The Sorrows of Young Werewolf (eyeteeth) wrote,
The Sorrows of Young Werewolf

Evil will always triumph, because good is dumb

Heh-heh hrm heh, you said angiosperms. Uh, yeah. Me too.

This book where teenagers fix everything is two or two and a half times longer than most of them, part of a growing trend for which I blame George R. R. Martin. I use the word blame loosely, though, given that holy crap, this is my job, I get paid to read novels. How lucky am I? Answer: very. Also, this book is pretty good to begin with. I am always amazed by books like this that involve sixty-five characters and twelve empires and a war on several fronts and some secret societies and twelve romantic relationships plus there's magic and here's how the magic works and here are all the words I made up to discuss the magic. The machinations of about six private citizens, in their private lives, is about as much as I can keep in my head as a writer. But that's OK because that's also the stuff I find interesting, for the most part.

It occurs to me as I read this giant high fantasy novel with all the political intrigue in it that one of the reasons that type of novel appeals to people so much is probably that fantasy gives you a chance to posit a complicated political system that is somehow fairly accessible to ordinary citizens in a way that ours emphatically is not. In these novels you have people more or less going about their business and then suddenly WHAM! you're the chief adviser to the Kaiser, or whatever the ruler is called in this world, and the fact that you're seventeen doesn't seem to faze anyone in the slightest. It doesn't typically happen in our reality that you're eating a bagel and then suddenly you trip over Hillary Clinton's foot and before you know it you're flying Air Force One. And you may as well be seventeen, because at this point it's not like that's going to make it any less believable, right? I admit, I find that idea immensely appealing as well. And of course you have your farm boys who turn out to be the Chosen One, that's always going to be a thing in fantasy, but I've never cared for that one much. Maybe because my entire life seems in retrospect like one long instance of people not shutting up about Star Wars. My thinking is that Western civilization is basically built on a myth about a farm boy who turns out to be the Chosen One, and it was done pretty well in the book of Matthew, so can we explore another idea? But as long as men write fantasy, we're going to come back to it, and I've come to terms with that. I ask only that you throw a few other ideas into your nine-hundred-page novel as well.
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