Saturday, May 25, 2019

Wyrd & Wonder Blog Tag prompts 20-25

list of prompts 

I have skipped a few in this tag, but I expect to have one more post in which I will answer the last few prompts. 

20. I didn’t see that coming: The Owl Service by Alan Garner:

I read this last year for the Back to the Classics challenge (category: Children's Classic). This book won the Carnegie Medal in 1967. I didn't mention this one in the retellings prompt, but even though it is a retelling there's definitely a surprise involved. A wonderful book! I recommend it even if you think you don't like children's literature, because it is just that good.

synopsis: Something is scratching around in the attic above Alison's room. Yet the only thing up there is a stack of grimy old plates. Alison and her stepbrother, Roger, discover that the flowery patterns on the plates, when traced onto paper, can be fitted together to create owls-owls that disappear when no one is watching. With each vanished owl, strange events begin to happen around Alison, Roger, and the caretaker's son, Gwyn. As the kids uncover the mystery of the owl service, they become trapped within a local legend, playing out roles in a tragic love story that has repeated itself for generations... a love story that has always ended in disaster.

21. Through the wardrobe (portal fantasy): 

I am not a Narnia fan, so I went with the other definitive portal fantasy for this one. I really enjoyed reading Martin Gardner's annotated version several years ago. The books are very quotable, but one of the best lines is:
I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then. Alice

22. I’d rather be at sea (ships or sailors) - I decided to highlight two classics for this prompt: 

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge — The classic narrative poem of a cursed sea voyage! Read an illustrated version if you can find one. I read the Gustave Doré version. 

It is an ancient Mariner, 
And he stoppeth one of three. 
'By thy long grey beard and glittering eye, 
Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?' 

 The Odyssey (link goes to my review) -- I loved this book, and my second time reading it was really rewarding.

23. That was lucky: The end of the world is averted, which really is lucky. ☺ 

24. Unreal locations: I already wrote about my favorite cities. Here is another of my favorites, not a city this time. 

I already wrote about my favorite cities. Here is another of my favorites, not a city this time. 

The Gig: The shape of the country was rectangular, but there was a long wriggling finger that struck down southeast and a sort of tapering lump that struck up northwest. The southeast bit was called the Finger; the northeast bit was called the Gig, because it might be guessed to have some resemblance to the shape of a two-wheeled vehicle with its shafts tipped forward to touch the ground... Nothing exciting ever happened in the Gig, or hadn't since the invasion of the fire-wyrms about eleven hundred years ago. 

Rosie -- the princess in this retelling of Sleeping Beauty -- grows up here. This really is one of my favorite settings in fantasy. 

And for Middle-earth, I think my favorites are: 

Rivendell: “Frodo was now safe in the Last Homely House east of the Sea. That house was, as Bilbo had long ago reported, ‘a perfect house, whether you like food or sleep, or story-telling or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all.’ Merely to be there was a cure for weariness, fear and sadness.”

Ithilien: “All about them were small woods of resinous trees, fir and cedar and cypress, and other kinds unknown in the Shire, with wide glades among them; and everywhere there was a wealth of sweet-smelling herbs and shrubs. The long journey from Rivendell had brought them far south of their own land, but not until now in this more sheltered region had the hobbits felt the change of clime. Here Spring was already busy about them: fronds pierced moss and mould, larches were green-fingered, small flowers opening in the turf, birds were singing. Ithilien, the garden of Gondor now desolate kept still a disheveled dryad loveliness.” 

25. Heist: This one goes to Beren & Luthien! A jewelry heist, in this case: taking one of the legendary Silmarils from the Dark Lord Morgoth. 

You must choose, Beren, between these two: to relinquish the quest and your oath and seek a life of wandering upon the face of the earth; or to hold to your word and challenge the power of darkness upon its throne. But on either road I shall go with you, and our doom shall be alike. (Those lines are actually from The Silmarillion, but I wanted to use Beren and Luthien for the cover.)

Have you read any of these? What did you think? 

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