Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fletcher's Ironhand

As a rule, I don't like fantasy, but when it clicks, it clicks, and I loved this sequel to Stoneheart. George has broken a statue (being an idiot), and set off an age old war between spits (statues of people) and taints (statues of creatures) in London. He befriends Edie, a glint (someone who can read the emotions of things by touching them) and Gunner, a statue. In this installment, Gunner has been imprisoned by the Walker, who is trying to get together two ancient stone mirrors for evil purposes. The Walker also kidnaps Edie so that she can find a matching stone, and is following George, who can make the mirror. George is struggling also with veins of stone and metal that are creeping up his arm to his heart-- unless he accepts several "challenges", the veins will kill him.

There is lots of action and adventure, and it isn't as hard to read as the description would indicate. The London setting is done is great detail, and I loved that part of it. This is not a sure bet for every fantasy fan, but it has been popular enough to warrant it. Having read Sean Ashby's comments on characters in fantasies (Brain vs. Brawn), now I am reevaluating the book's characters.

Read Karen Tayleur's short book, David Mortimer Baxter: Liar, and it irritated me. Reluctant readers probably will like it, and this series is published with them in mind. I was put off by the multiple fonts on each page, as well as the tiny illustrations. I felt like I should decode that information in some way, and that it was integral to the story, like a rebus. It didn't seem to be, so I was confused as to why it was there. These are expensive book ($18 for 71 pages), so I may not get the rest of the series.

Ah, more Rosemary Sutcliffe. Three that are moving on to better homes are Sun Horse, Moon Horse, The Shield Ring, and Song for a Dark Queen, even though I really, really wanted to like that one since its about Boadicea, who showed up in Ironhand. Sun Horse has been in the library since 1977 and has NEVER BEEN OFF THE SHELF. It smells bad. They all do, in fact, and look dusty, aged, and tired. If the writing weren't somewhat stilted and ponderous, I could interest children in them, but the time has passed.

Must go now and chant "We are not an archive" to myself. And weep gently.


wlomano said...

I think elder son read Stoneheart; probably would be interested in Ironhand. Not, of course, if I suggest it. (I suggested Pratchet's Nation to him and he's balking, despite that it has slight Lord Of the Flies overtones & he liked that one enough to read it twice).

I'm just an embarrassing hindrance to him these days. *Sigh.*

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