January 11th, 2011

read

Last books of 2010!

So, it's only a few days late, right? Here's the wrap-up for my 2010 reading list. 

102. Les voyageurs malgré eux (Elisabeth Vonarburg)
Vonarburg starts with a French-speaking Enclave de Montréal surrounded by an English-speaking and somewhat oppressive Canada, takes us to the quasi-mythical Royaume du Saguenay, and then things start to get really weird. This is a book with so much going on in it that every time you think you've figured it out, it changes. The ultimate explanation seems to come from a completely different genre from the book's beginning, and yet it all ties together so that you hardly notice. This is a good story. My only complaint would be that it bogs down a bit in the middle while Catherine is healing and learning and nothing much seems to happen for quite a while. ****

103, 104. 105. The Deed of Paksennarion: Sheepfarmer's Daughter, Divided Allegiance, Oath of Gold (Elizabeth Moon)
This is such a strange trilogy; I don't think I've ever read anything quite like it. It's set in an almost completely clichéd fantasy world, full of elves and dwarves and magic potions that are like something out of a role-playing game, and yet it starts out with a completely detailed and down-to-earth description of life as a trainee in a mercenary company. Even as the world opens up and the magic gets increasingly present, there's a persistant sense of hard-headed reality attached to everything that happens. You wouldn't have thought a story about a Paladin that involves a Great Destiny and restoring a King to his throne could be so resolutely mundane. It's quite incredible, really (Mundane doesn't mean boring, here, by the way -- Moon has a rare skill with the everyday, and it's quite absorbing reading). ****


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