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13 May 2010


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Ya know, I haven't read this book yet either. It's a good question - what's our problem? But now I will - great review!


I hearted this book so hard that I read it twice straight through, back-to-back. But then again, I pretty much always want to do that with a Patricia C. Wrede book. I can't wait for the *next* one!

Also? Great review.


Don't want to be a party-pooper, but do the words "Race Fail" ring any bells? There was a great disturbance in the Force when this book hit the stands--maybe that's why you hadn't read it?


That might have been it, actually -- usually, if there's a huge amount of conversation about a book, I'll walk away from it for a while, so that I can read it with a clear(ish) palate.

I've been hitting different sites, though, and reading about it this afternoon -- there's A LOT to read.


I have been accused of thinking about things too much.

What? Never.

You wouldn't be a booknerd if you didn't. I've been waiting to read this book - I love Patricia Wrede and wanted the RaceFail hysteria to go away and read it with an eye to the storyline, not that it didn't follow history and had no brown people in it.

It sounds like there's a sequel expected? And I LOVE the parents. How I long to tell people the door is behind them, and not to let it hit them in the arse. But I fail to invite rude people into my house, so I never get to practice that line. *le sigh*


This sounds great, thanks for the review. :)

Michelle R. Wood

I'm a bit confused by such controversy and angst over a purely mythical book. Ms. Wrede created an alternative reality in which many things changed, not merely the humany geography of North Columbia. I found it no more an attack against Native Americans than the The Years of Rice and Salt (an alternative history novel where the Plague completely destroys Europe, paving the way for Middle Eastern/Asian world ascendancy) as a fatwa against Caucasians.

I also find it ironic that on the one hand, there are complaints about the lack of characters representing a specific ethnicity (although there was no mention of Latinos/Hispanics, either), while on the other hand, the inclusion of African Americans is considered condescending. Both Miss Ochiba and Wash are fully realized characters who have their own lives and goals: Miss Ochiba is a high school teacher who does far more than worry about Eff, to the point of leaving to pursue her own interests toward the end of the book, while Wash is off working a majority of the time as an employee of the federal government. They are no more subservient as people to Eff than the majority of white characters she comes in contact with; however, the book is not about them, it is about her, and therefore their stories are necessarily secondary to her narrative (it is, after all, a story told in first person).

I appreciate the misgivings you and other readers may have regarding this book. However, I think once Ms. Wrede clearly identified this world as completely speculative in nature, she should not be judged for nuanced historical accuracy. If there have been past sins of omission in fiction, let us not swing the pendelum so far in the opposite direction that this novel must be judged for their trangressions. I would encourage readers to let Thirteenth Child stand on its own merits. It was engaging, imaginative, well-written, and directly embraced the pursuit of equality, tolerance, and the creation of a New World identity fron the diverse traditions of all its pioneers. I heartily recommend it to all fantasy lovers, of whatever racial or ethnic background.

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