Wow I am just so blown away - ANOTHER novel about fractured and purely heterosexual relationships! SO UNIQUE. What a wonderful addition to the tiny W.Wow I am just so blown away - ANOTHER novel about fractured and purely heterosexual relationships! SO UNIQUE. What a wonderful addition to the tiny W.A.S.P. fiction library. Really glad I spent so many hours with this one. Heteros just really understand forbidden love - must be so tough. Stay strong.
Hyperbole aside, it was entertaining to discuss how the book evoked so many memories about growing up in multiple parent/sibling households. I also very much enjoyed the discussions about people's motivations and their morality - cheating, in particular - and how your views on those issues can make you dislike a character, or at least, interpret their actions differently. But without the book club discussion aspect, it was definitely a book I'm glad I didn't have to pay for. ...more
Repetitive and sort of incoherent in its structure, but still interesting and at times supremely elegant. She's very thoughtful but does seem a bit toRepetitive and sort of incoherent in its structure, but still interesting and at times supremely elegant. She's very thoughtful but does seem a bit too trusting of the political system and its players to come across as entirely credible when making global statements about Canadians and citizenship....more
Mary Renault's passion for classical mythology and anthropology shine through in everything she does. Her writing is like a journey through time, as sMary Renault's passion for classical mythology and anthropology shine through in everything she does. Her writing is like a journey through time, as she has the rare ability to capture the general zeitgeist of the age in which she is writing.
The King Must Die is a restructuring of the Theseus myth. In the original myth, Theseus goes on the "hero's journey" and succeeds in accomplishing labours along the way; eventually he is sent to Crete as a sacrifice to the Minotaur in the labyrinth on Crete as payment for the death of King Minos' son in some games in Athens. He is able to use his skill and the gift of yarn from King Minos' daughter Ariadne's to escape the labyrinth, hooks up with Ariadne, and flees Crete to continue his journey.
Mary Renault's version of the myth focuses more on the coming of age aspects and tries to make the story more realistic. For example, several primary sources of the Theseus myth have him use considerable strength throughout his hero's journey. In actuality, his success as a bull leaper, which is likely the ritual which inspired the Minotaur myth, suggests that he would be more agile and lithe than super strong, and that he'd rely on cunning and planning to succeed. Mary Renault has Theseus grow up shorter and weaker than his peers, which inspires him to achieve greatness in other ways, such as becoming faster and more agile.
Eventually his mother, a high Priestess on the island where he lives, reveals that his human father is the King of Athens. This deviates from his belief that he is the son of Poseidon and he grapples with his mortality throughout the tale. Theseus skips retelling the adventures he has in the Isthmus (where he accomplishes his labours in the original myth) on the way to see his father in Athens and instead focuses on him becoming King in a small country on the way to Athens. When he finally arrives in Athens, his father acknowledges him as heir and they have some good times. However, the ship from Crete arrives demanding sacrifices for the bull dance. Some of Theseus' men are chosen at random, so Theseus demands to be sent as a sacrifice out of fairness. He arrives in Crete, steals the show, makes everyone fall in love with him, and even wins over King Minos after Ariadne confesses her love for Theseus. The labyrinth in this telling is the name for the winding tunnels under the palace that connect it to the bull ring where the bull riding takes place. The Minotaur is a ceremonial head piece that the king dons during rituals and public appearances. Slaying of the Minotaur, then, is a symbolic transfer of power when the King wearing the Minotaur mask is killed. The King Must Die.
Mary Renault's success at making the Theseus myth more believable while focusing on the customs of the time and the coming of age of a hero, though great accomplishments, actually took a lot of the fun out of the story for me. Half the fun of myths is the power and folly of demigods stumbling through life, acquiring curses and blessings as they go.
