Janny Janny's Comments (member since May 10, 2009)

Janny's comments from the Beyond Reality group.

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Mar 10, 2016 10:01AM

16548 Kathi wrote: "I finished Kingdom of Cages by Sarah Zettel last night (well, early this morning). 4/5 stars. A unique and engaging story. It really made me think about ecological con..."

Sarah's Zettel's work is admirably fine. Huge pity she isn't more widely read, and for no reason I can fathom.
Dec 01, 2015 07:44AM

16548 I have a little pile going slow burn, for those moments snatched while under deadline, Vellum, a rather unusual title by Hal Duncan, also Without Bloodshed by an author brand new to me, and The Killing Moon on kindle, my first toe in the waters with N.K. Jemisin.

Dreading the hot moment of temptation when Ash and Silver and The Labyrinth of Flame arrive, Berg and Schafer being firmly established on my toplist of favorite authors.
May 12, 2015 09:19AM

16548 Congrats, Shel!!!
Apr 15, 2015 02:23PM

16548 Helen wrote: "Janny wrote: "Finished The Goblin Emperor, and now finishing The Element of Fire, two very different approaches to a court intrigue. Wells is in her element, here - th..."

Wells had my vote, every time. Loved her work for years.
Apr 15, 2015 09:17AM

16548 Finished The Goblin Emperor, and now finishing The Element of Fire, two very different approaches to a court intrigue. Wells is in her element, here - the settings of both books are splendid.
16548 Aussie500 wrote: "Janny could you please clarify something I usually seem to get confused about when re-reading. The carven serpentine jade dais in Hanshire, it is made of serpentine jade, or serpent shaped? I usual..."

The reference would be to the mineral, not the shape. Though your interpretation is certainly intriguing...
16548 Enjoyed this book tremendously - nobody does poetic allegory better than McKillip!
Jan 14, 2015 07:22AM

16548 Alissa wrote: "I see, thank you Janny!!! I was also wondering, about the High Kings, I take it the former ruling house of Melhalla has no heir apparent, but the Dukes of Alestron, are they subjected to the caithd..."

In the absence of a High King, yes, the voice of crown justice would be the caithdein. There is an appendix section in one of the later volumes (at ending of Arc III) that goes into this subject in depth, also, how the lines of inheritance and descent work - it's not how you think. I believe also that section was set up as a reference on the Paravia website for reader access. The information is general and would not hold spoilers as nothing mentioned is story specific.
Jan 13, 2015 07:47AM

16548 Alissa wrote: "Two moments of reckoning (Dakar's and Lysaer's), I wonder what is brewing. I'm really intrigued by the developing bard gifts of Arithon, I guess the loss (temporary?) of his mage-sight and skills m..."

Hi Alissa, great to see you enjoying the nuance of the storyline so much, a lot was packed into each scene. Yes, if a secondary character was developed in the storyline (as in Tharrick and Jinesse) they will come to play a role in the story as it moves on. Sometimes that role will be large or small - but either way, they will not overwhelm or diverge the storyline, but will integrate with the actions of the major players.
16548 Read this book awhile back - the ideas in it are never more pertinent, and have stuck with me for a very long time. The story is interesting in its own right, but it has been the powerful ideas that stuck with me, unforgettably.
Jun 18, 2014 09:08AM

16548 Nick wrote: "Christine wrote: "I just finished A Sorcerer's Treason and really enjoyed it; I think I'll check into this author's previous books. Now starting on Concealed in Death"..."

Too bad is right - her work is first rate. She writes hard SF with panache, and does incredible fantasy. Underrated for NO DAMN REASON I CAN SEE, except folks are chickens and sheep. CHALLENGE: give her a try and chew me out plenty if you think I'm off base.
16548 Go Stefan - if anyone didn't know, his star's on the rise at tor.com, as well - surely the recognition he has received deserves an announcement?
Apr 16, 2014 05:48PM

16548 I'll put in The Quiet Invasion by Sarah Zettel for SF. Her work is TRULY wonderful but way too often overlooked.

Fantasy - The Grey Horse by R.A. MacAvoy - a fun stand alone that is very colorful, takes place in Ireland, by an author who does exquisite work but is seldom mentioned, here.
16548 Carol. [All cynic, all the time] wrote: "I encourage people to read Kay's Afterward to the 20th anniversary edition. His style in this series and its relationship to the rest of his writing make more sense to me now that I realize he was ..."

