This is a cheat. I’m writing what should really be a Fridays With Magpies post…on a Wednesday. Cats and dogs living together!
It’s too sunny to be too morose and I don’t know that there needs to be any other thing said about the sadness of loss. Only this: when I’m tempted to ask if there is life after death we have a sunny day all gorgeous and shining just a few hours after dismal rain. I take that as a sign of sorts.
NM commented last week that I enjoy the Epic Fantasy more than she does. That is probably true. However, after slogging through the first 92 pages of The Dragonbone Chair I think it’s safe to say that I don’t like all epic fantasy. I really wanted to like the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series, of which Dragonbone Chair is the first volume. But it feels dated and bogged down by dull details. I like details in my fantasy, but I prefer they be put together in a way that pulls me into the story, not in a way that sounds like a list of Begats.
I started reading it because Patrick Rothfuss was raving about how much he loves Tad Williams’ writing and how much he enjoyed Williams’ latest book. That book, however, is Urban Fantasy–a subgenre I generally kind of hate. Especially this new trend revolving around angels. The only story I like with angels coming to earth is Dogma. The rest of it is so tedious. Maybe I should have been Roman Catholic. I have this theory that the Catholics understand angels better than we Anabaptists. That’s the one thing I envy about Roman Catholicism. They have their Cast of Thousands with artful details about the lives of the saints and the creatures of heaven. We anabaptists have Jesus and–on a good day–the apostles. We tend to be more focused on the straightforward aspects of the faith. Which is really okay but sometimes I miss that sort of Heavenlore that the Roman Catholic church is steeped in.
Since I’m not reading Williams’ Urban angel book (I bet you thought I forgot what I was talking about!) I pulled Dragonbone Chair off the library servers. Several people on the Westeros forum said that the series is a must-read because “that’s where George RR Martin got the idea to write A Song Of Ice And Fire [The Game Of Thrones series of books].” I think they’re right. Because I think what Martin did was read these and say “that’s an intriguing way to tell an Epic Fantasy tale. But I can do soooooo much better.” That’s what the first 92 pages of DC feel like–Like Game of Thrones with all the artful nuance sucked out.
Now I’ll probably go back and finish the book and change my mind. But right now I’m frustrated by it and I feel like a philistine. I feel like the Emperor of Austria telling Mozart his music has too many notes.