Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Adventures in Regular Literature

So far in my adventures with regular, adult literature (as compared to YA genre), I've had great fun. The only cons are:
A) they cost way more money-- why is that? I can't buy as many books now, and I'm really rather upset about it, and
B) it takes so much longer to read them, seeing as they actually have literary value to them. Wait, that's not a con; literary content rocks. Just kidding, I'm going crazy.

Okay, but one of the reasons I moved on from YA to regular literature (among many, many things, mostly being the fact that I'm no longer 15, and haven't been for a while, and have finally matured to the point where I think YA basically sucks) was because I was sick and tired of everyone exploiting the series concept. If I ever come across another series I'm going to shoot myself or jump off a bridge or something. (Well, actually... I'll just be super pissed and will most likely scream or at least shout in frustration). Thanks to YA overusing the series concept in order to make more money and completely overlook the good-story/decent-writing/anthing-of-literary-value aspect (okay, this obviously doesn't apply to ALL series, but most), I can't stand series and sequels and people not being able to write a stand-alone book...

...And what do I find? The very second regular-fiction book I bought, I realized upon finishing it, had a sequel. Bahahaha--- just my luck.

Actually, it was lucky, because The Illuminator rocked, and The Mercy Seller was just as good. They were intest-grabbing, and history-oriented, and randomly religious. Definitely some of my new favorites. Also, The Mercy Seller was merely a continuation of the story of a minor character form The Illuminator, and her life years after The Illuminator took place, so each book could, for all intents and purposes, stand alone. Which I can deal with quite well in an adult-like fashion appropriate for my age. I deeply enjoyed them both--- I couldn't say which one I liked better, because I just don't know.

Basically, the premise is: (in The Illuminator) Finn is an illuminator who--you guessed it-- illuminates the Bible and other religious things for the Church in the 1400's, right at the time where real-life John Wyldcliffe is spreading the radical idea that everyone should be able to read the Bible for themselves, not just listen to the corrupt Church's interpretations of it. Going against the law and all better judgement, Finn begins copying the banned texts and Wyldcliffe's Bible, risking not only his own safety, but that of his only child, Rose. Meanwhile, we read about one Lady Katherine, and her two sons, whom Finn and Rose come to live with, and all their intertwined relationships and craziness thereafter. Also includes nuns and their cats named after harlots, a really awesome dwarf, and a "simple" kitchen maid who gets along randomly well with bees.

The Mercy Seller takes place something like twenty-five years later, documenting the life of Anna (Jasmine)---who is born towards the end of The Illuminator--- who is suddenly left with radical (and illegal) views about religion and no one in the world she can count on. She travels to England with a band of gypsies for a while, inherits a severely handicapped boy with a love of music, and falls in love with a priest pretending to be a mercenary... which, obviously, is all sorts of trouble. My beloved Finn and Lady Katherine also play secondary parts; I enjoyed visiting my old friends again, even as they were growing old, too old for the mischevious lives they lived in the first book. I would have liked the ending better if we had gotten to see more of the relationship blossum into love instead of tolerance, instead of having it alluded to in the epilogue. But that's just me. 

Props to Brenda Rickman Vantrease! (I can never remember that name, haha)

 ---I also just learned that she has another book, The Heritic's Wife, which I look forward to reading once i get enough money to actually purchase it. (I assume it has to do with the same historical/religious issues as both The Illuminator and The Mercy Seller? I hope so). The cover is gorgeous, too, which, as we all know, is something everyone judges a book by.

PS-- I'm still working on all my classic literature. Or, you know, some of it. I actually forgot I was working on Grimm's Fairy Tales, to tell the truth, so I obviously haven't made it very far in that. However, I am reading The Secret Garden, which I'm suddenly realizing that I've read sometime before... I can't remember what happens next on any given page, but once I read something, I remember it. I hate that feeling! Ugh! Why can't I just forget a story after a few years, and enjoy the surprises it holds when I read it again? I mean, it has to have been ten years or so since I read The Secret Garden. And yet... grrrr.

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