This was such an amazing collection of short stories. It combined sass and humour with comments on the politics and power of a number of supernaturally gifted human beings. Yet, it was more than that, Tales of the Otherworld imparted important humanitarian reminders upon me as a reader – a reminder that acceptance and attempting to understand others is integral to leading long and happy lives. At least, that’s the message that I got from this collection.
Coming of age stories have a lot of power to them – after all, everybody comes of age in some way or another, and at some point. There are a multitude of ways and traditions which allow children to become adults. Time of Proving is one such story, it is short and succinct, yet, the idea of coming of age and finding one’s path in life is pursued and memories of childhood and the decisions we made on that cusp of adulthood flash back at you as you read this short story.
I can’t imagine being in a position that I am forced to spend my teenage years in a group home. But, it is a recurring idea in many stories, and the idea that one of my favourite authors actually acted as a housemother for young girls in this situation adds to the interest that I feel at such a horrible situation. However, although this story focuses upon these girls, it is not a sad, depressing or even pitiful story. Rather, this short story will leave you smiling and giggling at the not-so-nice antics of these young women.
This was a fantastic spin on the traditional sacrificing a virgin to the dragon story. Like all of Pierce's stories, Plain Magic champions the strength of women and integrity over all else. Tonya’s frustration at being trapped in a small village where her mentors refuse to teach her only heighten the inequality and strength of Tonya’s character. As the sacrificial virgin, she contrasts against every ideal that these tales normally purport for such a symbol – she is not malleable, completely pure, or helpless.
This month meant the return to my Masters, so while I've been reading some of my old favourites while trying to be inspired to do more writing. Constantly talking to other avid bibliophiles and writers has certainly helped though! The lack of internet has been difficult to do all of my research for said projects though... weekly access to the internet has made life more than a little difficult! Luckily I have so many books to wile away the hours between bouts of writing and Masters work.
This is an incredibly sweet little story. It is about a girl who doesn’t quite want to grow up, and the power of our connection to nature. Both aspects of which I can relate to entirely. After all, who really wants to grow up and take on the mantle of responsibility?
It is hard enough growing up, finding your place in high school and just generally not making too much of a fool of yourself when puberty strikes. Now, imagine doing this with a family that believes in witchcraft. A family that is not quite what everyone else would consider as normal. Pierce uses this extreme to remind us to not only stay true to ourselves, but how truly difficult it can be to come of age in today’s world and society.
There is something incredibly intriguing about secret societies – probably the fact that they are secret is what tends to fascinate us. A ghost story using a shady secret society was a perfect way to tell the last story in Ghostwriting: Tales of the Supernatural. It was suspenseful, intriguing, with just the right dose of love, lust and betrayal.
In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have read this right before I went to sleep, it certainly gave me some very interesting and tripped out dreams. But, isn’t that a mark of a good story? Something that can affect both the conscious and the subconscious? The use of a curse and a building’s history to build this ghost story helped to add to the sense of mystery and suspense.
This week has been all about BILBIES! It’s honestly been a little hard to concentrate when I’ve been out all night spotlighting for Bilbies, with the occassional Boodie (Burrowing Bettong) and Woylie (Brush-tailed Bettong) thrown in. I’ve also had the privilege of spending time in the presence of a couple of echidnas and a wombat…