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TVTropes Page for Hodgell's Kencyrath!

Wow, I owe someone a huge hug and kiss! How wonderful!

It will surprise none of Jame's fans to discover that she is an Action Girl and Extraordinarily Empowered Girl, as well as an example of Dark Is Not Evil, Ensign Newbie (in To Ride a Rathorn), I Have Many Names, I Just Want To Be Normal, Last Of Her Kind, Person Of Mass Destruction, and Walking Disaster Area.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 7th, 2009 06:13 am (UTC)
Ah ha, excellent timing, I just started in on the first one you loaned me a few days ago! I'm about 3/4 of the way through that first hardcover, fun times -- it's not quite striking that rare particular tone that I really want from high fantasy, but that's more a matter of my extreme jadedness in this one subgenre rather than any failing on the book's part; I'm liking and enjoying it a great deal and not full of the usual quibbles that keep me away from fantasy these days, and I suspect that if only I'd found them a few decades earlier that "like" would have been utterly enthusiastic "love" instead.
May. 9th, 2009 12:33 pm (UTC)

The awful thing is, the first one has been out for decades! And almost no one has read it!

I really think you'll like the next one as well, when she starts getting more into the ecology of the world.

Jame's desperate need to belong is such a sharp contrast to her level of power, and the continuous temptation to use her dark powers makes for interesting situations ... how do you like Bane?

And I love Tai-tastigon. It's one of the best fantasy cities going.

May. 10th, 2009 07:27 am (UTC)
Bane's interesting enough, although for the most part none of the minor characters but Cleppety and Penari have made that much of an impression on me; but Jame is charming enough and so clearly the main focus that the sketchiness of the minor characters isn't vexing. She's pretty much the primary draw of it all for me, as the bigger serious plot threads really aren't latching on to me, but I like watching her move through it all so much that I don't really care that I don't care much about the plot. (And again it's not that I can point to anything that's being done wrong here, it's a chronic problem with the reader rather than a huge flaw of the book.)

The city is fun, it's got that lovely Lankhmar sort of feel to it where it's practically a character in its own right, which I like. In fact I think that's a bit that may have something to do with why I'm not clicking with this as whole-heartedly as I surely would have in my teens or tweens; the lighter, more capery plots hit the same sort of tone as the Leiber books, which I still adore to no end, and they're my favorite parts of this so far; but just when I start to get into that groove, it switches to focus on the more Serious High Fantasy Plot aspects of the story, and that sort of thing just doesn't charm me for its own sake the way it did twenty-five years ago.

(Is it just me, or is the author a Serious Cat Person? There's cats running about underfoot everywhere in the inn, we know the bad guys are bad because they hurt a cat, Jame's magical animal companion is a super-duper huge telepathic kitty, the Arran-Ken are ginormous sentient cats, and Jame herself has those spiffy retractible claws. Meanwhile I don't think we've seen ONE dog wandering about anywhere, even the Skyrr lord she meets out in the hills hunts with trained leopards! Such egregious speciesism! *chuckle*)
May. 30th, 2009 02:11 am (UTC)

And here I am commenting on your Hodgell comments only two weeks later!!!

I guess she must have cats! She also has horses, or at least a horse - I've learned this from her LJ. A dog or two show up as personalities in To Ride a Rathorn, and I think Seeker's Mask may have some sinister tracking and attack dogs. But in Rathorn (a/k/a "Jame Goes to West Point"), there's a formal class for Shanir who can bond with animals, and we see some pretty odd sets of Shanir/Animal. I won't spoil the fun beyond that - it's a very good scene (or set of scenes, actually).

For me, it's once again the angst of the personal choices that's important. Bane's interesting to me because of his background relative to Jame and the Kencyrath, not primarily because he's a sick but sexy beast.

The whole Perimal Darkling thing is much more important to me as the scene of Jame's weird upbringing than as a looming multiverse disaster.

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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