others found it fascinating that I have to
                      objectively conclude that its author was doing something right,
                      though not something to my taste. As I say to myself whenever
                      someone dislikes my writing, there are even people who don't
                      like chocolate.

                      I enjoyed the first half of _Chalion_ in part because I loved the
                      character of Cazaril, an eminently decent man whose
                      perceptions have been broadened by unusual misfortune.
                      I also enjoy the combination of political realism (understanding
                      the games people play with power) and political idealism
                      (commitment to doing justice wherever one can, within the
                      constraints of an imperfect system) that informs the early part of
                      the book. I think I recall another of the committee members
                      complaining that the book was "too political," so I guess if you
                      don't like politics, that part of the book would be annoying.

                      Pauline J. Alama

                      --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "ftl_publications"
                      <verba001@t...> wrote:
                      > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Pauline J. Alama"
                      <PJAlama@e...>
                      > wrote:
                      >
                      > > I'm not sure I can make headway with anyone who finds the
                      book dull
                      > > after 119 pages, because clearly our tastes differ radically. I
                      > found
                      > > the book riveting after the first few pages, simply on the level
                      of
                      > > character, although it wasn't until about halfway through that I
                      > saw
                      > > the mythic side of the story. That's when the gods come into
                      play.
                      >
                      > Well, "halfway through the book" is beyond the point where I
                      have
                      > read.
                      > >
                      > > The story is about miracles and their cost. Cazaril, the long-
                      > > suffering hero, prays for divine intervention against injustice,
                      > and
                      > > finds himself almost shatterred under the weight of a prayer
                      > granted
                      > > beyond his imaginings. He becomes a vessel of a goddess,
                      wrestling
                      > > with her as he stumbles along the unclear path she has set
                      him on.
                      > He
                      > > learns both the power and the powerlessness of the gods --
                      they
                      > > cannot act in the human sphere unless a human being
                      willingly opens
                      > a
                      > > path for them into this world by an act of self-abnegation. To
                      see
                      > > his miracle through to the end, he must continually deny
                      himself,
                      > > fulfilling the prophecy that the land of Chalion can only be
                      saved
                      > by
                      > > a man who will give his life for it three times over.
                      >
                      > That sounds as if it might be an interesting story. However,
                      none of
                      > that is apparent in the first 1/4 of the novel. I really wish it had
                      > been half that interesting so far.
                      >
                      > Joan
                      > ******************************************
                      > Joan Marie Verba
                      > verba001@t...
                      > http://www.sff.net/people/Joan.Marie.Verba
                    • William
                      Any book that can produce such interest, like and dislike has got to be worth reading. I m going to get a copy. Bright Blessings, William ... From: Pauline J.
                      Message 10 of 16 , Mar 22, 2003
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                        Any book that can produce such interest, like and dislike has got to be
                        worth reading. I'm going to get a copy.

                        Bright Blessings,

                        William
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "Pauline J. Alama" <PJAlama@...>
                        To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Friday, March 21, 2003 6:06 PM
                        Subject: [mythsoc] Re: The Curse of Chalion


                        > It sounds like, as far as the first half of _Chalion_ is concerned,
                        > it's just a matter of individual taste that it would be pointless to
                        > dispute. Dull and interesting are subjective, almost visceral
                        > reactions, and there's often (proverbially, in fact) no accounting
                        > for them. I found another of the finalists, _Declare_, very slow
                        > going, but so many others found it fascinating that I have to
                        > objectively conclude that its author was doing something right,
                        > though not something to my taste. As I say to myself whenever
                        > someone dislikes my writing, there are even people who don't
                        > like chocolate.
                        >
                        > I enjoyed the first half of _Chalion_ in part because I loved the
                        > character of Cazaril, an eminently decent man whose
                        > perceptions have been broadened by unusual misfortune.
                        > I also enjoy the combination of political realism (understanding
                        > the games people play with power) and political idealism
                        > (commitment to doing justice wherever one can, within the
                        > constraints of an imperfect system) that informs the early part of
                        > the book. I think I recall another of the committee members
                        > complaining that the book was "too political," so I guess if you
                        > don't like politics, that part of the book would be annoying.
                        >
                        > Pauline J. Alama
                        >
                        > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "ftl_publications"
                        > <verba001@t...> wrote:
                        > > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Pauline J. Alama"
                        > <PJAlama@e...>
                        > > wrote:
                        > >
                        > > > I'm not sure I can make headway with anyone who finds the
                        > book dull
                        > > > after 119 pages, because clearly our tastes differ radically. I
                        > > found
                        > > > the book riveting after the first few pages, simply on the level
                        > of
                        > > > character, although it wasn't until about halfway through that I
                        > > saw
                        > > > the mythic side of the story. That's when the gods come into
                        > play.
                        > >
                        > > Well, "halfway through the book" is beyond the point where I
                        > have
                        > > read.
                        > > >
                        > > > The story is about miracles and their cost. Cazaril, the long-
                        > > > suffering hero, prays for divine intervention against injustice,
                        > > and
                        > > > finds himself almost shatterred under the weight of a prayer
                        > > granted
                        > > > beyond his imaginings. He becomes a vessel of a goddess,
                        > wrestling
                        > > > with her as he stumbles along the unclear path she has set
                        > him on.
                        > > He
                        > > > learns both the power and the powerlessness of the gods --
                        > they
                        > > > cannot act in the human sphere unless a human being
                        > willingly opens
                        > > a
                        > > > path for them into this world by an act of self-abnegation. To
                        > see
                        > > > his miracle through to the end, he must continually deny
                        > himself,
                        > > > fulfilling the prophecy that the land of Chalion can only be
                        > saved
                        > > by
                        > > > a man who will give his life for it three times over.
                        > >
                        > > That sounds as if it might be an interesting story. However,
                        > none of
                        > > that is apparent in the first 1/4 of the novel. I really wish it had
                        > > been half that interesting so far.
                        > >
                        > > Joan
                        > > ******************************************
                        > > Joan Marie Verba
                        > > verba001@t...
                        > > http://www.sff.net/people/Joan.Marie.Verba
                        >
                        >
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                      • Paul F. Labaki
                        I also enjoy the combination of political realism (understanding the games people play with power) and political idealism (commitment to doing justice wherever
                        Message 11 of 16 , Mar 22, 2003
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                          I also enjoy the combination of political realism (understanding
                          the games people play with power) and political idealism
                          (commitment to doing justice wherever one can, within the
                          constraints of an imperfect system) that informs the early part of
                          the book. I think I recall another of the committee members
                          complaining that the book was "too political," so I guess if you
                          don't like politics, that part of the book would be annoying.

