Fuse #8

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Because I Would Not Stop to Think, Thinking Kindly Stopped for Me

So I'm reading Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos right now since, y'know, that's how I roll. And I get to thinking about the time period and the setting. The book basically takes place in pre-WWI England with a kid whose parents are continually bringing back and examining a host of nasty Egyptian artifacts. So naturally, I get to wondering how the author is going to tackle the tricky question of British nationalism. The idea of Egyptian independence is popping up left and right in this book and having finished Larklight by Philip Reeve (more on that later) I'm seeing a small but distinct increase in British fantasies that tackle their nation's thorny past with big, beautiful, magical metaphors. There is, to my mind, no better time then to read J.L. Bell's recent post Bartimaeus and the British Empire. Concentrating primarily on Jonathan Stroud's magnificent trilogy, Bell points out how colonialism and conjurings intertwine perfectly within Stroud's alternate England.



At 12:08 PM , Blogger Robin Brande said...

You totally win the prize for blog entry titles.

At 3:26 PM , Anonymous Bound to Read said...

I am intruiged by your line of thought. While I read Theodosia (which, by the way, in ARC form was called Theodosia Throckmorton and the Serpent of Chaos) I wondered if the author was going to make a connection between a release of ancient evil into the world and the start of the war. I'm not sure what I'd think of that...
The issues of colonialism, however, were addressed well, I thought. I didn't realize that this theme was a growing one in kid's lit.
P.S. I've got to tell you how much I love reading your blog every day. Well done!

At 7:27 PM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

Thanks! I'm reading the ARC right now and I'm interested in this mild title change that occured mere moments before publication. Seems odd. I'm not even halfway done but I like the implications that come with Brits lifting ancient artifacts from lands other than their own. This seems like a book worth talking up.


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