18 Mar 2009


I feel like I've had a glut of fantasy fiction lately and still I'm reading them. I don't know if you'd consider Nora Roberts vampire series fantasy but I've just finished re reading all 3 books - Morrigan's Cross, Dance of the Gods and Valley of Silence. Of course they're also romances. At the same time I was reading Shasha's Ella Enchanted - a rewrite of Cinderella. I've read most of the rewrites now - Midnight Pearls, Beauty and Ella Enchanted as well as Winter Rose (a rewrite of the Snow Queen?) and I find that I really enjoy the rewrites more. There's more meat, more oomph to the fairy tales. Its just that bit more believable too I suppose. I'm still reading Terri Windling's The Wood wife which is really good. The book is about a writer researching a poet who had just died in mysterious circumstances and I really love the excerpts of poems she put in. Its also about wood nymphs and spirits that live in the forest. I find the main character - Maggie - so down to earth and so real and yet she can also find it in her to believe and appreciate the stories of magic and supernatural.
Shasha said something once about the fantasy genre being new, that we didnt have fantasy as a genre before. But there I disagree with her. We did have fantasy - only it was lumped with the rest of fiction and was never a catagory on its own. I remember reading Lobsang Rampa when I was in High School. At that time I was crazy about his books and would finish one as quickly as possible in order to get the next. Then I couldn't afford to buy books for myself so had to make do with the school library. Luckily our school library was well stocked. Like my girls I too went through phases - at one stage I was crazy about crime and whodunnits, then after a while got fed up with them and I went through the literary stage where I read all the Austens, Brontes, Dickens, Conrads etc at one go. You get a surfeit of them after some time so its light reading for a while - fantasy like Tolkin's Lord of the Rings. I even went through a phase of reading veterinary and animal stories - books by Gerald Durell and James Herriot for one. Reading has always been a passion with me. It's an escape and a journey. I remember Mrs Rajendran my school principal writing in my autograph book -"The journey is always more interesting than arriving at one's destination." And reading is like a journey - and I'm so glad that it's something I've managed to pass on to my children. They are all readers. Come to my house, both here in Melati and the one in Malacca and you'll find that we have books everywhere - there simply is not enough space to keep all our books. One day we keep telling our selves, we'll build a library. For the moment though there are books in all our bedrooms, books in the living room and even - yes - in the restroom!


marineko said...

Winter Rose is a retelling of Tam Lin, which is an old English ballad. I have other Tam Lin retellings - "An Earthly Knight", "The Perilous Gard", "Tam Lin", "Red Shift", and "Fire & Hemlock." Obviously I love this ballad! lol.

BTW, I didn't say fantasy fiction is new. Science fiction is new. Fantasy is old, but it's no longer part of our tradition (thanks to all the effort in eradicating non-muslim parts of our culture). Now all we have are ghost stories - esp pontianak.

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Beautiful post!!! Reading is a great journey.

Hugs, JJ