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17 February 2013 @ 01:42 pm


I had forgotten there were scenes and sections in MAGICIAN’S GAMBIT that were entirely from Ce’Nedra’s point of view. I knew there were in CASTLE OF WIZARDRY, but I had no recollection of it in MG.

This endears the book(s) to me as an adult even more than as a teen. I was not one of those female readers who as a child felt left out because all the stories were about boys and I wasn’t a boy so therefore couldn’t relate. Yes, well, there wasn’t a magical passageway in my closet that led to Narnia, either, but somehow I soldiered on and managed to love and accept it anyway, you know? So I didn’t notice a lack of female protagonists in books I read, because none of these people were like me anyway.

As an adult, however, I’m more aware of the imbalance, so I was completely delighted to (re)discover that Ce’Nedra’s status as a POV character–one of only two in the Belgariad, if I’m not mistaken–begins in book 3. That’s wonderful.

One of the things I’m really enjoying in these re-reads is being reintroduced to a character and suddenly remembering their whole story. It’s a completely different kind of joy than discovering those stories for the first time: that’s pure adreneline-based adventure. This is the resurrection of old friendships, the reawakening of memories based not on scent or touch, but the shape of words on a page. I laughed out loud at poor Garion’s experiments with the Word and the Will in the Vale, having completely forgotten what he’d done to himself in that scene, and Relg’s appearance came as a splendid shock of oh!, because so much of his story came back to me in the moment I saw his name. It was wonderful.

Also, this book has one of my favorite lines in the history of ever: “Does bouncing count?”

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

mevennenmevennen on February 17th, 2013 12:44 pm (UTC)
I'd forgotten that so many scenes were from her pov, too. Like you, I didn't really notice female or male protagonists when I was growing up.
secret_gyozasecret_gyoza on February 17th, 2013 05:00 pm (UTC)
I know what you mean although I did notice growing up, I have become even more aware. I have reached a point in my life where I simply do not read books anymore unless they have at least one significant well written female character. On occasion I overlook this for female authors but as an adult I understand that my money is a form a "voting" in a capitalist society and I care what my money supports.

There are too many people that recommend me books and are completely unable to understand how a complete lack of female characters might be a turn off to me. My father had recommended a book a friend of his wrote and requested that I write an amazon review after reading it. The basic description of this book was, boy has shamanic dreams, conflict with his father, male mentor, and boys boys boys boys boys. I said flat out, are there any female characters in this book?! I have no interest in reading another book about another guy with other guys...

Anyway, the way you write female characters is how you have become my most often recommended author.
spiffikinsspiffikins on February 17th, 2013 05:14 pm (UTC)
This reminds me of how long it's been since I re-read that series - I think I'll put them on the list to take with me on vacation next month!
The Dread Vixen Alinsaalinsa on February 18th, 2013 06:55 am (UTC)
I really enjoyed Ce’Nedra’s parts of those books. And the books in general, of course. I wonder if they'll ever pull a 'Game of Thrones' with them and make a really cool series out of them...
kitmizkit on February 18th, 2013 08:14 am (UTC)
Nah. They're not nearly as twisty books as the GRRM books, and the bad guys are Clearly Bad while the good guys are Clearly Good. If they turned the Belgariad into epic fantasy TV, it would be a completely different story than the one in the books, and that would be kind of sad. :)
Herefoxherefox on February 21st, 2013 06:45 pm (UTC)
I guess he didn't learn in time then. ;-)

At least I think that's the exact line. It's definitely the gist of it. And then Silk wanders away being cheerful ;-)

Love those books even if they're entirely predictable most of the time. The characters are old friends though.