It has been a long time since I’ve read a book that literally made me bawl. Had to get up out of bed at midnight, find some tissue and blow my nose. It happens more often with romance than with fantasy fiction, I will admit to that. But it’s still rare.
And then this week I stayed up way too late, bawling my eyes out because of Elizabeth Moon. The Deed of Paksenarrion (contains all three books of the trilogy) did that to me. Right about the end of the second book, beginning of the third. Paks is a female warrior, and at that point she had nothing left from which she drew her identity. She was broken, desperate and alone. I had to stay with the novel long enough that I could in good conscious put it down until morning.
This is something, by the way, that really great fantasy excels at. I may be a female, but I’ve never held anything other than a foam/plastic sword. The only battles I’ve gone into with those swords were pretend, with my son. On a daily basis, it doesn’t matter whether or not I’m a coward.
It doesn’t matter. Because I do know what it’s like to walk away from a life you thought you couldn’t. I know what it’s like to feel that everything that defines you is gone. Somehow, Paks healed herself, became even more herself than before she was broken.
Sometimes, fantasy, especially epic fantasy, uses the framework to pin down a powerful message. And the mesaage was greatly needed, as was the crying session.
Check it out, my lovelies. I think you’ll like it.