Monday, July 17, 2006

Patricia C. Wrede, "New Moon", and some sea-faring for the kiddies

Okay. So, I really like teenie lit. We all know this. But we also know that I can chalk it up to *ahem* research because I am finishing my own teenie lit series. Also, we must recognize that it is summer and I just finished a Specialist degree in Victorian Lit. So, I have paid my dues and read many eight thousand long books with words like "thither", "ponder", and surreptitiously."

Having listed my credentials, I should basically be able to read whate'er I want.

So.... I do.

Take for instance, this wonderful, blossoming genre of Regency-lit for kids. I would like to start by thanking Patricia C. Wrede for this delightful, delectable, delicacy. First, through Sorcery and Cecilia and The Grand Tour: sort of an epistolary Georgette Heyer for the small fry; and now, enchantingly, Mairelon the Magician and The Magician's Ward. Magic of yesteryear is indeed sexy. I like to think of man "Darcy-clad" in cravats prancing ( a la Scarlet Pimpernel) about the "ton" ,as it were ,and flashing their magic tricks. Kudos to Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell for further whetting the world's appetite for this sort of thing.

Mairelon the Magician and its worthy sequel are peppered with witty banter and rapport, and enticing "cant" used by the streetsmart Kim who unwittingly ( and unwillingly) becomes ward to the "toff" Mairelon: Magician by day, spy for the British Office and Lord of the upper gentry by night.

The relationship between Kim and Mairelon took some unexpected turns that had me squealing late, late into last night . This is the kind of book you want to sneak the flashlight under the covers for.

I also read New Moon-- the sequel to Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. This book takes an unexpectedly dark turn and I must say I was completely thrown off guard by the direction it is now heading in. I am sure she will round off the trilogy nicely in the promised third sequence.

Details I shall keep tightly under lock and key seeing as I was fortunate enough to read this in its galley proof and most of the rest of the world is still anticipatorily expecting their amazon pre-orders.

I have a thing for boats. We all know this. It will be my downfall ( meaning I will one day rush off to sea, toss my self aloft and somehow, strangely, drown), but I can live vicariously through wonderful sea faring tales of the dark and deep. I am always intrigued when authors of the YA persuasion use this setting for their coming-of-age tales. For really, Horatio Hornblower, and the early non-Aubrey/Maturin O'Brian books, use ships as the vessel for self maturation.

I can eagerly recommend Peter Raven Under Fire, a recent nautical acquisition. Also, the Young Man and the Sea ( a well-needed update of the Hemingway classic for the 9-12 age range. And, my love of all things Maritimer was well-founded in Pirate's Passage by Gilkerson.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ah! You are making me even more excited for New Moon! A dark turn? I am intrigued!! Extremely, deliciously intrigued!

(How Anne do I feel using the word "deliciously?")

You and me both will be drowned in the sea, then.