7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A little too fantastical for me.,
This review is from: Magic Street (Hardcover)
Orson Scott Card is always interesting and smart in his writing. However, for some a reason I wasn't aware of at first, I didn't care about these characters as much as I usually do in Card's work. I momentarily thought that I might be having trouble relating to Black people, but my sister read it and felt let down a bit, too, and she's married to a Black man and has four children with him. She even tends to speak Black English Vernacular. (As a side note, she didn't complain about how the language was handled in the book. I suspect that people who criticize Card for his use of BEV simply aren't familiar with it). Well, I decided the reason I couldn't personally connect to the characters wasn't about race. I think it was just that I had trouble taking "fairies" seriously. The book tries to suggest that Shakespeare himself met "Puck" and "Titania" and wrote about fairies from real experiences. It never tells exactly where fairies came from or what they are, exactly. There is a decent attempt at making us believe that "fairies" could just be some other form of life and that magic is simply a natural part of existence. Card explains that WILL is more real than the world around us and that fairies can use the power of human will to shape matter. Well, this helped a bit. However, I couldn't seem to get past the word "fairy" and the story elements that involve it, so I felt a certain disconnect from the story.
However, other than that, the story is very good and has multiple layers to it. I really appreciated the concepts, the guts it took for Card to write about Black people, not being one himself, and the imagination that went into this. I may have enjoyed this less than any book of his I've read, but I still really liked it. If you feel you can accept the existence of fairies for long enough to finish the story, perhaps you will enjoy this more than I did. Even if you can't, I still recommend it. It's quite profound in some respects and very imaginative. I have to say also, that it may be somewhat groundbreaking, in that perhaps this is the only contemporary fantasy novel written exclusively about Black people. If it's not, it has to be the only one written by a major, best-selling author.
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Initial post: Feb 4, 2008 2:54:35 PM PST
Another fantasy book with black characters is "Anansi Boys" by Neil Gaiman.
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