Friday, September 14, 2007

Clan Daughter - A Guilty Admission

Ok, I admit it. CLAN DAUGHTER has been sharing reading time with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Yes, I'm finally reading it, a month after everyone else has read it. What can I say? I can hardly be expected to only read debuts!

Speaking of debuts, The Book of Joby will probably be my next featured debut. A review copy is on its way to me. Since I'll probably finish CLAN DAUGHTER before then, I'll try to get some first chapter reviews in. I haven't done any in a while.

Thanks to Harry Potter, I'm only about 1/4th of the way through CLAN DAUGHTER. However, Harry has gotten so infuriating that I do believe I will set it aside for a while.

The story -- CLAN DAUGHTER, that is -- continues to take twists and turns that cannot possibly be anticipated. Dar's ability to see visions make it difficult to tell what she is experiencing is real or a vision. There has been a change of mood for the better among herself and her orc companions; I'll not say any more than that since I don't want to give anything away for those who are interested in reading the first book.

I was thinking earlier about the other tightly character-focused stories that I have read and how Dar compares with them. In previous posts, I have mentioned Ayla from Clan of the Cave Bear and Paks from The Deed of Paksenarrion. To those I will add another, Lancelot from The Once and Future King. (In my opinion, T. H. White had Lancelot steal the show from Arthur. I quite fell in love with him, even though he had the face of a baboon. I'm making myself want to reread it -- it has been many, many years.) Each of these three displayed character strength and likability, but they also had something that I have not yet seen in Dar -- vulnerability. For those three characters, the vulnerability transformed the like into love.

For Ayla, she was just a girl. One's heart went out to her the first time she dared touch the Mog-Ur's face. Since she never fit in among the Clan; one could not help but to love her. For Paks, she did not seem particularly vulnerable until the second book, when she lost her courage. And at the beginning of book three, when she found herself back in Brewersbridge -- well, that part of the story always got me choked up. And for Lancelot, his vulnerability was his tendency for his emotions to quite literally drive him insane. I think he had two episodes of being a "wild man" in the woods. And when he is given his miracle, that's powerful stuff.

I have not read anything so far that compares to any of the above, but the fact that Howell has me making these comparisons means that I think the potential is there.

I won't promise no more Harry Potter until I finish CLAN DAUGHTER, but I'll try to finish by the end of the weekend.

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