                          Pauline J. Alama


                          The politics drove Kay's "Sarantine Mosaic" as much as character did.
                          Politics are vital in LOTR, Lewis's Space Trilogy, in Williams's work etc.
                          It plays a part in families, social groups, businesses, volunteer
                          organizations, government, religiion, on some level, in almost any group of
                          people. An author's deft handling of various characters' responses to each
                          other and to events goes a long way in making those characters and the world
                          in which they are set believable. When it works, I can't help getting
                          caught up in the story. The politics go a long way in transporting me into
                          the book.



                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Joshua Kronengold
                          ... Hi, Pauline -- was good seeing you (if briefly) at Lunacon. ... I certainly hope you enjoy them; for the most part, they re extremely good. ... I m having
                          Message 12 of 16 , Mar 26, 2003
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                            Pauline J. Alama writes:
                            >Hi, Josh--

                            Hi, Pauline -- was good seeing you (if briefly) at Lunacon.

                            >I am just (belatedly) discovering Bujold's non-Chalion books.

                            I certainly hope you enjoy them; for the most part, they're extremely
                            good.

                            >Which character in Chalion did you think was "Cordelia [Naismith
                            >Vorkosigan] in a mask"?

                            I'm having problems remmembering character names at the moment and
                            don't have a library with me.

                            But the matriarch who first takes the progagonist in struck me that
                            way, IIRC.


                            --
                            Joshua Kronengold (mneme@...) "I've been teaching |\ _,,,--,,_ ,)
                            --^--him...to live, to breathe, to walk, to sample the /,`.-'`' -, ;-;;'
                            /\\joy on each road, and the sorrow at each turning. |,4- ) )-,_ ) /\
                            /-\\\I'm sorry if I kept him out too late"--Vlad Taltos '---''(_/--' (_/-'
                          • Joan Marie Verba
                            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
                            Message 13 of 16 , Apr 12, 2003
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                              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.

                              Joan
                              ******************************************
                              Joan Marie Verba
                              verba001@...
                              http://www.sff.net/people/Joan.Marie.Verba
                            • David S Bratman
                              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
                              Message 14 of 16 , 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.
                              • Joan Marie Verba
                                ... I appreciate the advice. I haven t read The Fionavar Tapestry by Kay, but if I ever do, and it s boring for the first 100 pages, I ll leave it there. Joan
                                Message 15 of 16 , Apr 13, 2003
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                                  David S Bratman wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Joan, that's pretty much how I felt about "The Fionavar Tapestry" by Guy
                                  > Gavriel Kay.

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

                                  I appreciate the advice. I haven't read The Fionavar Tapestry by Kay,
                                  but if I ever do, and it's boring for the first 100 pages, I'll leave it
                                  there.

                                  Joan
                                  ******************************************
                                  Joan Marie Verba
                                  verba001@...
                                  http://www.sff.net/people/Joan.Marie.Verba
                                • Joshua Kronengold
                                  ... He s still sloppy, though IMO, the Sarentine stuff is a lot -less- sloppy than a lot of his intermediate work. And he s doing a decent worldbuilding job
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Apr 14, 2003
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                                    David S Bratman writes:
                                    >I've heard that his writing has improved since then. But by how much?

                                    He's still sloppy, though IMO, the Sarentine stuff is a lot -less-
                                    sloppy than a lot of his intermediate work. And he's doing a decent
                                    worldbuilding job now rather than throwing in any old thing and
                                    calling it fantasy. And his plotting and characters have improved a
                                    great deal (but that's not what people love the Fionavar tapestry
                                    for).

                                    Mostly...his post-Fionavar work has been much more of a piece than any
                                    of it is with the Fionavar stuff...and has been getting better as
                                    things went, but isn't really comperable with Fionavar -- either in
                                    terms of characters, theme, or worldbuilding, for the most part.

                                    --
                                    Joshua Kronengold (mneme@...) "I've been teaching |\ _,,,--,,_ ,)
                                    --^--him...to live, to breathe, to walk, to sample the /,`.-'`' -, ;-;;'
                                    /\\joy on each road, and the sorrow at each turning. |,4- ) )-,_ ) /\
                                    /-\\\I'm sorry if I kept him out too late"--Vlad Taltos '---''(_/--' (_/-'
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