Reader, Writer, Merciless Reviewer and Incurable Romantic
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I'll post all the previous update links later. I'm taking a break for lunch and it's a good time to catch up on the commentary.
I didn't read much last night, but I hit a major transition point that once again dragged me completely out of the story. It made me a Reader again, rather than an observer of the actions as they happen.
What I was reminded of, interestingly enough, was the movie version of Practical Magic.
Sisters Sally and Gillian Owens are witches. Their aunts are witches. Sally's daughters are witches. They do real magic. They know they are different from "normal" people, and they know there are risks if they let "normal" people see them doing magic. So when Detective Gary Hallett witnesses them doing magic, he knows something strange is going on. He's "normal," and what he sees is not normal. He's aware of the difference.
In The Summer Tree, there's lots of magic, beginning with the transport of the "normal" earth humans to the world of Fionavar. But they're never amazed. They never have a sense of wonder. They're never curious about anything.
They never have a sense of fear.
The transition that takes place at approximately the two-thirds point in The Summer Tree is three-fold.
At this point the scene shifts to another locale in Fionavar, but without any real explanation. Yes, that's becoming a theme. I guess as a reader I'm just supposed to accept all this on faith, but that's not how I have ever read fantasy. And I've been reading High Fantasy since Lord of the Rings was first published in paperback in the late 1960s. This is not my first merry-go-round.
This is also a point at which a whole bunch more places and people and . . . things? . . . are brought into the narrative, with new words that have no context for understanding. Are the animals being herded somewhat akin to cattle? to horses? to sheep? to deer? Or are they something unique (and magical) to Fionavar?
By the way, at 244 pages into this book, I still have no idea what svarts are, other than some icky, deadly animal. Are they like wolves? No, probably not, since there are also wolves and they are apparently bigger and more ferocious than svarts. Are they cat-like? Badgers? Wolverines? Lizards? I don't know and it's making me not like this book.