The Geomancer


A World Too Near, A Book Impossible to Put Down

Pat's Fantasy Hotlist has a great interview with Kay Kenyon up today, apparently co-conducted by Patrick and SFFWorld's Rob H. Bedford. Check it all out, but I particularly like Kay's answer to the question of whether there were any "perceived conventions of the science fiction/fantasy genre" that she set out to "twist or break." Kay replies:

"Well, first off, I wanted to celebrate some of the traditions, and make the story an unabashed fantasy quest. Insofar as the story has science fiction underpinnings, I did twist the usual space opera protagonist, making Titus Quinn deeply divided in his loyalties. Through the eyes of his daughter, Sydney, we get an unsparing view of Titus. Her deeply ambivalent feelings for Titus highlight his dilemmas and explore the question of how it’s possible to do good when all actions will create suffering. I wanted to turn a Flash Gordon concept into the thinking reader’s adventure novel. ...As the story proceeded, I wanted to create fault lines in the reader’s assumptions about the Tarig overlords, who by tradition we want to despise. A pervasive goal was to give each character their value as a sentient being. This emphasis on character is also, in my view, a departure from the classic adventure tale."

Meanwhile, earlier this week, Rob H. Bedford posted the SFFWorld review of the second book in Kay's The Entire and the Rose series, A World Too Near, proclaiming that, ""Kenyon does a great job of maintaining the tension of this throughout the novel. "

[Spoiler Alert] If Bright of the Skywas Titus Quinn's book, then this one is Joanna Quinn's, as Rob observes, "While Titus is indeed the main character, Kenyon also shows his wife’s life in the Entire. In fact, the novel opens with a scene of Joanna Quinn, illustrating the grandeur of the Entire while juxtaposing it against the desperation Joanna feels in an otherwise beautiful place. Joanna’s scenes proved even more emotionally charged than those featuring Titus, there is a great deal of conflict within her and at times, she seems resigned to her fate and has given up hope of a return to the life she knew. While Joanna’s scenes aren’t as frequent as Titus’s, they are as powerful."

Rob concludes that, "ultimately, I found myself unable to stop reading. As the novel draws to a close, the pressure builds for Titus and for Joanna, making for a briskly paced conclusion that you want to read through fast, but conversely, you don’t want to end. A tease at the end gives readers just enough to crave the next volume."

Which is perfect, ennit?

1 comment:

  1. Hi Lou.

    I do think that the novel was a bit of a sophomore slump in my very modest opinion. However, the drop off was not so much that I am giving up on the series by any means.

    My Review on BJS