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Mythopoeic Fantasy Awards

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Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
I am interested in the Mythopoeic Fantasy Awards and am going to start reading some of their winners, beginning with Vessel...Vessel


Millenia | 5 comments Another great one is The Folk Keeper. It's lyrical, exciting, and has one of the most distinct heroines I've encountered in YA/MG fantasy.


Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
Thanks for that! I will add it to my list!


hpboy13 | 2 comments I recently read the Bartimaeus trilogy (plus prequel) by Jonathan Stroud, and it is one of my favorite things I've ever read. Definitely check it out!

I can also recommend 2009 winner Graceling by Kristin Cashore, as well as its prequel and sequel.


Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
Yes, I liked the Bartimaeus trilogy a lot, too. I'll look at Graceling.

So...what is it about mythopeic fantasy? Is this Jungian? A metaphor for the myths we all live by in real life, too? Escapism from a secular reality?


snowplum | 2 comments I want to chime in on Graceling only because I REALLY wish someone had given me a specific warning about it:

The villain in the Graceling trilogy is particularly distressing if you are sensitive to content pertaining to rape and abuse. I'm not going to make any subjective comment about whether I think the books are good or not unless you're someone who gets to know me a little bit more and asks for my opinion. I know lots of people love this series and many of them don't seem traumatized by the content; but I, personally, wish I hadn't read them. Just because a book is about surviving (and that can be a necessary message for many people) doesn't mean you want to read about very particular sick things that someone has to survive.


message 7: by Millenia (last edited May 07, 2015 07:11PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Millenia | 5 comments Graceling has always puzzled me - why did it win the Mythopoeic Award? It's a good book, but its strengths lie in the characters, not in the mythology. If anything, it seemed that the author overlaid contemporary values and culture onto a faux-medieval seting. All the mentions of swords, horses, dresses, longbows, etc, were mere window dressing, and there was little feeling of actual values people from such a world would hold. Even the names of countries were based on their location on the map (Eastill, Wester, Middluns). It seemed a utilitarian setting for exploring contemporary issues in an oblique way, not a book inspired by myth, lengend, tradition, etc.


message 8: by JANE (new)

JANE (melindajaneharrison) I haven't read Graceling, but I have read many of the older winners. I used to belong to Mythopeic Society and it's my favorite fiction. I think we are drawn to it because most of it is based on the Hero's Journey and we identify with that. Symbols. Our need for symbols and ritual.


Kazza | 2 comments Hello! I'm new here, invited by Sharman - nice to meet all of you!

I read Vessel and found it to be a captivating book, with a vivid world-building. While I certainly don't want to live in the harsh desert, I do wish I could be in Liyana's head just to see if everything looks as how I imagined it in my head. I've even put off reading Sarah Beth Durst's other books because I feared it wouldn't live up to my experience of Vessel, but now I've got Enchanted Ivy and Ice in my possession, ha.

Graceling's been on my to-read list for some time, but I haven't got around to it yet, as I'm on a historical fiction binge right now. I'll remember to read it soon, though! And thanks Millenia for The Folk Keeper - sounds interesting, and another one into my to-read list!


Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
snowplum wrote: "I want to chime in on Graceling only because I REALLY wish someone had given me a specific warning about it:

The villain in the Graceling trilogy is particularly distressing if you are sensitive t..."


snowplum wrote: "I want to chime in on Graceling only because I REALLY wish someone had given me a specific warning about it:

The villain in the Graceling trilogy is particularly distressing if you are sensitive t..."


snowplum wrote: "I want to chime in on Graceling only because I REALLY wish someone had given me a specific warning about it:

The villain in the Graceling trilogy is particularly distressing if you are sensitive t..."


Kazza wrote: "Hello! I'm new here, invited by Sharman - nice to meet all of you!

I read Vessel and found it to be a captivating book, with a vivid world-building. While I certainly don't want to live in the har..."


snowplum wrote: "I want to chime in on Graceling only because I REALLY wish someone had given me a specific warning about it:

The villain in the Graceling trilogy is particularly distressing if you are sensitive t..."


Yes, difficult topics. How to warn readers except through the jacket cover and blurb which are meant to sell a book, not really discuss it. Maybe that is partly the new role of Goodreads. All this honest discussion about books by readers.


Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
Millenia wrote: "Graceling has always puzzled me - why did it win the Mythopoeic Award? It's a good book, but its strengths lie in the characters, not in the mythology. If anything, it seemed that the author overla..."

Interesting!


Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
Melinda Belle wrote: "I haven't read Graceling, but I have read many of the older winners. I used to belong to Mythopeic Society and it's my favorite fiction. I think we are drawn to it because most of it is based on th..."

