A.B. Gayle's Reviews > The Morgaine Saga

The Morgaine Saga by C.J. Cherryh
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it was amazing

Wow, just wow. Stargate meets Lord of the Rings.

Cherryh loves writing strong women characters, but often the effect of this is lost as we experience the story through their eyes. Their concerns are interesting, but the stories lose some of the impact as they are often better told through the eyes of the person most vulnerable to that strong character. The beta watching the alpha.

In this case, we have a beta male viewpoint, Vanye.

Alpha's main concerns are threats against their goals. This can sometimes seem a bit manufactured (as in the Chanur series) where most of the conflict is in what might happen, or what Pyanfar thinks could happen rather than here where the conflict is more in the nature of who and what Morgaine is, as seen through Vanye's eyes.

It doesn't hurt that Cherryh has created such a wonderful secondary character in Rho. His relationship to Vanye, Vanye's inherent goodness and honesty and the twist of Rho's inner fight to remain true to himself keeps the conflict churning along nicely right to the end.

Most stories are stronger when the conflict stems from who they are as well as where they are and what they are doing.

There is definitely a "Lord of the Rings" feel to the trilogy, but the trouble is that classic drew on so many themes that going anywhere near arrows, swords, long lives, items of power can't help but echo some of them.

The inherent premise is good though.

The description in the second book of a world inundated by water and threatened by earthquakes was fantastic. I could almost feel moisture dripping off the page. Lucky I was reading it on an ereader and not paper.

But further to the POV comment. A few reviewers describe Vanye as weak. Which I see dfferent from a Beta character. On CJ's website, is a discussion in which a person made this comment:
Another very important thing to remember about Cherryh books is that you have to be very careful about describing someone as weak or strong. Vanye is often described as a weak man, dominated by a the strong female Morgaine. But I think a lot of that is because you get to hear his inner angst, and only see her actions. If the roles were reversed so that Morgaine was the viewpoint character, we would probably get a lot more of her angst (and based on some of the conversations that she and Vanye have, I am sure that she has a lot of it), while Vanye would appear as a quiet, capable, decisive man based on his actions. I have, in the past, actually taken a scene from the book and edited out all of Vanye’s internal monolog to show just how different he seems when all you consider are his actions. It was interesting to see how much of a difference that makes to the impression you get of him!
Here's the link: http://www.cherryh.com/WaveWithoutASh...
(Reminscent of what I did with a huge chunk of Special Forces! http://www.abgayle.com/editing-specia...
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
March 4, 2014 – Shelved

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