The War of the Flowers by Tad Williams does what only the best fairy tales can, it reflects real dreams and nightmares into a world where readers can experience them on an epic scale. The main character is a hero of circumstance and certainly not one of choice. Theo Vilmos is a thirty year old teenager tossed into a terrifying fantasy world with just an eccentric relative’s journal for aid.
Faerie isn’t forests and The book came out in 2003, but the terrifying world of Faeries holds many parallels to today’s problems. Issues like limited resources, deforestation, immigration, droning (okay, dragoning), and civil rights get a magical twist. The book has a darkness that is reminiscent of Grimm Fairy Tales. The scariest part is how real the issues of Faerie feel. I wanted to riot for the right’s of Goblin’s and chain myself to Faerie’s lovely trees. Faeries seems to take on the worst aspects of humanity. Williams contrasts those worst aspects with Theo who may not be the best of humanity, but is at least trying to be good. The setting was so fascinating I couldn’t help feeling cheated that I didn’t get more. I would read a history of Faerie if Williams wrote it. Instead I was stuck with the understanding of Theo who is largely an outsider. It’s the difference between seeing a country as a tourist or with a native.
Let me preface this post by admitting it isn’t my usual thing. I’m working on a project for a Creative Writing class I’m currently taking and wanted to poll the internet realm on a question. I’ve been doing a lot of reading on point of view and what’s popular, easiest, “best, etc. I started a piece using third person editorial omniscient. Then I read numerous articles saying readers today dislike omniscient narrators because they desire a more personal connection with characters. I’ve enjoyed a few books with omniscient narrators and was wondering if I’m just abnormal. What are your favorite points of view to read and/or write? If you’ve got time I included that beginning of my work in progress and would love feedback on feelings about the point of view or any feedback in general.
Judgment by Chance
Every city had a Reader. Every Reader hated books. This has been true since as long as anyone’s oldest relative could remember remembering. The idea’s birthplace remains a mystery. Nobody who is willing to share knows who created the magic of Readers, it just was. Sort of like gravity, except a surprising amount of people decide to challenge gravity by jumping off roofs and the likes, whereas Readers were more universally accepted. This made them the main authority of the land and was generally considered an improvement to the time before readers by those categorized as the little people. The less little people preferred the old system of “Might is Right” but they were outnumbered and smart enough, for the most part, to keep their mouths shut.
Knowing all of this, Chance was less than thrilled when a letter from the University bearing the Reader crest of two books on a scale arrived on his doorstep. During the seconds it took to crack open the letter’s red wax seal, Chance had already envisioned a multitude of ways this could end in unpleasant death. Chance possessed what his mother kindly termed an overeager imagination. Where normal people saw shadows, Chance saw dark garbed assassins. Having no enemies who would possibly want to assassinate him, he recognized his own paranoia. Chance grimly reassured himself; Readers had been assassinated in the past so maybe his paranoia would prove valid.