That happens. What an author strives for isn't going to fit the preference, or the timing, or the given taste of what a specific reader may be seeking. Or trends in the marketplace coloring what exists.

When Fionavar Tapestry was released, there was not a massive amount of fantasy written in the Mythic archetype, nor so many fantasies done in this style of setting. The plethora of material that has followed has, in many ways, done this work no favors.

When I read it, I came from a very wide background of reading myth and legend, so many of the elements were familiar, and even, recognizable as forerunners of Tolkien's and other works.
16548 Siv wrote: "I liked them when I first read them - many many years back and in Swedish translation.

Yes, they're a bit ... less polished. Yes, there's a lot of characters. And a few other tings...

Maybe it's..."

I also enjoyed the shifts on the Arthurian spin - tremendously! It took EVERYTHING I was always frustrated enough to chew nails over - regarding the legend - and put it 'right'. Very satisfying way to scratch what had been an unredeemable itch. The relief could not be imagined - and Kay did.

What I enjoyed best about this series was that it had threads of legend from many cultures - went back to some of the mythic material that fantasy is built on, and wove it all together into one story. Many claim this is derivative of MODERN writers - well...in fact those modern authors used the same material - those mythic roots were there first. If one is familiar with the material, then all of the pieces staged together is a puzzle in itself.
Nov 26, 2013 08:59AM

16548 Shel wrote: "It's definitely very different in style and tone than his other books are. My understanding is that he wrote this one for his sons, so it's intended as more of a YA book than his others.

I'll b..."

I loved the Fionavar books, but part of the reason was that I had a firm grounding in the field of mythology before I read them. Part of the huge split in polarity occurs because some readers think Kay was derivative in his Fionavar books - they are 'too like' other fantasies of that time period.

What they fail to realize is that all of the fantasy at that time drew off certain historically established sources - Beowulf, the Celtic myths, which are extremely rich, greek myth, Arthurian legend, The Ring of the Niebelung, and even Tolkien drew heavily off the Norse Eddas, which are epic poetry.

What Kay did in Fionavar was weave a TAPESTRY out of all these ancient antecedents - a 'first world' where it all came together. He is a scholar - he was not deriving from MODERN fantasy (Tolkien or the post-Tolkien clones), but going back to the original roots that created them.

If you can see where all the threads are coming from, it's brilliant fun, and not only that - he reworked some of the older stories in striking ways that, for me, scratched the itch of great discontent I'd had with how those stories resolved. This was a DEBUT work, but as with all of Kay's writing, it had a scholarly back drop. You don't have to know that to enjoy the story - for me, it added to the scope and immensity and made me a reader of Kay's work from the get go.
Nov 13, 2013 06:07AM

16548 Shel wrote: "I'm curious how many of you who've read the book have also read the Fionavar Tapestry trilogy. Leaving aside the fact that Kay's style has evolved a LOT since he wrote Fionavar, what did you think..."

I had read Fionavar Tapestry, first, and I also did not see this return of the characters coming, and it gave me a pleased surprise, too.

I liked Ysabel also, as having the same poignant themes woven into so many of Kay's novels. I felt the style of it shifted, just a bit - the prose at the start seemed faster paced, simpler, and more focused, which suited the younger protagonist. The more 'modern' tone gave this book a little different flavor from his more lush 'historical' fantasies. Once I adjusted, it suited the setting.
16548 Finished, and enjoyed it a great deal. The writing was tremendously economical - a lot shoved into the cracks between the action, which made it very fast paced and well fleshed out all at the same time.
Aug 01, 2013 08:27AM

16548 I've read or honestly tried to hack my way through 54 of them. SHOCKING there is nothing by C. J. Cherryh, here - a hugo winning author, no less??? And no Guy Gavriel Kay. No Patricia McKillip. NO McCaffery???? As the first SF author, ever, on the TIMES LIST??? Seriously, how can you include Heinlein and leave out McCaffrey's work? NO JACK VANCE????

I'd certainly not have counted Amber the most significant of Zelazny's work, either. Go figure.

There were other books I applauded to find on the list, Vernor Vinge's, for one.
Jun 15, 2013 10:26AM

16548 Just finished River of Stars, which I loved. The choice of title is spectacular, if you know a little about Chinese legend - that the Milky Way is called the River of Stars, and it is said to hold the souls of those passed on....
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