Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Dancers of Arun

Some books I find by wandering through the library, pulling them off the shelf.  Such was the case with The Dancers of Arun by Elizabeth A. Lynn. 

It meets some of my basic criteria:
  • I like fantasy novels because they are about a pre-industrial world.  I like them when they are mostly fantasy novels for that reason.  I don't like them to be thick with dragons, magic, princesses, etc.  
  • I like them when it feels like I am inside the main character's head, rather than when it is told from the outside.  I like it when it's about characters, feelings, and relationships.
Some things about it which I think for me were neutral, not really pros or cons:
  • It has non-mainstream sexual mores.  It would be off-putting to many.  On the other hand those who like such things would see this as a plus.  For me, it wasn't really a plus or a minus.  To me, I entered into the world of the novel and took things in terms of what they meant to the characters.
  • Some describe Lynn's writing style as "choppy" or "stilted."  Some saw this as a positive, others as a negative.  To me, for the most part, the book was successful in getting me too immersed in the story to notice the language, although it times it did seem a little off.
A negative for me:
  •  Many characters didn't really have distinct personalities.  It was just a bunch of names to keep straight.  When a book really gives you a sense of who a person is, then you don't have to think, "Which one is that one again?"  Or, even when I knew which one it was, I just knew one fact about them, I didn't have a feel for who they were as a person.  
A positive:
  • Portrayal of disability.  It's presented as something that's not like a big thing, not like this person is a disabled person.  Instead, it's just part of who a person is.  It has a constant impact on who they are, but it is just one part of who they are, it is not their identity.  

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