The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia #1) c.1955 (202 pgs)
What does this make, re-read number 28? At least. I devoured the Narnia books repeatedly as a kid and still love to pick them up again every once in a while. The adventures are always fun, and grounded enough that you could imagine yourself in them. The religious overtones (which I don’t remember noticing as a kid) are light and never overpower the story itself. This volume (although written after the rest) is where it all began- with an attic room, an evil uncle, and a pair of magical rings.
I Who Have Never Known Men by Jacqueline Harpman 1997 (206 pgs)
What is it that makes up the human experience? Are we defined by our family, our possessions, our personal history, a life lived with purpose, who we are in relation to others? The narrator, a survivor of an unknown apocalypse has less than that. She lives a solitary life focused entirely on mere survival. And yet she strives, she desires, she learns for the enjoyment of pure knowledge regardless of its usefulness or applicability. She is in short, entirely human.
Previously reviewed here.
The Pirates! In an Adventure with Communists by Gideon Defoe 2006 (176 pgs)
A re-read of the hilarious third adventure of The Pirate Captain and his stalwart crew- including The Pirate With the Scarf, The Albino Pirate, and The Pirate With the Nut Allergy. Hijinks ensue as they try to rescue Karl Marx (he of the alarming hairyness) from the mysterious statuesque blonde women who seem determined to blame the Communists for drowning kittens and bad weather, among other things.
Jaran by Kate Elliott (The Jaran#1) 1992 (494 pgs)
Tess is full of doubts and intent on evading the heavy expectations that result from her position as sister and heir to the only human duke in an alien empire. When she heads for a vacation on a backwater planet in her brother’s domain, she instead stumbles upon a group of aliens violating territorial agreements by setting out on an expedition across the forbidden zone. On instinct she follows them, determined to aid her brother and his planned human rebellion.
She finds herself alone among the Jaran, a warlike equestrian nomadic society that rules the plains. There she works to earn the acceptance and respect of the tribe while trying to discover the aliens’ true purpose.
Great fantasy series I like to re-read every once in a while. The world is richly developed with fascinating characters and plot.