Cover of Snow Queen
If a book contains ______, you will always read it (and a book or books that contain it)!
This is honestly a very tough question. It’s hard to think of a single thing that will always make me read something; I could say strong female lead characters, but that’s not true — there are books that I refuse to read containing that quality.
I suppose something I am truly a sucker for is a sense of myth in the story. Kushiel’s Legacy is a very good example of this; not only is there a very rich backdrop to the story, filled with different cultures and myths based loosely on ones from Earth, but the story of Phedre and Joscelin has its own mythic quality — these characters are true heroes on the hero’s journey, and their deeds will be talked about in centuries to come.
Other examples of this mythic quality, not limited to books:
- True Grit (the recent one)
- Battlestar Galactica
- The Fifth Sacred Thing
- Lord of the Rings (though, I will admit, I did not finish reading the books — it’s the films I have a true love for)
- Harry Potter
- Green Grass, Running Water (by Thomas King)
- The Tir Alainn Trilogy by Anne Bishop
- The Black Jewels Trilogy (same)
- The Snow Queen, by Joan D. Vinge
- anything by Ursula K. LeGuin, the First Lady of Fantasy
- Bellica, by Katje van Loon (why shouldn’t I shamelessly plug my own awesome stories, I ask you)
It’s the sense of myth that truly gets my heart racing, that makes me cry for the characters (yes, including my own), that wraps me up so completely in the story that when it’s over I am bereft for having lost a part of myself.
However, that’s the beauty of myths — once I am done mourning, I can read or watch and experience them again, and allow myself to fall in love many times with the same, heart-rending story.
Image via Wikipedia
Best quote from a novel
Oh my goddess, we have so many contenders for this post. I simply can’t list just one, unless I wanted to be funny. Contrary to my usual nature, I wish to share quotes that actually mean something to me.
So, from the very talented Jacqueline Carey and her quite astounding literary masterpiece, Kushiel‘s Legacy, my favourite quotes from the Phedre Trilogy.
We are all of these things […]. Pride, desire, compassion, cleverness, belligerence, fruitfulness, loyalty…and guilt. But above it all stands love. And if we desire to be more than human, that is the star by which we must set our sights.
We pay for sins we do not remember, and seek to do a will we can scarce fathom. That is what it is, to be a god’s chosen.
It’s the same questions we ask of our existence, and the answer is always the same. The mystery lies not in the question nor the answer, but in the asking and answering themselves, over and over again, and the end is engendered in the beginning.
All knowledge is worth having.
That which yields is not always weak.
See what I mean when I say I can’t just choose one?
And I’m not even finished!
The best book you’ve read in the last 12 months
This one is harder to answer because I’ve read fewer books in the past year than I usually have. (Yes, you read that right.) Most of the books I’ve read have been non-fiction, which usually means that I haven’t actually finished them yet. And I have trouble picking a non-fiction book as the “best” that I’ve read, because that’s not how I measure their worth — I measure their worth in how USEFUL they are to me (also what KIND of useful — Silver RavenWolf’s books are good as doorstops or toilet paper, so are a lesser kind of useful than ones I’d actually get good knowledge out of…also SRW’s books could probably be classified as fiction, so I guess it’s sort of a moot point).
So. I haven’t read that many fiction books in the past year. That I can remember. I actually don’t really remember much from week to week.
Which means I’m choosing a book I just finished, because it’s fresh in my mind and it’s by one of my favorite authors. Kushiel’s Justice, by Jacqueline Carey.