News as of April 3

So! I am preparing my episode-by-episode review of Doctor Who Series 2, with David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor. It will probably still take a little while to finish, but I’ve got more notes on each episode than I did for the previous series, so hopefully it’ll go faster by comparison. Also, I finished my long-postponed reread of Rosemary Sutcliff’s Eagle of the Ninth, and am writing that review too. I’m trying not to compare it too much to the movie adaptation, but certain observations will be made.

Books that I am reading for review are The Dragonheroes by Blake Garrett Anderson and King Arthur’s Children by Tyler Tichelaar, the former an epic fantasy novel in the tradition of David Eddings and the latter a scholarly study of, well, the children of King Arthur in fiction.

Recently I have purchased Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay, Hood by Stephen Lawhead (first in a trilogy that reimagines Robin Hood in a Welsh semi-fantasy setting), and Rudyard Kipling’s Tales of Horror & Fantasy, edited by Stephen Jones with an introduction by the one-and-only Neil Gaiman. It shall be some time before I get to the novels, but perhaps now and then I can review one of Kipling’s short stories.


Author: David

I’m a young Christian American reader writer dreamer wanderer walker flier listener talker scholar adventurer musician word-magician romantic critic religious idealist optipessimist man.

9 thoughts on “News as of April 3”

  1. I’ll be interested to see your review of that King Arthur book. I bought “Looking for the King: An Inklings Novel” recently, and I read it with high hopes. However, it was slow, the characters were not engaging (the main two I mean…having Tolkien and Lewis as characters was pretty boss), and I honestly just could not keep my attention on it. Maybe this book will be better! 🙂

    1. Too bad, an Inklings novel sounds interesting! At the very least, King Arthur’s Children will point out links to other medieval sources that mention characters as children of Arthur — links I haven’t heard of before.

  2. One day, I will learn that having a notebook on hand is a Good and Useful thing. It’s not that much different from how I read on a computer, really, and I have no problems about it there.

    You may want to consider holding back on reading “Ysabel” until you’ve got the whole Fionavar Tapestry trilogy, though. I say (and stress) ‘may’ because as I understand it, it’s only loosely tied in with the trilogy. It depends on how badly you want to play “Catch the reference!”, I suppose. I thought I’d throw it out there, though, in case you weren’t aware of the connection and are the type of person who’d regret not knowing it upon discovering it after reading. ^-^

    1. Hm, I think I see what you mean. As I now understand it, Ysabel does work as a stand-alone novel, but takes place in the same world and with some of the same characters as The Fionavar Tapestry. Is that right? If so, I’ll probably wait until I get to the trilogy first. I wasn’t going to get to Ysabel that soon anyway, and I’m sure I can find the trilogy at the library. (Ysabel was bought with bookstore gift cards I had to use up before the store closes!)

      1. Sooooort oooof… It has some of the same characters, but what’s set in our world in FT is mostly set in Canada or the UK, unless I’m misremembering something fierce, and “Ysabel” takes place at least partially somewhere in France.

        I may decide I have to reread the trilogy before digging into my copy of “Ysabel”. It’s been a while since I read it.

  3. Hmm, since I am on a Robin Hood kick at the moment, remind me, you liked Robin Mckinley’s Outlaws of Sherwood, right? Should I read it?

    On the same note, I look forward to hearing what you think of Lawhead’s Hood. It sounds intriguing. As I said before, I’ve read his Taliesin and the first Paradise War book. I’ve really liked the kinds of worlds he’s built combining Christian story elements and pagan Celtic mythology, but he’s never *quite* won me over with his narrative style. I feel like I owe him another chance, though.

    1. Yeah, I think you’d like Outlaws of Sherwood, probably for similar reasons as me. As I remember, I’m not super happy with what she did to Robin himself — she has him as a very nice, well-meaning soul, but not a natural leader or a particularly good archer, all to make room for her Action Girl Marian — but I thought she nailed the feeling of brotherhood among the outlaws (probably was her intent, given the title). It has been many years since I read it though, and my opinion is based on memories of my initial reaction more than of details in the book itself. I don’t know what I’d think of it now, honestly.

      Aye, I’ll be sure to be as insightful as possible when I review Hood. He published it in 2006, so maybe in the intervening 19 years he has sharpened his style to better match his ideas. *shrug* Hope so!

      1. Action Girl Marian? Hmm… Is she obnoxiously warrior princess tom girl-ish? Of course, I like strong female characters, but I don’t like them too be so assertively “I’m better than any man” that they stop being feminine.

        One of the things I love about Robin of Sherwood is that while Marian (after a brief fight with Robin over the matter) fully participates and fights alongside the men, she’s still the much needed feminine presence in the band. She still wears a dress (a long one), and she takes care of matters that the guys probably aren’t delicate enough to handle.

        1. I don’t remember her as too obnoxious; her focus seemed to be encouraging Robin to step up and be the leader the group needed. But she was considerably bolder than he and seemed to give him most of his good ideas. She was a tomboy and the best archer in Sherwood, even taking Robin’s place at the famed archery contest in disguise. That part bothered me — I’m fine with her being a capable outlaw, and smart, and bold, but why did she have to usurp most of what makes Robin Robin? That did get annoying, as I recall, even if the character herself was still pretty nice. You did find yourself asking why they needed Robin at all, but I think he was meant to be the moral center of the group.

          Well, it might be awhile before I move on to Doctor Who Series 4, so maybe I’ll have time to give Robin of Sherwood a go!

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