Wednesday, October 18, 2006
It's Less of a Riddle when you Know the Answer. Kinda.
The Riddle is Alison Croggon's follow-up to last year's The Naming. I find this series fascinating, in a non-traditionally fascinating way. It's taken no little musing for me to figure out why I feel this way. Ultimately, I've decided that it's because no matter how fantastical or monumental the happenings in the book are, it's handled in such a way that not only is it entirely believable, I start trying to fit the fantastic into my world. Which is weird. Even when you think nothing is happening, something is. It's just emotional or psychological. It's quiet. It's subtle. It's gripping. I literally can't put it down. I'm not quite sure how Croggon does it. I dig fantasy, but I don't normally go for the Epic stuff. For instance, I still haven't read any Robert Jordan. Which is apparently some sort of dire sin judging by the gasps I always hear when I admit to that. But jeez, I can't commit to that! And how boring would it be for all you who read this? (that's just a bad excuse I'm banking on to get me out of reading that series for a couple more years...)
You've got your typical orphan, Maerad, born with extraordinary power and destined to save the world from evil. There's one of those prophecies, which naturally leads to the quest we began in the first book. Now Maerad and her mentor have been ruled outlaws, which makes their quest just that much more difficult. Which is just what they need on top of the Storm Dogs, Abominable Snow-Creatures, and that normal teen girl surly-ness.
It's pretty much the standard epic fantasy plot. In fact, it sounds rather ordinary when I break it down like that. There are some rather predictable elements, but it's the journey, right?
Read it when warm, as there is a whole lot of snow and cold. Word of advise - don't get too attached to anyone; Croggon seems to think that killing off everyone Maerad loves makes her stronger.