Sunday, June 28, 2009

Summer reading

Summer has begun in earnest, and while there are many things I dislike about summer, I do like having the time to read and sew, and update this blog.

And I have been using my time, even! I made myself a pair of shorts, navy blue with red apple-shaped buttons, which are pleasingly picturesque. I'm plotting all sorts of other sewing projects, like a lemon-print cotton dress, and various skirts and shirts and whatnot. I have also been reading, and catching up on everyone else's book blogs, which I am sadly behind on (I have 30 or 40 entries to read for at least four different blogs). Reading all these bookish thoughts are making me contemplate doing JulNoWriMo again, which I hadn't planned on (last year I started it half way through the month and still managed to finish in time--there are a couple of blog entries in which I mention it).

I finished reading The Hero and the Crown, yesterday, by Robin McKinley. It's a bit of a classic, I guess. It certainly has numerous elements of classic fantasy, though it's so good these don't really bother at all. I loved the style of the writing, although the style sort of changes part way through, and then changes slightly again. The middle section moved the slowest, and then toward the end it picked up and I fairly raced through.

It's the story of Aerin, daughter of the king by his second wife, who was never very well-accepted, and whose daughter is now a bit of a stranger in her own home. Of course, Aerin is not entirely who she thinks she is.

The book was often rather surprising. It doesn't follow quite the expected pattern, but I think this is a side effect of the way the style changes. In the beginning I expected it to be a conventional fantasy and follow conventional fantasy plotlines, what with dragons and swords and princesses, but then it changed and fell more into the pattern of authors such as Patricia McKillip or John Dickinson, a silvery, dreamlike sort of writing and action. And then it changed again and became sort of a cross between the two. It is a very satisfying book in that it wraps things up very nicely for Aerin, though it's almost too nicely, but there's enough that goes wrong along the way that this ending isn't really a problem.

It was given to me as the favourite book of the giver, so I'm glad I enjoyed it.

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