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[personal profile] wilderthan
It's strange. I was sure at first that I'd read this when I was younger, and bits still chimed with me, but a lot of it felt like new discoveries. Strange parallels with the main character, here! I can't decide whether it counts as a new read or a reread. Hmm. Anyway! I just read a handful of reviews and they all mentioned the idea that when Diana Wynne Jones writes for children, magic doesn't need so much explaining as it does for adults. I think that probably is true, to some extent, but there are plenty of adults who can get on the ride too, and I did. Okay, I made my frowny face of confusion sometimes, but...

The characters are fun. I especially like Granny, I think, with the biscuity smell and the cat called Mintchoc and her matter-of-fact ways. And her sailing out to court battles, and winning them. I wanted to kick the rest of Polly's family. I do kind of wonder why there was rather a lot of emphasis on Polly's family woes, although I guess it does make it that much more realistic. Polly's a real fleshed-out sort of character, with the same kinds of worries as other kids -- nobody coming to her play, wondering whether a certain someone will show up to her sports day, wondering when she'll get a decent figure, worrying about her parents' divorce...

I definitely identified with the love of reading stuff. In case anyone wondered.

The plot is fun, too. It's based on old legends of Tam Lin/Thomas the Rhymer, etc. Makes me curious to go and pick up the other book I've got on my list about Thomas the Rhymer -- by Ellen Kushner. Hmm, maybe. Anyway, it's a legend I've always been somewhat interested in. Particularly since I heard Karine Polwart's take on it, in the form of a song, "Tongue That Cannot Lie". (Here on Spotify, lyrics here.) It's a modern take on it, really, an extension of the old legend into the present.

The main trouble with it is how much it picked up pace in the last quarter or so of the book. It lost me a couple of times, there. But I liked it overall, big grown up adult (nearly twenty omg omg omg omg omg) or not.


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October 2013

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