I appreciate what she's tried to do but in the end it wasn't my favourite way to experience myth. ...more
This story is pretty neat! Can't say I care about any of the characters, though. I still don't enjoy reading comics. I actually skim comics more thanThis story is pretty neat! Can't say I care about any of the characters, though. I still don't enjoy reading comics. I actually skim comics more than I do pure text. But my friend recommended a whole bunch so I'm going to read them and see if i get used to it....more
This book is pretty awesome in many regards: POC as the main characters, Aboriginal legends/myths as the background, Canadian-isms peppered throughoutThis book is pretty awesome in many regards: POC as the main characters, Aboriginal legends/myths as the background, Canadian-isms peppered throughout, set in Canada, and believable teen characters. The story was a bit light. It was mostly world and character building so far. This series is presented as one story spread over several books instead of stories that are independent but connected. That's not my thing. Also I despise cliffhangers. That's actually why I stopped watching television. I want to know more about their powers and history but don't care enough to read on....more
I'm so glad to be finished reading this series. The trilogy is of course the best part of the entire series, even with all of its many faults. The latI'm so glad to be finished reading this series. The trilogy is of course the best part of the entire series, even with all of its many faults. The later books don't hold as much weight, but are still enjoyable mostly for the sake of learning more about beloved characters. Tangled Webs, a one off that should have been a short story is easily the least important book I've ever read. I also skipped the novels set in Shalador about new/random characters I don't GAF about.
This grande finale with its many revelations fell pretty flat for me. The only story that I particularly cared about was the very last (and shortest) one, pertaining to the core heroes of the novel. I found myself misty eyed when some characters died and when I realized the sadness that has to follow Surreal for the rest of her life simply for who she isn't. Surreal is a bit of a dumbass, but I really feel for her in the situation she's in (SPOILER: had a baby with the widow of her friend/idol Janelle that still loves Janelle and will forever). She doesn't even have her gay bff to talk to anymore because he was killed off. cough bullshit, Anne cough. Way to kill off your only non hetero character.
I appreciate that it was a happy but not perfect ending. I think Anne Bishop had planned this all along but some of her more enthusiastic fans are quite mad at her for what she's done to the world of the black jewels. To them I say: It's fiction. Get a fucking grip.
All in all, this series is a clusterfuck of issues but it's so weirdly compelling that it'll probably stay with me for the rest of my days. I'm glad to be done reading it, though....more
more phrases I never want to hear/read again: Daemon's killing edge Luscivar's lazy smile Janelle's sapphire eyes So and so said too softly So and so saidmore phrases I never want to hear/read again: Daemon's killing edge Luscivar's lazy smile Janelle's sapphire eyes So and so said too softly So and so said with sweet venom So and so swore viciously mother night and may the darkness be merciful
Honestly this one felt a bit drawn out, but it still retains that special something I can't explain. The characters were supremely stupid at some points. There's been like, 800 times throughout the series where the good guys think that they should just outright kill the villains but then ALWAYS say "but that won't stop the war!" and then just carry on. It wouldn't have stopped the war but it might have saved hundreds of lives, you irresponsible fucks.
The gender essentialism is to pushed the max in this one, emphasizing all manner of ridiculous court rules for each gender. In the end all the good guys get together with their opposing gender partners and get married. The emphasis on sex in Blood society is interesting - much of our society is focused on sex too, but we have to be more subtle about it. I think that the way Anne Bishop writes about it is an neat commentary on society in general.
For a while I thought it was ridiculous to have whole societies standing idly by while horrible atrocities are being committed next door. Even the good guys were powerless to do anything, at times. They often didn't even realize the extent to how awful things were elsewhere. For so long this infuriated me and I thought it unrealistic.... but now I realize that is literally what's happening this minute almost everywhere in the world. If our own private bubbles aren't disturbed, we often don't realize the extent to which others are suffering. That's another point for Bishop.
I keep coming back to this series because it has a certain *something* that I can't verbalize that holds on to me. I'm just drawn to it even though I can readily acknowledge how shitty almost everything about the book really is. If that sounds super confusing, try living it....more