|Willow (the_willow) wrote in 100_willow,|
@ 2010-06-21 01:31:00
|Entry tags:||culture: european, genre: fantasy = general, what the...?!|
Surrender None: The Legacy of Gird - Elizabeth Moon
Finished a couple hours ago. Only had to put the book down three times at most I think. I could handle that it's a fantasy story about the inequities of serf-dom and what it takes to build a stable and equal society. The magic had a place. I skipped a lot of the battle scenes. Apparently I can just about handle 3 in a book, and they'd better all mean something for character growth and plot momentum - after that I can take no more.
In fact, it made me start thinking of the legacy of D&D and how that plays into a lot of current fantasy ideas/ideals and how that started as putting a fantasy twist on medieval table top war games AND how LOTR was Tolkein's attempt at an English Mythology of 'How The People Won Their Land', pulling from the legends of land claiming of Europe. But still, war + fantasy seriously bores me. I know this is just my thing, but whoa on boring.
Anyway, my major problem with the book is the ending. What. The. Blue Shaded Breath was THAT Elizabeth Moon? That was such a cop out. This whole book building up about the cruelty of those in power stemming from the need to keep power and how cultural misunderstandings between peoples furtheres the ideology of superiors and inferiors and how resentments of the oppressed can become fodder to create a new class of oppressed/ a new class of overlords.
And then rocks fall. everyone dies?
The great leader's reward/punishment for being oblivious to what's going on with his people is to become a momentary spiritual beacon that somehow erases away all the pain, suffering, heartache and psychic wounds of his people? And then he DIES? Having sucked all the badness into himself to keep his people from continuing wrongs? The solution to biogry and prejudice is magical soulgasm rain clouds?
It so took away from all I'd come to appreciate about the world building and how things fit. I only raised my brow once at 'horsepeople on the ___ border'; I forget which border. I found myself thinking of all the bits of history I'd learned during my years fascinated by Robin Hood. The fantasy elements actually added some realism. Strength of character (not personality but determination, moral fiber etc) made a difference, not prophecy and some deific appointment.
First damn fantasy book by a non PoC writer I've read in a damn long time. And then Rocks Fall. Everyone Dies.