Monday, 29 July 2002

Renshai Chronicles

after a summer filled with reading works considered to be fine pieces of literature, my return to the books i have enjoyed the most, fantasy novels, is bittersweet. i relish the stories for their entertainment value, but now they are starting to seem a little…juvenile. perhaps this is just due to the books i am reading currently, The Renshai Chronicles, by Mickey Zucker Reichert. i have not read anything by this author before so perhaps it is just the license she takes with Norse mythology in combination with her vaguely Dungeons and Dragons storylines (i’ve never enjoyed that type of fantasy). The characters are all teenagers and behave exactly like teens in regard to affairs of the heart, but when it comes to making emotional decisions they are rational as a sophist. it is unnerving, especially since they are all savants and excel in their respective ‘job class’ to borrow a phrase from D&D, often rivaling those with decades or centuries more experience. it would be a good story if it weren’t so obviously contrived. I do not believe this revulsion will transfer to works of genuine creative fantasy that offers philosophical and moral dilemmas, (LotR, The Recluce Series) or those which offer more than just swords and sorcery (The Wheel of Time, anything by Patricia McKillip). I am just tired of cookiecutter fantasy trilogies. i need something new.