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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Discussions About Orson Scott Card » Late to the party...enchantment?

   
Author Topic: Late to the party...enchantment?
FerbFletcher
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I just finished this morning. I loved this book. Anyone on here who remembers it or who has read it recently?

[Smile]

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DustinDopps
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I thoroughly enjoyed "Enchantment" too. And I've been surprised over the years by how many times I've seen Baba Yaga mentioned, when I didn't remember seeing it before the book...
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C3PO the Dragon Slayer
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Enchantment is one of my favorite OSC books, up there with Speaker for the Dead and Pastwatch. It is a brilliant take on the man-gets-whisked-into-a-fairytale genre. It also has one of the most tolerable romances of any novel I have read.
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FerbFletcher
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C3PO- It was a very realistic romance for being a fairy tale. I still had several questions/theories after reading it though, and that is a mark of a great book for me!
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millernumber1
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I adore Enchantment - favorite non-Ender's Game Card novel. The plotting, characterization, themes - it's all so masterfully handled. One of the most touching romances I've read, and a treatment of the past that's neither condescending or sentimental.

I have both the paperback and the audiobook. I love listening to it - the voices are so well done, and the writing is so strong.

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BlackBlade
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Ditto. Love the book and audiobook. One of my absolute favorite Card books.
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Seatarsprayan
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It's good, but when I re-read it I tend to skim a lot of it, because it's just so frustrating watching Ivan be a punching bag for so long. If he'd asserted himself more at the beginning, things would have gone so much better for him.

In The Dragon Knight series by Gordon Dickson, the protagonist (transported from the 20th to 14th century) claims to be a Baron. He recognized straight away that when you're thrust into a class-defined society, you had better claim as much status as you can right off the bat.

Ivan even makes mention of the Connecticut Yankee story. The Boss made the mistake was claiming to be a magician but not some kind of royalty. No matter how much he did, he could never rise in the estimation of some because he wasn't noble born.

Ivan was just whipped right off the bat. Katerina was pushing him around and disdaining him before they ever left the bridges. He could have insisted she travel to his world first, he could have demanded more debriefing (no pun intended) before just following her back to her village and immediately making enemies. But he was whipped, and let her dominate, and so many problems as a result.

Of course, my way and there isn't a story, so that's no good. But the fact remains the story, as is, was frustrating to read. Maybe there could have just been LESS of everyone despising Ivan unjustly, a smaller percentage of the book. Or a bit more of him standing up for himself, even if it didn't work.

I'm an introvert and not naturally full of confidence, and I don't seek to impose my will on others or dominate them, and I hate confrontation, so I can actually empathize with Ivan QUITE a lot. But I also have limits to what I will take from others, and Ivan sure took way more than I ever would without fighting back.

Not saying it wasn't totally realistic character exploration. Just frustrating and not as fun to read as I'd have liked.

Also, Ivan really wussed out breaking up with Ruth. Uncool.

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millernumber1
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I dunno - I really love Ivan and his journey, and how it is paralleled by Katerina's journey. I think if you do it the Twain way, you run into serious risk of colonialism - I mean, I don't think time travellers to the past should go all First Directive, but there's no reason to try and set yourself up with as much power as you can lie about. In fact, I'm generally deeply unsympathetic to protagonists who attempt to use ignorance to bolster up their lies to gain power.

I think Ivan's failures with Ruth were painted as exactly that - uncool and utter failures. Ruth, for all that she sometimes comes across as a bit of a strawman feminist, is really quite sympathetic in the end, I think. OSC says he finds sympathy with all his characters, and I definitely see that in Ruth - her genuine love for Ivan, her grief at having almost killed him - the completely unjust level of punishment she receives - I think it's very well done. (Which is not to say that I think she should have been punished, just that bad things happen to people, and I think her story reflects that, and the level of sympathy the narrative maintains with her in her grief is unusual for someone who represents the ideological "enemy").

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