Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Let's talk about sex...ok let's not

When this statement leaves my mouth, "The book was great, but too much. . . sex," several things happen. First I usually stammer those words out, not sure if the person will react with disbelief that I would read such 'rubbish' or nonchalantly they don't care. Most arch their eyebrows and give this look that says yep she's one of those squeamish virgins. . . weak constitution that one. Ok yes (I can't believe I'll admit this here) I'm a virgin, but squeamish and weak constitution; come now let's not be stupid. Really it has nothing to do with. . . Oh please do I need explain this.

In my opinion a book's greatness should not be defined by whether it has sex in it or not. We shouldn't come to the end of a book lacking romance and think it not good. Too many people are desensitized to reading such things they no longer consider it wrong or vulgar. I guess I find myself saying that I don't want to become that way by constantly feeding my mind with such content. Do we really think our minds should go to the places such scenes take us to?

When it comes to my personal library, I generally look to the future it will have. Hopefully I'll have dozens (I'm serious) of little ones dying to read the treasures their mum has worked so hard to gather. My own mum has never been one to stop us from reading a book. At times she expressed her concern, but in the end it was ultimately our choice. I don't want to keep books on the shelves that I have to worry about. Is it not the case that things in life, not just books, we're told are bad and we shouldn't read, watch, listen, etc are the most intriguing? Our fingers begin to twitch with anticipation at delving into something that is bad (aka will lead us down the path that rocks). Why keep something that would cause someone to stumble regardless if it really is a good book?

I see you sitting back wondering what am I coming to. What epiphany has Maddie reached? Wouldn’t that be brilliant? No epiphany today. . . sorry. Only that I finished a book.

Today I finished Talyn by Holly Lisle. Have you read it? Go now, find a copy, read, and tell me is it not splendid?! I came across this book on LibraryThing. The cover intrigued me (of course), but I read very little about its plot. I immediately went to PaperBackSwap and procured my copy. I didn’t read it right away (damn library books :)).

I’m not always good with summaries, but this wouldn’t be a good review without one (at least I’m told).

Talyn is a Shielder for the Confederacy taak Belytaak in Hyre. Her magical abilities and those of her fellow Shielders have helped wage war on the Republic of Eastil for the past 300 years. Suddenly outside people the Ba’Feegash are invoking and spreading peace throughout both sides of Hyre. Talyn finds herself having to play “nice” with the enemy, but are they the true enemy?

Holly Lisle, and this no exaggeration, has crafted one of the best fantasy novels I’ve ever read. Her attention to detail is amazing. She created not one country, but several with different cultures, languages, people, and intricate histories. I kept reading and reading nearly convinced that this was a people that had lived at some unknown point in my past. The characters leapt off the page, it was very easy to see and feel what they were going through. Many of Talyn’s thoughts I nodded my head wanting to walk up to someone and say, “Yes! Do you see?”. One such time being with the following quote from the book, I posted it on my Facebook even:

‘Guilt is a good friend, isn't it? It will stand at your back when every other friend has abandoned you, and in the face of all reason it will stay by your side, and even when you tell it, "I am moving on now," it will say, "I shall never leave you; never." If only I could find a lover as faithful as guilt.' - Talyn by Holly Lisle page 42

Now the reasoning for my intro. There was sex in the book. At some points unnecessary, but by the end of the book I found myself mulling it over more. The scenes that were more graphic were truly essential for the ending result. I couldn’t walk away saying I got any gratification out of it and that’s what is important to me when considering its attributes to the overall story. Does that make sense? I still don’t know if Talyn has a place on my shelf or not. Will it find itself back on PBS like other books before it? I’ll ponder that for a while.

This post is long, I’ll be on my way now. Read Talyn!

Almost forgot. Update, I’m on letter 26 today. This is turning out to be VERY hard. :)

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