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The Sword of Rhiannon
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2015 Reads > tSoR: Three Interesting Things About The Sword of Rhiannon (Spoilers!)

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message 1: by Pôl (new)

Pôl | 23 comments Here are my Three Interesting Things:

1.) I don't read enough pulp to know for sure, but I bet that Carse's emotional agony after discovering he's possessed by the Dark One is not typical for the genre. I'm guessing that most pulp heroes don't show much of an internal emotional life. His distress doesn't last long, but it stood out to me.

2.) There's a lot I liked about Ywain as the love interest. Despite Carse's stated interest in dominating her, she never breaks. She even goes so far as to "leave her mark" on him. They feel more like equals, to me. Unfortunately, based on her treatment of the galley slaves, she's also flat-out evil. It kind of boggled me that the book never addressed that.

3.) I just love the pulp language. Ophidian! Sententiously! Uncharged octaves below the four-hundred angstrom limit! SCIENCE!

So what are your three interesting things?


terpkristin | 4117 comments Nothing. I thought it was mediocre at best, even for the time. And it felt dated. The language had nothing to do with actual science, even with understanding at the time. It's like when Doc Brown pronounces gigawatts as "jiggawatts." Using a word because it sounds impressive.


message 3: by Pôl (new)

Pôl | 23 comments The language had nothing to do with actual science, even with understanding at the time. [...] Using a word because it sounds impressive.

For me, that's all part of the pulp aesthetic. It wouldn't be nearly as much fun to read without the overblown verbiage and pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo.


Brendan (mistershine) | 930 comments My favourite parts was every time Carse references being an archaeologist, which only comes up about 3 times in the whole story. It's funny each time since he behaves so wildly unlike one. "Carse knew far too much archaeology to take the legends too seriously."

I also loved that he had exactly enough charge in his raygun to blow his way through the door, and not a drop (does raygun fuel come in drops?) more.


terpkristin | 4117 comments Oddly, every time Carse mentioned being an archaeologist, I thought about Indiana Jones and how he didn't seem to act like much of one either, at least in the movies. :)


Joanna Chaplin | 1175 comments Yeah, the mind-cohabitation by Rhiannon was one of the best bits. I found it satisfying on some level that for all his bluster, it wasn't Carse that solves things. He's just a Trojan horse.

Yeah, she was clearly trying to be "sciency" and it just comes across as shallow mad-scientist stuff. Pulpy, pulpy goodness.


Daniel K | 164 comments I liked Carse's sidekick Boghaz in some way. Also those sea-people with telepathic abilities were pretty intriguing.

What i didn't like is that main characters doesn't really have concerns about slavery that surrounds them. Carse rather uses liberated slaves then gives them freedom. It was disturbing at least.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2832 comments My three things:

The different settlements on Mars

The magic of the particular group (probably a lot more there!)

The half-human hybrid creatures in the sea and sky


message 9: by Joe Informatico (last edited May 26, 2015 12:50PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Joe Informatico (joeinformatico) | 888 comments I also like Boghaz. He reminds me a bit of that frenemy scoundrel you saw in 1940s movies, e.g. Louis from Casablanca. Just the way he'll be trying to weasel his way into Carse's good books in one scene and then just as quickly trying to sell him out in the next.

I like how proud Ywain is, in the sense she loathes how her father's empire is sustained through the deal with the Dhuvians instead of her people's own courage and skill. She's like the archetype of the brash young warrior prince who's tired of his father's soft ways, only gender-flipped.

It's also refreshing that Carse is just a guy who fell into a situation way over his head, and isn't some kind of hereditary aristocrat, or a member of some elite warrior corps, or Destined by Fate to be a saviour. I miss seat-of-their-pants heroes like this--they felt more common when I was growing up in the 80s, and now it feels like every hero is some kind of special snowflake.


Daniel K | 164 comments Joe Informatico wrote: "I like how proud Ywain is, in the sense she loathes how her father's empire is sustained through the deal with the Dhuvians instead of her people's own courage and skill. She's like the archetype of the brash young warrior prince who's tired of his father's soft ways, only gender-flipped.

It's also refreshing that Carse is just a guy who fell into a situation way over his head, and isn't some kind of hereditary aristocrat, or a member of some elite warrior corps, or Destined by Fate to be a saviour. I miss seat-of-their-pants heroes like this--they felt more common when I was growing up in the 80s, and now it feels like every hero is some kind of special snowflake. "


It feels like you judge the book as if its pure fantasy. Characters in sci-fi oftenly not " member of some elite warrior corps" and almost never "some kind of hereditary aristocrat" or "Destined by Fate to be a saviour".

Also Carse is this super-duper archeologist, filled with infinite masculine bravado and devilish luck. Pretty "special snowflake" to me.


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