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auspex

Novel Tease

Random meanderings about the books I love—or don't. 

Interspersed with observations about my hobbies: Beer & Wine, Bridge, Bikes and Bow-wows.

Currently reading

The Book Thief
Markus Zusak
Pontypool Changes Everything
Tony Burgess
The Duke's Ballad - Andre Norton, Lyn McConchie
Ten volumes into my epic re-read of the Witch World novels, I've got to say I'm pretty happy to be doing it. 

I hadn't previously read all of the novels (and I'm still not sure I'll be able to lay my hands on every one of them - I've managed to track down 27 of, I think, 28), but I must have read half of them over a period of some 40 years (their publication actually spans almost 50). They're fairly simplistic good-vs-evil fantasies, and sometimes the foregone conclusion of good triumphing over evil is too easy, but they draw you in, and I've always meant to read them all as a whole.

I was finally struck (on account of, I'm a slow learner), reading this episode, by the Calvinist nature of Witch World. It seems that every episode, to greater or lesser extent, involves people doing things they don't particularly want to do, but they're forced to by "geas" - or as Calvin would have said, "predestination". I'm a believer in free will, and I'm forced to the conclusion that I don't really want to live in Witch World. It's particularly distasteful to me that people need to be forced to do the right thing... especially since those acting under geas always seem to be good and decent people in the first place - so surely they're capable of doing the same thing of their own choice!