I agree. We are all on our own Hero's Journey and these stories are metaphors for that.


Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
Kazza wrote: "Hello! I'm new here, invited by Sharman - nice to meet all of you!

I read Vessel and found it to be a captivating book, with a vivid world-building. While I certainly don't want to live in the har..."


Hi, Kazza! I grew up in Phoenix and understand how the desert can kill you. That extreme heat. It tugs at my roots and heart.


Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
My review of the Folk Keeper! Thanks for that suggestion! The Folk Keeper

I finished The Folk Keeper in just a few hours and almost in one sitting. I was reminded by this: this is one reason I like middle-grade literature. Short powerful stories you can enter and leave in a short time, something like a movie, rather than that other experience of reading a book over days or weeks. The latter is so stretched out, dipping your feet back in the water, getting into the flow again. The Folk Keeper was a plunge, into the waves! I was impressed. I felt like a ten-year-old again. (This is another reason I like middle grade literature!) The language was beautiful. Lyrical. Surprising. The plot was fun and didn’t wind down, either. New developments. A strong and powerful book! It made me feel strong and powerful, too, as a writer and a young person going out in the world. (Yet another reason I like middle grade literature.)


message 15: by Millenia (last edited Jun 02, 2015 02:52PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Millenia | 5 comments Sharman wrote: "My review of the Folk Keeper! Thanks for that suggestion! The Folk Keeper

I finished The Folk Keeper in just a few hours and almost in one sitting. I was reminded by this: this is ..."


I'm delighted to hear you also love it!

I especially love the use of the supernatural in The Folk Keeper. The Folk remain mysterious throughout - the book utilizes the human fear of the unknown brilliantly. And (view spoiler)

Do you know any other fantasies with meaningful magic?


Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
Hi, Millenia, I'm interested in these awards because I don't know of a lot of middle-grade or YA who approach Wise Child and other books I especially love. I really liked The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaimen, of course. And the new Bone Gap. I kind of hate it when authors do this, but my recent book is magical realism set in the sixteenth century American Southwest. You might look at the reviews? Teresa of the New World And if you are interested in writing an honest review for a review copy, I can do that.


Millenia | 5 comments Sharman wrote: "Hi, Millenia, I'm interested in these awards because I don't know of a lot of middle-grade or YA who approach Wise Child and other books I especially love. I really liked The Graveyard Book by Nei..."

Teresa of the New World looks very interesting! I've never written a review for ARCs or review copies before, but might be interested in doing so - how does this work?


Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
Well, in this case, I send you an electronic version of the book which you can put on your Kindle or a PDF which you can read from your computer. If you need or prefer a hard copy, I can send that. If you like the book...and only if you do, feel free to respond honestly...authors today really need reviews. On Goodreads, on amazon.com, on Barnes and Noble. On your FB. Anywhere you are online. You post the same review to all those places. It doesn't have to be long. If you want to send me your email or snail address, go through my website and you can reach me easily!


message 19: by Millenia (last edited Jun 06, 2015 05:05PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Millenia | 5 comments Sharman wrote: "Well, in this case, I send you an electronic version of the book which you can put on your Kindle or a PDF which you can read from your computer. If you need or prefer a hard copy, I can send that...."

Thanks! It sounds like something I would like to do, although not right away -- will you still be offering in a few months?


Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
Sure, get back to me...


Pauline | 1 comments I've been on the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Lit committee for several years (and the adult committee once--but it was not nearly so much fun). You, too, can be on the committee next year if you join the Mythopoeic Society (at mythsoc.com for a modest fee) and volunteer at the beginning of the year. I enjoy it because each year I discover authors I hadn't heard of before. Sometimes I think, "Who on earth thought this was award-worthy?" or "Who on earth thought this was appropriate for children?" or "This is fantasy? Did I miss something?" but it's worth it for the times when I say, "Wow! Where has this author been all my life? I must read more!" Diana Wynne Jones was one of those; by some reprehensible negligence, I hadn't read any of her marvelous books before I joined the committee. That said, I was not on the committee the year Graceling was considered, so I can't tell why it won. It sounds like one of those entries that would have caused me to say, "Who on earth thought this was appropriate for children?"


Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
Hi, Pauline, interesting insights! Thanks for this information. I have served three times as one of three judges for the PEN West Award in Children's Literature, and I know what you mean. It's all a very human process! I just read Graceling, and while it wasn't, oh, especially mythopoeic...it was just fine. A powerful heroine in a fantasy world. Kind of that escapism in which the girl character fights really well and is beautiful and admirable and so forth, and so is the true love she meets--although he's not quite as good a fighter as she is. But the story had some nuances and interesting plot turns. I think i want to be on the Mythopoeic Society committee, too!


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