Sus's Reviews > Below the Root

Below the Root by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
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Mar 29, 2008

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Read in April, 2008

Like a lot of other people (or so it seems from these reviews!), I played and loved the "Below the Root" video game when I was young. I had never read the books; when I looked them up recently, I was excited to realize that they were written by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, a young-adult writer who I remember having creeped me as a child with such subtle and unsettling books as _The Headless Cupid_ and _The Eyes In the Fishbowl_.

I've found it both delightful and weird to read _Below the Root_ for the first time as an adult. Weird, because the construction of the novel is so clunky in so many ways. This isn't at all like the subtlety I remember from Snyder's other books -- which I think maybe I should also revisit, to see how they feel to me now.

On the other hand, from what I understand Snyder didn't write any other fantasy or science fiction books, so perhaps the information-dumping and failures of psychological subtlety in this book come more from inexperience in a challenging genre than from any general failures of craft or imagination. Also, I understand that Snyder was heavily involved with the video-game adaptation of "Below the Root," which in contrast was extremely nuanced and subtle for its genre.

In any case, I found the story gripping and I'm interested in Snyder's approach to the "binarisms" of traditional, or Tolkienian, fantasy. I'm looking forward to reading the two sequels -- in part, I have to admit, because I'm hoping their structure and writing will get smoother as the story progresses.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Mary JL Help! I was unaware of the existence of two sequels! May I please have the titles? I have the three books of the original trilogy.


message 2: by Sus (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sus Mary JL wrote: "Help! I was unaware of the existence of two sequels! May I please have the titles? I have the three books of the original trilogy."

Hi! Sorry for any confusion -- I was, in fact, just referring to the original trilogy. (This is a review for _Below the Root_, so the two sequels I meant were _And All Between_ and _Until the Celebration_.) As far as I know, there are no sequels after that.


Mary JL Thank you for your prompt relpy!

(Sigh) But I was really hoping for more books set in the Green Sky World. Ms. Snyder, are you listening? Hint, hint.


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