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Whee! Time to get started... if anyone wants a separate spoiler section, let me know! (Either for the book or the movie, or even both...)

So one has to wonder about fairy tales getting started, and being taken so seriously, when they're actually *in* a fantasy land with its own actual working rules. I mean, it seems like Sophie has the attitude of someone living in one of the old folk tales, but aside from the magic their world seems to actually work more like real life as far as "poor woodcutters" and "three siblings" and such go. Maybe she's just Wrong Genre Savvy?

It's kind of hard to know what to think of Fannie - then again, I guess she's just a person. not wholly good or bad. She does seem to try to do what's best for the girls, although she could maybe consult them a bit in the matter. At the same time, it seems a bit harsh that she's relieved that Lettie's not there, and she does exploit Sophie...

"Really quite old, well into his twenties"... ouch! From the bit about her being about ready to leave school anyhow, I'm guessing Sophie's between 16-18 or so? Does "into the twenties" really seem all THAT old at that point? I mean I know to say a five-year-old it's ancient, but by the time you're well into your teens, I don't remember the gap being that much...

Gotta love Martha for her practical outlook... "but you can see I've got to start quite soon in order to fit ten children in." Indeed! She does seem to have a bit of a pessimistic outlook though... unless it's just realistic. It's hard to tell at this point.

And while it's a bit slow getting started, then we finally get into the adventure part - although not in a way you'd expect. How many stories have the young heroine getting turned into an old crone, and taking it calmly and rationally? Or at least, one expects she's probably not quite as calm and rational as she acts, since it *is* a big shock, she's still probably numb.

It also seems weird that her point of view would alter so much to see the shepherd as a "young fellow" just because she got physically aged, but maybe it's supposed to be a pointer that she's older mentally than she should be? Who knows? Or I guess it *is* magic, so it could just be part of the spell, changing her attitudes as well as her physical age.

Aaand now we get to the titular castle, just as the reading ends.

Sorry if I'm obsessing over small details and all that, but with the real story just starting, there's not too much else to dwell on for this section. :p

And here's a reminder of the schedule if anyone wants it.


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Apr. 9th, 2012 05:34 pm (UTC)
Oh right, I do remember now that we do specifically find out his age. If in a convoluted way.

Poor ancient Howl. :p Still, I tend to think of littler kids (around kindergarten and elementary school) as being more prone to the really exaggerated ideas of old age.
Apr. 9th, 2012 03:40 am (UTC)
I will catch up once reesei brings her copy home from lab!
Apr. 10th, 2012 03:01 am (UTC)
Well her sisters seem to think the rules apply to them too, so it's not just Sophie.

I think part of Sophie's acceptance of turning old is that that's pretty much the way she's been acting for weeks or months. It's interesting that the witch's curse seemed to fit her attitude so well. Was that just "coincidence"? Or did the witch read her the same way she read the hats and think it was appropriate? Or did the witch just cast a generic curse, which took a form to suit Sophie?

I do think her attitude post curse is one part due to her attitude beforehand, one part the magic of the curse, and maybe one part shock.
Apr. 13th, 2012 01:46 pm (UTC)
I'd agree with all of that. She does seem to be sinking into a malaise anyway. As you say, maybe the Witch's curse just reveals her nature. (And there's definitely that dose of shock, we find.)

Well her sisters seem to think the rules apply to them too, so it's not just Sophie.

Unfortunately we haven't heard about anyone outside of the family, but I really want to know if everyone else has this self-aware "we're living in a fantasy world" feeling? It's really very striking. Almost always, adventures, fantasies, archetypes are things that happen to other people, and the main character has to be told by a stranger that it's happening to them too. Here, the three sisters fully expect it, and don't try to buck the rules in major ways. That's almost unheard of ...

... except that it's reminding me now of what I've heard about "Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning". I haven't played the game, but my understanding is that some Cosmic Event happens in which you (the main character) dies and then is reborn, and that somehow breaks you free of fate & convention. The reason you're the main character is that you're now free to choose your own fate, unlike anyone else in the world. And that's why you go on adventures & get besieged by requests from everyone you meet: you're free to draw outside the lines. Like I said, I haven't played it, so I don't know how it works in practice, but it's a new answer to the riddle of "wait, why do I have to go kill the dragon?".

[Edit] Do you think she's reading the hats, or making them what she describes?

Edited at 2012-04-13 01:47 pm (UTC)
Apr. 13th, 2012 06:46 pm (UTC)
One thing that I find interesting is that while she was acting sorta like a mousy old woman before she got aged, NOW that she's actually in that form, she's acting more spry and extroverted and all. Then again, from the way her sisters were talking, it sounds like she might just be reverting back to a normal personality that got temporarily overwhelmed when she was tucked away from society, set to trimming hats way too much.

As for the hats, that gets discussed a bit more later in the book, so I'll refrain from putting my own two cents in on that. :)

And yeah, Kingdoms of Amalur is fun (I got sidetracked from it by Mass Effect 3 and other things, and need to get back at some point)... and yeah, basically everyone is fated to have things happen a certain way (most of them don't *know* their fate, unless they consult someone that can see fates, a Fateweaver)... but since the main character died and was brought back, he/she is no longer bound by the fates. Which means that not only can she choose her own destiny, but she can *also* affect the fates of other people.

Really, fate and destiny are huge parts of the game (as well as living out stories, with the Fae), and it's pretty interesting the way they work that into the game mechanics.
Apr. 13th, 2012 11:58 pm (UTC)
Given the way the witch reacted it seems pretty clear that Sophie was unintentionally enchanting them by talking to them, and the witch was reading what those enchantments were, and getting pissed off that Sophie was doing magic in her territory. Though i have no idea why since there are other open and active witches in the area, like the one Sophie's sister(s) apprenticed to. Speaking of which, i guess that means all three sisters have at least some talent at magic.

Of course it's possible i'm basing that opinion off of residual memories from when i last read the book a couple years ago :)
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