This is an engaging fantasy mingled with sci-fi. It tells the story of a young couple who are caught between good and evil. On the side of good is the...moreThis is an engaging fantasy mingled with sci-fi. It tells the story of a young couple who are caught between good and evil. On the side of good is the old-fashioned England, the spirits of the deep heavens, and characters like Mr. Bultitude and Ivy Maggs that charm and delight. McPhee is hilarious while Ramson himself is wise and yet human. On the side of evil there is the movement towards 'social progress' with characters like Frost and Withers that fascinate with their perverse logic. Lord Feverstone is a familiar smiling bastard while The Fairy is repulsive and pitiful.
Caught between these are Jane and Mark, the pragmatic newly married couple whose failure in love provides interesting fodder in and of itself. It covers the moral aspects of forward progress really well, the old-fashioned English village with all its quirks is pitted against the fascist social purity of laboratory and government merged. Then add an appearance by Merlin and old magic, giving it an interesting Arthurian slant I've never seen done before.
I admit that a few of the essay-style conversations about morality were wordy, but I loved this book. The descriptions are beautiful and enticing, and even briefly appearing characters are meaningful. It is at once engaging and fascinating and fun at different levels. I highly recommend it, and the series! (less)
This is one of my favorite novels. It's about a young girl going to college during a very tense time between Russia and America. She meets and falls f...moreThis is one of my favorite novels. It's about a young girl going to college during a very tense time between Russia and America. She meets and falls for a Russian professor of poetry, and begins learning Russian. The relationship between them is complicated and her past is not exactly simple, while he remains relatively mysterious and almost in shadow for most of the book.
This is a novel that jumps between past and present easily, and doesn't leave you confused as to what happened when. There are a number of things left not quite explained, which I actually enjoyed - so many times authors feel the need to wrap up every single question.
(view spoiler)[I keep wondering what her father did for a living, who was Jackie really, what the heck happened to Falin and what his life was like... (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
A headstrong, privileged young woman forces her family to vacation in the highlands of Scotland, certain that whatever she needs so desperately will b...moreA headstrong, privileged young woman forces her family to vacation in the highlands of Scotland, certain that whatever she needs so desperately will be found there. Along the way, her story is echoed by a similar storyline taking place long ago.
I really enjoyed this book, for a few reasons. Firstly it features a strong but conflicted heroine on a search for the meaning of life, and secondly it has some lovely writing.
I honestly didn't care much about the storyline of the past coming back to haunt them, although I found it interesting. I was hooked by Judy's journey, her moments of kindness and selfishness, her driving need to find the truth.(less)
This is an enjoyable coming of age story set in a small Midwestern college. It has a magical element in that it follows the ballad of Tam Lin. It also...moreThis is an enjoyable coming of age story set in a small Midwestern college. It has a magical element in that it follows the ballad of Tam Lin. It also has a romantic element. It features a young woman growing up and going to college, dealing with normal adolescent things like falling in love or thinking you did, and then additionally requiring her to deal with the Queen of Faery and other inexplicable magical happenings as a result.
I wonder if the main detraction for folks is the language - they are English or Classics majors after all, and their language is charming and moderately wordy. Even with a good vocabulary you might have to enjoy such a writing style. Like I Capture The Castle, which is a charming period piece of young girls growing up in England, and features in my mind rather similar language.
Here's a sample from Tam Lin: "Janet sat up a little straighter and turned a page in her notebook, in case Mr. King should have noticed her mind wandering. He didn't appear to notice much beyond his difficulty with the chalk and the blackboard, but you never knew. Then she applied herself to the problem of why she was assuming it was [...] that had gotten to Nick. Far more likely it was fencing on an empty stomach; or fencing on top of one of Taylor's vile breakfasts; or fencing in a large, hot wool sweater on a mild autumn day."
Certainly it's not all like that, but there is definitely a preoccupation on the part of the characters (and the heroine) with their chosen majors of English or other literary-related subjects. So if you don't enjoy the fact that the characters are talking with familiarity about Shakespeare, poetry, plays and such, you might not like this book.(less)