September 8th, 2012

rose code

Saar Glaurung. (69)

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman.

Allsaints' heretics:
Saint Yirtrudis & Mister
Mxyzptlk, imp.

It took me a minute to warm up to this book, but once I did I enjoyed it. This is Terra's book for Eleven-Books Club, which you can tell because she loves dragons. It is also the first YA that we've actually put on the list, which is weird because the group has a lot of readers of young adult fiction. The things that did it for me were the little details; the medallions of the Allsaints religion, the psalter, the holy days, the modes of address. Oh, & Seraphina's memory palace, which reminded me of Derren Brown's Tricks of the Mind. Also, the sort of reoccuring mythpoeic dream characters resonates with me, because; well, that is how I roll. I just, just finished, so I'm still digesting & this might be a bit muddled. Let me see here; I peeked at Carmen's review of it on accident, & she wasn't moved by the protagonist, but I liked her. She was a mix of clever & stupid, which is what almost all YA heros are like, but I thought Hartman pulled it off. There was a weird "cutting" sequence that seemed...out of character. I mean, I understand the logic of the scene, but it didn't have a lot of verisimilitude. The politics made sense, as did the plot, even though I don't think the characters were very good at figuring it out. There was a lot more "looking for clues" than there was "asking people questions," & I think the former was a little... convenient & easy & there could have been more of the latter. Sometimes I wanted to be like "come on, look at Chekhov's Gun, it is right there in the open!" I did find the social distinctions & ideology of the dragons interesting; reminded me of Jo Walton's Tooth & Claw. I guess the best verdict I can give it is: I would read the second one. Also, I really liked this fictional quote by the philosopher Necans from the book: "The world inside myself is vaster & richer than this paltry plane, peopled with mere galaxies & gods." We worldbuilders know what is up. Oh & this book is really, really pretty. Incredibly well packaged; I was pretty sure I'd read it from the moment I spotted it in a bookstore, even before it was a book club pick.