“No, I’m wrong,” she said flatly, “I am afraid of you. Ignorance is always frightening, ignorance married to power is terrifying; and you don’t know what it is any more than I do. Do you? You don’t know what it can do, or what you can do with it…”
No, of course he didn’t. He had a stranger in his veins, a clamorous, calamitous stranger; and there was nothing he could say to comfort her, he thought perhaps there was no comfort left in the world.
– Chaz Brenchley, The Tower of the King’s Daughter
My last week in halls seems to be passing rather quickly. I have fallen into the stay up all night, sleep all day routine very easily. I go to bed in the small hours and read until its light, eat breakfast, then go to sleep the day away. The first time I did that I slept the best I have in a long, long time. No strange dreams, no stirring awake at any point. I tried to capture that again but now I just feel tired from doing too little and sleeping too much at odd hours. I’m consuming masses amount of media to pass the time and keep my mind off upcoming results- lots of fic, watching and re watching the DVDs I have lying around, tearing through my books.
I think I’m doing a good job on my goal of reading 30 books this year and may yet increase it to 50.
I started reading A Song of Achilles, though I can’t seem to get into it. It’s an exotic setting but a fairly typical storyline- the ‘ugly’, unpopular kid meets the popular one who magically isn’t a jerk and then they fall in love despite their ‘differences’. The storyline is tired and I can’t connect with the characters. I don’t know, I might fall under its spell yet. I’ve also been trying to read the Spice & Wolf novels after loving the anime series, but I find myself torn between liking them and finding them deathly boring. I love the characters of Lawrence and Holo, especially Holo, and they are adorable together but at the end of the day its a book about a travelling merchant being a travelling merchant and I have no interest in economics or currency or whatever. It’s clear I don’t understand that kind of stuff either right?
I also finally managed to finish The Tower of the King’s Daughter, which is the first in a trilogy of fat high fantasy books set in a place called Outremer, which takes inspiration from the crusader kingdoms (source). I devoured the first part of the book in a matter of days but I had to set it aside as it started to get too angsty, and I only just got the courage to finish it the other day. I loved this book but I also hated it because it was just too gritty, too depressing. I spent the first part of the book growing to love the main character Marron, and enjoying watching him fall in love with Anton and praying for them to have their HEA and well MAJOR SPOILER alert that doesn’t happen, and Anton drops of the face of the planet in the second book and I just can’t. I grew to like the other characters but not as much as I loved those two, as much as I loved them together. END SPOILER. The quote is from that book, because they are beautifully written, the world building is incredible and I love the unusual setting, but reading these books leaves me feeling sad, leaves me grieving alongside the characters for all they could have had, all they lost and are still losing. The worst thing is that just as these characters are struggling to find their happy endings, I’ll be struggling through the rest of the trilogy looking for the same thing.
So after being thoroughly depressed by that book I sought out lighter fantasy, and I picked up another Lois McMaster Bujold book, after liking The Curse of Chalion. Chose the first in the sharing knife trilogy of hers- Beguilment– and am left not sure how to feel about it. It took me by surprise, for I thought it would be the typical girl goes on adventure and learns she is the special one who needs to save the world, but instead I spent the book ‘watching’ two amazing people fall in love in a realistic manner- sweet and funny and painful without ever wallowing in the angst. It rather surpassed my expectations, but I still felt a bit dissatisfied toward the end. It was sweet but I wanted more action, and I couldn’t quite get over the age difference (it’s well over 20 years between them, and 20 is generally my limit). One of my favourite fantasy series is the Immortals by Tamora Pierce and I bring that up as it also featured the much older man paired with a very young woman and I think perhaps it was handled better there. The relationship was better paced in the immortals- they worked through their differences in age and experience, and there was that push/pull that kept it exciting, and me on the edge of my seat, for all the books, and enough going on besides to make it all the more gripping. I am somewhat confused as to where these books are going plotwise, and the romance is all but resolved. I think there are going to be some issues with the male’s family next book so I’ll be reading on if only to answer- what could possibly happen next?