Tuesday, February 12, 2013

#WWReadathon Progress - February 12th

Book: The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold
Current Page: 115, 23% done
Last Line(s) Read: "In fact both Teidez and Iselle had pushed their entourage to its best speed from the moment they'd ridden out of Valenda and galloped ahead to outdistance Ista's heart-wrenching wails, audible even over the battlements. Iselle had clapped her hands over her ears and steered her horse with her knees till she'd escaped the echo of her mother's extravagant grief."

Admittedly, I'm not as far into this as I'd like to be, only snatching pages to read here and there around some other distractions. Some of those distractions couldn't be helped, but others were entirely avoidable like the day I played Mass Effect all day. That game ruins lives. I reminded myself that this was a no pressure challenge, and there was no way to fail it other than to quit reading, which I'll never do.

This book started out a bit slow for me. I'd had a few of my friends rave about it, and I thought the description for it was interesting. At first, I worried that this was going to turn into a case of me asking myself why everyone loved it so, but it's picked up even though I haven't gotten to the meat of the story. I blame George R. R. Martin for my current mindset where fantasy is concerned because accusing various fantasy books of starting slow has been a thing with me since beginning Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series. Not every book can begin with a beheading, an assassination attempt, or mad attempts to steal another person's body. I'd do well to remember that.

Cazaril I'm finding to be a refreshing male protagonist. I like that Bujold didn't give us this dashing, angry man whose only goal in life is to take revenge on those who wronged him while leaving a pile of swooning women in his furious wake. No, instead we meet a man who's been broken both spiritually and physically, a man wracked with pains and nightmares and prone to emotional moments no matter how hard he tries to keep it together. He wants to live a quiet life working for the Provincara he'd serve as a young man. He never wants to face the men responsible for what happened and feels it's better they believe him to be dead.

Readers eventually learn that Cazaril is/was something of a lesser noble who was betrayed by someone unexpected. I find it particularly fascinating that he hints at hubris in himself before captivity that didn't allow him to appreciate something as simple as the kindness in laundresses, but after he often finds himself weeping at such kindness, appreciating the unaffected kindness in those around him. He seems so grateful for everything, not just the kindness of strangers, where he would've felt entitled to such things before his captivity.

But while he may not be dashing, he's not quite self-deprecating either. He acknowledges his strengths, even former ones. He has issues to work through, and the brief glimpse of slavery he gives is absolutely heartbreaking. However, rather than hiding his pain behind self-deprecation, Caz has more of an honest assessment of life and how all men are equal when you strip away titles and station, and that, stripped bare, honor and respect isn't attached to titles but to the actions of men. He learns the hard way that everyone bleeds the same, and he takes that lesson to heart.

I'm just beginning the section where he travels to Zangre with Iselle, which is where the men who betrayed him are. When Caz first finds out I was expecting a bit more time focusing on his feelings and thoughts on that before leaving, but the story went almost immediately to the trek there. I'm hoping that Bujold will make up for this in following pages by showing a little more of Caz's reaction to being in the pit with the snakes who betrayed him.

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2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
Tiara has read 6 books toward her goal of 52 books.
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Tiara's bookshelf: currently-reading

The Elfstones Of Shannara
tagged: upcoming-reads, currently-reading, 2016-audiobook-challenge, classi...
Gardens of the Moon
tagged: currently-reading, fantasy, z-narrator-ralph-lister, 2016-audiobook...

goodreads.com

Tiara's bookshelf: read

Deceived
really liked it
Review to come.
tagged: 2016-star-wars-reading-challenge and 2016-audiobook-challenge
The Girl from the Well
liked it
More reviews @ The Bibliosanctum TL;DR Review 2.5 to 3 stars. Not badly written… I’m just disappointed by the squandered potential. I’m going to reread Anna Dressed in Blood to make myself feel better about this Longer Review: T...
tagged: 2016-women-of-genre-fiction-reading, horror, and young-adult
Thirteen Reasons Why
I don't think this quite captures the complexity of bullying and suicide, and some of the issues that Hannah started facing toward the end of the novel really seemed to detract even more from the feelings she was going through by having ...
tagged: young-adult, popsugar-2016-reading-challenge, 2016-audiobook-challe...
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
liked it
Spoiler free review to come.
tagged: 2016-star-wars-reading-challenge
The Phantom of the Opera
really liked it
tagged: classic-horror, classics, audiobook, 2016-audiobook-challenge, horr...

goodreads.com

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