Tag Archives: Sherwood Smith

Inda and Ender

I finished Inda a while ago. I was going to write an entry about it, but as always I kept building up the writing part of it, trying to make it all nice and a coherently written piece, so it never got out of my head. Now I am forcing it out so everything will be rambly. (Spoilers ahead probably.)

The first thing that struck me while reading was how similar the academy was to Battle School (in the Ender books). I don’t mean anything negative by the comparison. Of course two schools centered around command and winning wars will be similar. But I thought it was interesting, how the premise worked in both settings. One was outer space and all futury, the other was on another planet entirely (more like another universe, not really an alien planet) and in medieval-like times. (Flying spacecraft versus swords and bows, woo!) Both would set up battles between students.

Gand actually reminded me of what’s-his-name in Ender (sorry can’t remember, haven’t read the books in a while, and they’re not handy at school either), although I didn’t realize it until he was talking to Brath (is that his name? argh I took Inda home over the weekend) about controlling the students. Brath reminded me of that other school head guy in Ender too.

I think Battle School factored more into Ender’s plot though. Or … at least it did in Ender’s Shadow. Sorry, haven’t read Ender’s Game in a while, and it tends to blend with Shadow for me anyway. In Inda it was more just a setting.

But that’s okay, I liked learning more about Sartorias-Deles (the world Inda takes place on) and the customs of that time and everything. (Crown Duel takes place on the same world, but many many years later.)

What else? Oh, when some of the characters died, I couldn’t believe it. Even nearing the end, I thought, Oh this character can’t die because such and such, then in the next scene or two, that person dies! Heartwrenching.

Oh yeah, you know how in Crown Duel I probably have weird associations with characters? Well it happened in Inda too. Firstly I was sort of comparing Inda and Ender while reading through the academy part, but Inda stood on his own personality in my mind. (They both got banished oh em gee el oh el!)

Then near the end I was shocked by this association I had: the Sierlaef looks like and is like Prince Zuko from Avatar: the Last Airbender, in my mind. O.o Except with blonde hair. It probably started with the “horsetail” hairdo. Then all of his throwing his royal weight around, his anger, or something in his personality cemented the connection in my mind.

I didn’t pick up on it until the Sierlaef was riding around patrolling the south though. It really shocked me. The Sierlaef doesn’t have a scar on his face in my mind … and he also has blonde hair (I have to force the blonde hair though—I always picture brown hair first, for anybody), but he still looks like Prince Zuko! Weird.

Now I need to buy The Fox. But it’s only in hardcover? And I am a poor, poor student with little expendable cash. :( (All my allowance goes toward cable and internet.)

Also, I would like to say, woot! My silly little post in the athanarel community on LJ may or may not have prompted Sherwood Smith to post the latest behind-the-scenes story, but either way it’s written and posted! XD Joy of joys! Now I have to print out all the stories and bind them in a nice book. Hmm, I have to shop for a nice paper. (I’m thinking of doing a Japanese link stitch binding, if I can get money for that book off Amazon.)

on reading and such

(I rarely say this, but) Squee!

I finished Crown Duel a little while ago. (I’d forgotten about the short story in the back, hehe.) I thought it was so good that I went on Amazon wondering if Sherwood Smith had written anything else. Now, I did read the little bio in the back that gives her website address, but I wouldn’t have visited it (or given anything else she’d written much thought) if she hadn’t posted on Amazon.

A lot of reviews on Amazon are general and don’t really tell you much of anything about the book. I couldn’t figure out … well, anything about the book (Inda, for anyone keeping track). (I have to admit, what the author wrote confused me a bit; it seemed sort of random and not really fitting in with talking about the book at first.)

After I realized it was the author herself writing, I thought she might give more details about the book, so I went around looking on her site. What I wanted to know probably aren’t crucial to selling the book, but the things I found out sold it for me: adult fantasy, set in Meliara’s world. Woohoo!

Although it’s not about Mel or Shevraeth, I’m still interested. I keep thinking it’s somewhat similar to M. M. Kaye’s The Far Pavilions (which, upon further consideration, might almost be up to par with how fun Crown Duel, Ella Enchanted, etc. are), and I don’t want that to ruin it. Since it’s still in hardcover, I’ll just wait for the price to go down, and misleading associations to go down as well.

The squee! part comes in when I found out Sherwood Smith has written other stories with Mel and Shevraeth in them, and some are available online. :O One fansite, Colorwoods, also has a Q&A page up, which is almost like another story. More like backstory, but since I hadn’t known it before, it’s a new story to me. I’ve bookmarked three pages and joined a new community on Livejournal, to remind me to read all this later.

And all this has led me to staying up ’til midnight, when I’d planned to get to bed earlier than last night. D’oh!

blonde-haired dude in a cape

I’m reading Crown Duel (with Court Duel included) by Sherwood Smith. This is my second read, so I know the major events and everything. I still really enjoy the book. ^^ The first time I read it was … at least four years ago, guaranteed. I love strong heroines in fantasy settings. Ella Enchanted, the Abhorsen trilogy, The Ordinary Princess

One thing that is confusing me though, is that I keep picturing Shevraeth as another male character with long pale hair, who wears a cape… If you thought Lucius Malfoy, you either spend too much time in the Harry Potter realm or you’ve read Court Duel and think the same way I do.

I don’t remember the way I pictured Lucius in the books (movie media overload, boo), but if you take his movie portrayal, make him thinner, a bit younger, and not as … sneery, then you’ve got my image of Shevraeth.

The part where I’m getting confused is, I don’t like Lucius (I’m a good girl; I hates on the bad guys), but I definitely like Shevraeth. So I have this image in my head with an association that I don’t think of favorably … yet I like the character!

It’s sort of like in The Shop Around the Corner, which I saw Saturday (woo free OnDemand TCM movies). The lady admits to being confused in the beginning because she had mixed identities or something in her head. asdjkl; need to rewatch the movie to know what she said… [edit: “psychologically mixed up” is what she said]

Anyway. I’m almost done with the book. Chapter nineteen of part two. It’s such a fun story! But I don’t want it to end. :( Do I read and continue the fun, or not read and still have a bit of story left to live in? *laugh* Right, like I could do anything else.

After I’m done with this book I can go back to Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. I’m about two-thirds done in that one. It’s a great book, it’s just not as fun as Crown Duel. I wonder, are there adult fantasy books with strong heroines that are as fun?