Saturday, March 17, 2007

I'm not listening. la-la-la-la-I'mmmmm not listening!

2893_Knights and skulls
Originally uploaded by YorickWell.
Books and a TV show, part II.

While The Higher Power of Lucky is rather material/physical (as opposed to metaphysical/mystic), the next book I'll mention is more in a magical vein.
The Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett is 3rd in the Tiffany Aching series/adventures/trilogy/thing. According to the catalog, it's number 34 in the Discworld series, but the stories of Tiffany Aching are fairly self-contained. (I've not read any of the other Discworld series.)

First of all, Tiffany Aching is an excellent character. She's not annoyingly perfect, but she is a girl, relatively strong, magically talented, and both clever and intelligent. (As Lennon and McCartney said, "And if you saw [Tiffany] You'd love her too.")

All three of her stories involve struggling against danger and tremendous odds (which is a good deal more cliched than any of the books). In The Wintersmith, Tiffany attracts the attention and infatuation of The Wintersmith himself. He is the personification of Winter. Inspite of his age (after all, winter has been around nearly forever....) he has all the experience of hitting on human girls of a early middle school boy. His power and the self-evident unsuitability of the match make much of the danger and suspense of the plot.

The Wintersmith has some similarities to Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. A magical being becomes enamored of a mortal woman (girl) and causes trouble and danger for a number of people because of it. Of course, TW is a good deal shorter. And its allusions are clearly contemporary (whereas JS & MrN is pretending to be written in Victorian times about England during Napoleonic War times).

Also, Tiffany is the protagonist, not the Nac Mac Feegle, not any of the other witches wanting to help her, and not Roland, the human boy who writes to her. Thus, TW is as if one took one of the main plot points from JS & Mr N but had Mrs. Strange or Lady Pole have to save themselves. I like the variation on a theme, myself.

Read both and see what you think. Only read The Wintersmith first, because it's shorter.

Oops. out of time. have to talk about the TV show next post.

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