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Previous BotM--DISCUSSIONS > 2010-03 FLESH AND SPIRIT - Finished Reading *Spoilers*

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message 1: by Kelly (new)

Kelly (sisimka) Post here to discuss Flesh and Spirit by Carol Berg. *Spoilers allowed*

message 2: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 626 comments I read and thoroughly enjoyed Flesh & Spirit (my review) in early February. My first Carol Berg novel and I'm chomping at the bit to finish the second half of the story in Breath and Bone.

message 3: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 1003 comments I am a long-time enthusiast of Carol Berg's work, and this little duology is one of her best, if not, among the best of fantasy being written today.

One of the things I love so much about this author is that nothing is as it seems, she manages to create a taut narrative from which gorgeous things unfold. And you never see them coming.

She also never carves issues in to dogmatic black or white. Often a stance depicted at the start will be turned inside out or upside down, with discoveries in the depths that refashion the moralistic knee jerk dismissal. Black may be revealed to have things Quite Other in the depths - and the viewpoint flips upside down, due to one character's courage to see past accepted limitations.

This story HAS to be read with its sequel - the whole story is nothing short of phenominal.

I find it way to rare to see fantasy that is willing to examine the gritty AND the sublime, the rough AND the beautiful - we are human, and we live in a world that resounds with both horrors and blinding joy - I find Berg adept at examining these frames of dichotomy with some of the most engaging characters ever conceived. She takes us from the cynical stance to the gloriously possible, and this duology is no exception.

message 4: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments Whoa! Now I can't wait to read it!

message 5: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments I finished it today and LOVED it. I gave it five stars. My review is here.

Now I can't wait to read the second book, but have promised myself to read This Alien Shore first.

I'm so glad to have found Carol Berg and will look forward to reading her other books.

message 6: by Libby (new)

Libby | 19 comments I share in the enthusiastic praise of this book and am thrilled to have “discovered” Berg. However, as a side note, when reading her work the same thought occurred to me as when I first read Janny Wurts – HOW have I not heard of this amazing author before? Why do they not receive the mainstream recognition they clearly deserve. These women are now two of my favorite authors. Their works stand head and shoulders about the poorly written, cheap thrill novels that abound in bookstores. Unfortunately, I think this is ultimately a reflection of the reading public and our “instant gratification” mindset. Publishers want to make money and the books that sell are quick plots requiring little thought or commitment. Nonetheless, it does appear that there is still room on the shelves for “literature” – think book club selections and some NYT bestsellers etc. These works are certainly wonderful but they are the other side of the spectrum – lots of deep thinking, pondering, pain, real life etc. Wurts and Berg write amazing, enjoyable stories that have the beautiful prose and well-developed characters of great literature. This is a category of book really missing in current literature and I’m glad to have found them here in GR. End of soap box :-)

message 7: by Libby (new)

Libby | 19 comments On a book related note was anyone else crushed at teh deception of Gildas? The death of Luviar? What twists and turns . . . And Valen so very real, he is the bad and good all wrapped up in one like so many of us. In this book, as often in life, nothing was as it seemed. Can't wait to read on!

message 8: by Marty (new)

Marty (martyjm) | 310 comments I finished it and started Breath and Bone. While I enjoyed it so far I certainly don't think that it is a stand alone book. I will read the second one pronto and see if together they make a complete story. I do think that if a book is sold as if it could be read alone then it should have enough of an ending with enough of a resolution that it could be satisfactorily read alone. so many series in our genre fail to do this. not that I am going to quit reading them....but as a 12 or 13 year old I got a used and battered copy of Second Foundationand read it happily and actually only realized much later that it was part of a larger story.....whereas this book would frustrate me no end if I could not get the rest of the story....

message 9: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 1003 comments Marty - I've suggested this duology should be treated as one story, and it DOES resolve very beautifully with a firm ending, in the second volume.

There's a problem, sometimes, costing out a title - if the numbers aren't solid enough to sustain a very fat book, the publisher will opt to print in shorter installments to help their bottom line - this is not greed, it is survival. Many series, right now, are being sectioned this way. It's a pity, but a reality in a hard marketplace.

You won't be disappointed - in fact, the most breathtaking twists and revelations take place in the second part. If you loved the first and thought the shifts, twists, and reverses were good, you are going to be exponentially blown away at the finish.

The rest of the story is complete - this was designed to be a duology, and as far as I've heard, it's self contained in the two volumes.

message 10: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 1003 comments Libby wrote: "On a book related note was anyone else crushed at teh deception of Gildas? The death of Luviar? What twists and turns . . . And Valen so very real, he is the bad and good all wrapped up in one like..."

Libby - this is Berg's signature style. So neat to see you enjoy it!

message 11: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments Oh yes Libby, totally taken by surprised and saddened.

message 12: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 626 comments I wasn't completely crushed by Gildas' deception (I started suspecting him when he enabled Valen's addition).

message 13: by Marty (new)

Marty (martyjm) | 310 comments Janny,
I'm ok with the practice of printing one story in two or more volumes...just wish that that would be clearly indicated......after all many novels written nowdays are quite long.

message 14: by Amelia (last edited Apr 19, 2010 01:12PM) (new)

Amelia (narknon) I just finished this on Friday. Great book. I started the second one and hate to put it down for other things such as eating, sleeping, working, etc.

I started suspecting Gildas when he told Valen to run. I thought that was kind of odd, especially since the other members of the cabal (in my mind anyway) would have treated him fairly. I was thinking "don't do it Valen" when he enabled the book for Gildas.

Then there's Gram . . .

(I'm really excited that I've actully read one of the books that is fairly recently being discussed in this group. Yeah!)

message 15: by Libby (new)

Libby | 19 comments Ah Gram - what a character! And Gildas makes my skin crawl - sign of a well written villian

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