Monday, October 6, 2008

The Summoner

I had a little Mommy go away day and went to Grand Junction and hung out in the B&N. While I was there, being annoyed because every book I want to read doesn't come out for another month, I started wondering why women don't write epic fantasy. For example, Lord of the Rings. I read a lot of it, and all the best ones are written by men. Women write fantasy, but it tends to be more romantic fantasy, or supernatural stuff, not the rise and fall of kingdoms.

So while pondering this thought I ran across two books that seemed to disprove this theory. I'm still not sure It has been proven wrong. The trilogy I posted about last didn't have the feel of an epic. And it definitely wasn't on my list of best books ever. I enjoyed it, but it was forgettable. I kept confusing it with other books I have read lately, which normally I don't have a problem with.

I think the difference is that, so far at least, the books written by women are less politically complex and more emotionally complex. There is more about relationships and less about the convoluted political things that happen. Also less monumental battles. No Helm's Deep or like that in these books. I am fine with that, the battle scenes are not what I like about Tolkien, or Jordan or any other writer I am fond of. But it seems as they focus on the personal things more the plot is less compelling to me and so I am not as interested. Just a personal quirk I guess.

This book came closest to proving a woman could write epic fantasy. It was unusual in that it made the Necromancer a good guy. His ability to talk with the dead is seen as a more healing and positive ability. One that grants the unquiet souls reat and peace for the living. I liked that.

The Summoner. Gail Z. Martin. Solaris. 2007

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